DECA volunteers at RM Houses


HHS DECA students Allyson Flax, Trysta Knapp and Rylie Rowland take a break while volunteering at the Ronald McDonald Houses in Wichita.

By Becky Kiser

Hays Post

Hays High School DECA members, 34 of them and sponsor Shaina Prough, recently made a trip to a place they hope they never have to utilize.

HHS DECA has been associated for 14 years with the Ronald McDonald Houses in Wichita.

This year’s event was organized by Trysta Knapp, a junior, and her project partners Rylie Rowland and Allyson Flax.

“Every single year, HHS DECA goes down for a work day to clean up the RMH, bake goodies for the families living there, and help out in any way possible,” says Knapp.” Everyone there is wonderful and it’s a great experience to go back every single time.”

Half of the DECA group went to the Mid-Town House across the street from Grace-Med. The other half went to the Sleepy Hollow House located near the Wesley Medical Center parking lot.  Four students went to the the Ronald McDonald Family Room inside Wesley.

They stayed busy dusting, vacuuming, cleaning windows, spot cleaning floors and other house work, baking goodies, and sorting donated food items.

“It’s always nice to go there and see how all of the staff is doing and hear the different stories of the families that have stayed there. It’s nice to work together with my DECA Chapter and see all of us become leaders and grow in our character,” says Knapp.

The DECA students do even more than donate their time.  Throughout the year, HHS DECA collects aluminum can pull tabs donated by area residents and businesses. “We then take the pull tabs to someone who gives us money in return.  We’ve been able to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Ronald McDonald House Charities, ” says Knapp.

This year the students were able to contribute more than $1,300 cash.

Last year, DECA collected 1.5 million pull tabs with the help of the community.

Participating HHS DECA students are:

Alex Winter, Allyson Flax, Amanda Koenigsman, Bailee Leiker, Brenden Ibarra, Casey Dinkel, Ethan Waddell, Jake Bieker, Jordan Wilson, Kaylie Schoendaller, Lexi Summers, Lily Meska, Rylie Rowland, Summer Smith, Thea Ferland, Trenton Flora, Abby Garrett, Amber Klaus, Brady Bieker, Elissa Jensen, Haley Wells, Hayden Kreutzer, Jenna Luebbers, Kirsten Ellard, Kristyn Hodny, Madi Haines, Madison White, Mariah Haley, Sydney Vahling, Trystan Knapp, Jared Willhoft, Kyler Niernberger, Landon Munsch, Macey Pfeifer, Mackenzie Lewis, Seth Junk.

(Pictures courtesy Trysta Knapp)