St. Matthew Lutheran School

October 23, 2014

From the Principal,

Third Annual Turkey Trot: "Hearts for Honduras"

As principal, it is so exciting when moms of our school share the joyous news with me stating... "Guess what?  I'm pregnant!"  I especially remember when Mrs. Karen Smith approached me with the good news regarding her third child, and it was even more exciting when we learned that this family with two little girls was expanding to include a baby boy! From such an early age, it was apparent that this new little boy had been blessed with a vibrant and charming personality.  His dancing eyes had a way of reflecting his thoughts and a slight grin would always indicate when he was entertaining a humorous idea.

Throughout his eleven years at our school, we watched his intellect flourish while his spiritual journey ignited. He was such a talented student and athlete who loved others and his Lord.  He was obsessed with soccer, basketball, and cheese balls!  Starting in third grade, his mom would pack cheese balls in his lunch every day, and every day from third grade to eighth grade, he would share two cheese balls with me.  On his first day of high school, I placed an entire bag of cheese balls on his porch for his new academic journey without me.

I remember when he was in seventh grade, and his dad asked me, "Has Jerrod told you where we're going this summer?"  From the excitement in his voice, my thoughts immediately assumed it was going to be a wonderful vacation, but I quickly learned that they were planning a family mission trip to Honduras.  Jerrod's grandpa was passionate about sharing the love of Christ with a boys' school in Honduras, and this passion ignited throughout their entire family.  After this first experience, the enthusiasm for sharing Jesus with the people in Honduras continued to grow, and the entire family returned to Honduras this past June as well.

In July, God in His wisdom took Jerrod and his mom to be with Him in heaven.  Although his life here on earth was much shorter than we would want, God used Jerrod and his mom in powerful ways to expand the Kingdom of heaven.

The boys' school in Honduras remains a passionate mission project for the Smith family, and they still plan to go back this summer.  As a memorial tribute to Karen and Jerrod, this year's Turkey Trot will be held in their honor to help continue the work that the Lord has placed on the Smith family's evangelistic hearts.

On Monday, November 10th, the 3rd Annual Turkey Trot will take place on the St. Matthew soccer field, as our students will walk/trot/run laps to raise money for the 2015 Smith Family Honduras Mission Trip.  Early elementary students will have a designated time to walk/trot/run their laps, while the Upper Grades will have a separate time to walk/trot/run their laps.  Students are encouraged to seek sponsors prior to November 10th.  Sponsors can either pledge for each individual lap a student completes or make one general donation. We are asking for all pledge forms to be returned on November 10th.  We would appreciate all financial donations to be returned either on November 10th or 11th.

In addition, on Tuesday, November 11th, our Fall Sports Recognition Night will be held.  During this festivity, we will be following the desires of Jerrod's classmates from the class of 2013, and we will retire and hang Jerrod's soccer jersey on our gym wall as a memorial and present Mr. Smith with a check from the proceeds of our Turkey Trot.  We invite everyone to attend this event, including Jerrod's former St. Matthew classmates.

Please click here for official Turkey Trot forms to collect your pledges.  Turkey trot attire can consist of athletic wear, blue jeans, or you can dress like a turkey!  Whatever suits your fancy, just as long as you can successfully trot!

Please join us in prayer as we ask the Lord to bless our efforts and that Karen and Jerrod's passion for the people of Honduras will be enhanced through our efforts.

Happy Trotting!

In His love,

Mrs. Palka

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St. Matthew Lutheran School recognizes the importance between nutrition and learning. Our students are taught 
that as children of God, they develop their talents to the best of their ability. The importance of healthy eating 
habits along with physical activity are essential to both physical and mental growth, as well as a students overall 
health and well-being. St. Matthew’s goal is to assist both students and staff in the development of lifelong