Thank you, CHA students and community, for your generosity!
On a beautiful, sunny morning on May 7th, the CHA community gathered outside CHA’s new accessible doors for a “Coinucopia” Door Dedication and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony, a joyful culmination of our student-led coin drive from the previous fall. Outside the N-1 doors, which were now flanked by balloons, bows and the ceremonial ribbon, students, parents, administrators and teachers gathered to celebrate. We were also honored with dignitary guests Joan Frazier, President of the Village of Northfield, and Jill Brickman, Supervisor of Northfield Township.
Dr. Hertzberg opened the program with thanks and remarks on what these accessible doors mean to our school — they represent not only safety and protection but also welcome and compassion for all students. He gave warm acknowledgement to the smiling face that inspired our students throughout this coin drive — beloved second grader Hannah Gallagher. Mr. Dinkelman then followed with the results of the coin drive and a few play-by-play details of the coinucopia competition among classes. His story drew laughter and applause from the 2nd grade class as he shared that while the 6th graders had been in the lead during the entire drive, on the very last day, the 2nd graders pulled ahead and won! He also shared a heartwarming story of a generous kindergartener who cheerfully donated his birthday gift money to the coin drive.
Principal Joan Okamoto then thanked the students for their outstanding generosity and acknowledged the Upper School Student Council for leading and motivating the student body with friendly competitions. After inspiring words from President of the Village of Northfield Joan Frazier, Hannah’s father, Mike Gallagher, gave heartfelt thanks for what these doors meant to his family at this particular time in Hannah’s medical journey. Dr. Hertzberg and Mr. Dinkelman then presented to the winning 2nd grade class a “Coinucopia Winner” plaque, on which their class title, “the Class of 2028”, would be engraved. After a few photos and Dr. Hertzberg’s dedication prayer, Hannah showed off her famous “wheelie” and entered the new doors, while students cheered on outside. Inside, 11th graders, the upper school winning class, were waiting and gave Hannah a hearty welcome as she entered, followed by her class and the 6th grade class.
The student-led Coinucopia drive for accessible doors showed us the heart of God — a heart of compassion, service and generosity toward our fellow brothers and sisters. But as Northfield President Frazier stated, Hannah opened a door for our students also — through her we learned lessons of charity, putting others first, and teamwork. As a school, we saw that children can make a difference. With God’s love and great enthusiasm, they can rally generations and entire communities around a worthy cause and powerfully impact God’s kingdom… and even open new doors of opportunity for future students… and that is no small change.