Catty Shack participates in community outreach project

Catty Shack hosts a luncheon for ACCESS House students on Friday, May 9

Pizza and dessert filled the plates of 25 people in the C-Wing conference room on Friday, May 9. The Catty Shack staff, business teacher Dianna Heffernon and guests from the De Soto Adult Cooperative Community Education Service and Support (ACCESS) House sat eating, talking and laughing as students told jokes over their lunch.

As part of a philanthropy project, the Catty Shack volunteered at the ACCESS House-sponsored track and field event on Friday, April 18 at De Soto High School and continued the partnership by inviting six students and four staff members from the ACCESS House back for a luncheon on Friday, May 9.

The ACCESS House offers De Soto School District graduates ages 18 to 21 years old with the opportunity to continue their education and build life skills. The program focuses on community-based instruction for independent living, employability skills, community participation, recreation and leisure, social development and specific skills instruction.

Catty Shack President Riley Boyle said there were specific reasons behind the decision to form a relationship with the ACCESS House.

“We think corporate outreach is very important,” Boyle said. “It has been one of our main focuses over the past two years and we believe the ACCESS House is doing amazing things.”

In addition to providing lunch, Catty Shack staff presented the ACCESS House with a check for $800 funded entirely by proceeds from this year’s sales.

Boyle said the decision to donate this sum of money was unanimous among the Catty Shack staff.

“At the beginning of the year, we decided that we wanted to do a philanthropy project,” Boyle said. “As the year went on, we realized we were very profitable compared to where we thought we would be. We had funds to take care of this and we thought it would be a perfect way to give back. It’s a worthwhile cause and [the ACCESS House is] going to do wonderful things with the money.”

The Catty Shack aims to continue the relationship formed this year with the ACCESS House and model future partnerships after it. Mill Valley graduate and ACCESS House student Alex Gaulke summarized the relationship.

“I couldn’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon,” Gaulke said.

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