Warm Hats, Warm Hearts

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Marilyn has been a resident of Harrison Township for 45 years and raised two children who attended L’Anse Creuse Public Schools. She began her journey with the district as a volunteer at Graham Elementary School, where her children attended. Then when the time was right, she became a media clerk, working for nearly 30 years at Graham and 15 at Lobbestael Elementary School.

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Anne is a registered nurse who obtained a Master’s in education and went on to teach health career classes for 17 years at the Pankow Center. L’Anse Creuse has been a part of her life for decades, as her husband worked for the district in several capacities over the course of 40 years and her three adult children all attended L’Anse Creuse schools. She is just a few years into retirement and finally finding the time for her favorite hobby: knitting.

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Sharon spent a significant amount of time in the schools, volunteering as an active PTA member when her children were young and then with band and sports in the later years. She and her husband moved to L’Anse Creuse when her children were young after hearing about the district’s reputation. Years later, she credits the district for helping her kids to become “great citizens.”

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Darlene became involved in L’Anse Creuse when her four children were in school. Over 28 years she held several different jobs in the district, but her legacy is as a preschool teacher at Tenniswood Elementary. She has watched our community grow up, teaching the children of former students and several staff members. Now that she is retired, she is still in L’Anse Creuse, volunteering with her grandchildren.

 
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It gives you a warm feeling. It’s nice to know that on some of these bitter cold days, you are helping a child stay warm.
 

Marilyn Bondy, Anne Da Via, Sharon Pernicano and Darlene Pranion are all proud long-time L’Anse Creuse residents. Though their paths are similar, they really didn’t get to know each other until recently. Today, these four wonderful women are all members of the St. Louis Stitchers, a charity knitting group based out of their church. The group works on several projects to help community members throughout the year, and one of those specifically helps our students.

“Too many times I saw kids in the winter without the proper clothing,” said Marilyn. “They would have to stay inside for recess and it would break my heart. So I suggested to the group that we make winter hats for the kids.”

The stitchers took this task on with gusto, making dozens of hats and scarves in just a few months. Then in the beginning of November, as the temperatures began to drop, the hats were given to students at Marie C. Graham and Tenniswood elementary schools. Both schools received two large plastic bins filled with all the styles and colors a student could want. At Tenniswood, the room was filled with smiles as students browsed through the options selecting their favorites. At Graham, the students were happy to accept all the hats but more excited to see their old friend Mrs. Bondy. At both schools, the bins will remain in the main office so that hats are available to any student who might need one. 

The experience was so positive that the St. Louis Stitchers plan to continue this project, replenishing hats throughout the season and for years to come. “It gives you a warm feeling. It’s nice to know that on some of these bitter cold days, you are helping a child stay warm,” said Anne. “I don’t have children in L’Anse Creuse anymore but I still want to be able to give back and this is one way to do that.”

 
 
 

The St. Louis Stitchers meet at 10:00 a.m. the first and third Tuesday of every month in the building next to the church. All are welcome to attend regardless of religious affiliation.

St. Louis Catholic Church 
24415 Crocker Blvd
Clinton Township MI 48036

(586) 468-4332
www.stlouiscatholiccommunity.com

 
 
 

Tenniswood Elementary School is located in Clinton Township. Marie C. Graham Elementary School is located in Harrison Township.