Augustana President Andrea Talentino recently delivered a $2,844 check to help the Resource Room at Rocky. The donation was presented to Rocky Resource Room Coordinator Kathy Lelonek and Principal Jeff Whitaker.
Founded in 2017, the Rocky Resource Room provides toiletries, clothing, book bags and other items to students at the high school and throughout the district. In addition to the many supplies offered, the resource room houses a small food pantry supported by the River Bend Food Bank.
The Rocky Resource Room also assists students with funds, provides detergent for use at laundromats and has given new coats, hats and gloves to district students for the past three winters.
The Augustana gift was raised during its 2022 Homecoming, presidential inauguration and a street party held during the weekend of Oct. 15. Ms. Talentino was formally inaugurated during the weekend’s festivities.
More than 1,000 Augustana students, alumni, staff and community members attended the post-inauguration street party. Food trucks lined the street, and all food items were priced at $1.
Ms. Talentino, who selected the Rocky Resource Room as the benefactor, told Ms. Lelonek she knew Augustana alumni would be proud to see the dollars making a difference in the lives of Rock Island-Milan School District students.
“The one thing that every single alumni has told me is that Augustana has transformed their lives,” Ms. Talentino said. “Then to be able to pay that forward and give it to younger kids in the high school level … whether it is the simplest bar of soap, or whatever their needs are, that’s exciting and I know our alums would love that.”
Ms. Lelonek, a 1990 Augustana grad, said she was thrilled to connect with friends at the street party and excited to see Augustana continue its tradition of having a transformational impact on the community.
“It makes me even more proud to have graduated from Augustana,” she said. “… I feel like every year, Augustana reaches out more to the community and does more. That’s amazing and makes me proud.”