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North High School alum gives back to the community

Published: Mar. 19, 2021 at 2:51 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Teachers do more than educate our children; they often go above and beyond to help every child who needs it.

On Friday, the efforts of North High School teachers Kevin Mesiar and Janelle Petenaude were recognized thanks to a North alum.

“I had no idea, totally unexpected,” Mesiar says.

“I’m completely caught off guard and surprised, although I shouldn’t be when it comes to Anita Harvey,” Petenaude says.

“We have an amazing benefactor named Anita Harvey who just cares about North like nobody else and she recognizes people who do great work for our school,” says North Principal Kurt Madsen. “She works with Kevin and Janelle in a big way.”

Madsen, says Anita Harvey bought 100 boxes of Girl Scouts cookies to donate to the school food pantry, and when it came to who she bought them from, he says she took the giving a step further.

“I think it’s a great thing that Anita recognizes everybody,” he says. “She knows how to tie things together and recognize people for what they do and at the same time help a great cause like Troop 3055 out of Chippewa.”

Aliyah Welch and Lynn Tran of Troop 3055 say they are honored by Harvey’s act of kindness

“I’m happy to have the opportunity to deliver the cookies for Anita, I think it’s really great that we get to do that,” Welch says.

“I’m very thankful that she did this for them, it’s really kind of her to do this,” Tran says.

When it comes to the school food pantry, which has helped students with food insecurity, Petenaude says Harvey helped start that as well.

“Anita Harvey has been a great supporter of the food pantry,” she says. “She’s the initial reason we were able to launch the food pantry with her initial $2,000 donation.”

Harvey and Petenaude’s efforts to give back are also inspiring those around them, like North High School Senior, Faith Benzschawel.

“After graduation, I’m going to Stout for criminal justice and rehab and hoping to like work with troubled juveniles because I just want to continue to help people,” she says.

Even several years after graduating, Harvey is still making an impact in the community.

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