Hy-Vee Assistant Manager Seth Fridley with the St. Pat's "Buddy Bench"
Hy-Vee Assistant Manager Seth Fridley with the St. Pat’s “Buddy Bench”

October is National Stop Bullying Month, and yesterday was Stop Bullying Day. To celebrate, the Perry Hy-Vee has once again supplied a “Buddy Bench,” this time to St. Patrick’s Catholic School.

Last year on October 10th, Hy-Vee donated a bench to Perry Elementary School to serve as a place for students to sit if they’re having a hard time and may need a friend. With the success of that bench and others across the state and country, they felt it was only right to bring one to St. Pat’s this year. Hy-Vee Events Coordinator Larry Vodenik and Assistant Manager Seth Fridley were at the school yesterday afternoon for a special presentation in front of the entire school to hand over the bench.

The fifth grade class at St. Pat’s came up with four rules for the “Buddy Bench,” which will be posted with it in the playground. Principal Kandice Roethler said she was proud of the students for showing the leadership to come up with the rules, and she’s confident they’ll be followed by everyone. “I think it’s a great program. I’m excited for the opportunity for our students to understand the concept behind it, in that if they see someone looking for something to do, or someone who appears lonely and needs a friend, to be able to go over and ask them. And really build that camaraderie that we already have, which is a strength of us being such a small school, but really giving them another outlet to use it.”

Roethler offered her thanks to Hy-Vee for generously supplying the bench, and for doing their part in the fight against bullying and helping kids who are having a tough time. The St. Pat’s students also offered their gratitude with a big unison “Thank you!”

2018 Buddy Bench 3