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St. Joseph seniors' fundraiser, honor veterans

By ERICA RODRIGUEZ
Sept. 23, 2010 at 4:23 a.m.
Updated Sept. 25, 2010 at 4:25 a.m.

Jared Poland, St. Joseph High School senior class president, stands with Warrior's Weekend Field of Honor flags. Seniors are selling flag sponsorships to raise money for their Project Graduation.

HOW TO PURCHASE A FLAGVisit warriorsweekend.org and click on the "STJ" logo in the upper-right corner. Fill in the payment information on the right side of the screen and list the St. Joseph High School student's name or the year of graduation for alumni.

Visit the campus at 110 E. Red River St. or call Ret. Col. Michael Petrash at 210-364-4512.

All proceeds from flags sold until Nov. 11 will be split between the Warrior's Weekend project and the St. Joseph High School senior Project Graduation. Flags will be posted on May 14 between 9 a.m.-1p.m. The field will be dedicated at 3 p.m. May 20.

American flags the size of large beach towels snapped in the wind on the St. Joseph High School campus.

The flags, a part of a new senior fundraising project, serve to help the school and honor veterans.

"It's a win-win situation because you're helping two great groups of folks," said retired Army Col. Michael Petrash, a St. Joseph parent. "The senior students, to get to where they are, and the soldiers who have given so much."

The seniors are raising money for their Project Graduation program by selling the 3-foot by 5-foot flags. Proceeds from flags purchased until Veterans Day, Nov. 11, will be split between the Warrior's Weekend, a nonprofit group, and the seniors.

The flags will be posted at the corner of Mockingbird Lane and Sam Houston Drive at the Warrior's Weekend Field of Honor in May.

"It visibly honors all veterans who ever served in this area, and secondly, when these soldiers get off the bus and they see those flags, it really, really encourages them," said Petrash, who organizes the event.

The field is a part of the Warrior's Weekend project, which offers wounded service members a weekend of fishing and recreation in Port O'Connor.

Jared Poland, senior class president, believes the fundraiser holds more meaning for the students and the community.

"I feel like this is much more meaningful because this is actually touching the lives of those who have been wounded and those who have lost family members in Iraq," Jared said. "It's still with the fundraising, but . we're bringing in more giving back to the community."

The flags cost $40 each and can be ordered at the St. Joseph High School campus or the Warrior's Weekend website.

The fundraiser kicked off with a student address from Shiloh Harris, a wounded Floresville soldier.

"This is a wounded soldier who wants to give back to Warrior's Weekend," Petrash said. "The kids were mesmerized by him."

Each senior's goal is to sell six flags, and Petrash hopes to have at least 1,000 flags on the field.

Jared said that so far, students have been successful and expects the fundraiser to do well.

"Because it's well-known in this community especially, I think it's going to go well," Jared said.

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