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The Pony Express

The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

The Pony Express

The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

The Pony Express

Stillwater Pony Express

National Honor Society donates Coffeehouse proceeds to Morgan’s Message

Photo by Addy Rock
Senior Gigi Zawislak sings ‘When I Was Your Man’ at the winter Coffeehouse on Dec. 22. The crowd was amazed and created a sea of stars with their flashlights during her preformance.

Coffeehouse is a talent show fundraiser put on by the National Honor Society (NHS). It is one of the many fundraisers they put on throughout the year. NHS stages two Coffeehouse shows a year, one in the winter, and one in the spring. This year’s winter shows were at 6 and 8 p.m. on Dec. 22. They consisted of 13 acts, which went through an audition process.

There were a variety of performances such as bands, soloists, duets and dance numbers. Both shows had large crowds gathered in the auditorium to see these acts display their talents. The event is a popular draw for parents, families, and students, both present and past. Many graduated students who were in Coffeehouse in previous years like to come back and watch the performances on their winter break.

This year, the emcees for the winter show were senior Meredith Christensen and junior Aidan Uglem, while other NHS students helped ensure the show was a success. This is the second Coffeehouse show Uglem has been part of. He joined NHS as a sophomore and was part of last year’s spring show. Uglem and Christensen are both officers for NHS and have worked on past fundraisers together. 

“I chose Coffeehouse because I went in the spring last year and it was a really cool event, and I thought it would be fun to do again,” Uglem said. “I’m friends with Meredith and she was already signed up to volunteer so I thought it would be fun to do it with her.”

NHS selects a different cause for each show to donate the proceeds to. They donate to nearby community centers, foundations, nonprofits and more. The NHS officers have meetings every couple of weeks to prepare for NHS events and membership meetings. At the meetings, they choose what cause(s) they want to donate the proceeds of the event to. This year, they selected Morgan’s Message as the beneficiary for the Winter Coffeehouse and raised around $2,000.

Christensen explained NHS selected Morgan’s Message because of the recent chapter started and the work they have done to help student athletes with their mental health.

Morgan’s Message is a non-profit organization that advocates for student athletes mental health and works to create a platform supporting student athletes. Their main message is, “You are more than an athlete.” 

“People think that if you’re an athlete, you’re supposed to be tough and everything, but everybody goes through stuff”

— Myah Kruger

Morgan’s Message has an education program (MMEP) that supports students and motivates them to become leaders and advocate mental health for students at their schools and in their communities. MMEP works with volunteer student athletes (ambassadors) at high schools, colleges and universities throughout 45 states in the US, as well as Canada and England. The program is growing and has around 4,500 ambassadors which spread across 1,500 campuses. There are currently six college campuses in Minnesota with a chapter, two of which are the University of St. Thomas and Hamline University.

SAHS is one of many high schools with a chapter. There are currently five ambassadors and around 30 members. The SAHS chapter is made up of students from several sports with the highest number of members being on the girls’ lacrosse or girls’ soccer team. Senior Myah Kruger is one of the ambassadors and helped launch the start of this chapter. Kruger is a senior captain of the girls’ lacrosse team and works alongside her fellow teammates as an ambassador. 

“Me and the other ambassadors will run activities and meetings. We have a meeting once a month, on Monday mornings. So far, we have made bracelets, posters and had one dedication game so far. The ambassador’s hand made shirts for the girls’ volleyball team to wear for warmups,” Kruger said. “We focus on making it a safe and comfortable space for people to talk and get help if needed.” 

“There’s a stigma around mental health and opening up your emotions when something is hard. We just want to make a safe space for students to come and know that it’s okay to struggle. People think that if you’re an athlete, you’re supposed to be tough and everything, but everybody goes through stuff,” Kruger said.

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  • G

    Gabbi ChauFeb 6, 2024 at 1:51 pm

    I’m glad that NHS uses Coffeehouse to raise money and bring awareness to non-profits like Morgan’s Message, especially because I didn’t know what the organization was about before reading this article.

  • P

    Peter BanisterFeb 6, 2024 at 9:05 am

    I appreciate how Coffeehouse helps important organizations in need. the article was especially written well because it shows the connection between Morgans Message. The explanation of how is supports and effects athletes could also raise more awareness for the group for those who need it. I think sharing moments like this through an article is an excellent way to build awareness for the organization, and raise more money for future coffeehouse events and other organizations in need.

  • M

    Mady RichertFeb 6, 2024 at 9:04 am

    I was very intrigued by this headline because I am apart of the Morgans Message club at the high school and it is a very special thing to know that our newly started club is being recognized and people are wanting to give to the club. I also liked the strong use of words, and the embedded quote which spoke about how athletes go through stuff too, and it is ok to not be ok always. I think it is a very cool thing that NHS did this for Morgans Message club.

  • A

    Amelia StrongFeb 6, 2024 at 9:03 am

    This article caught my attention because I saw the headline and I am a part of the Morgan’s Message group. I liked how Addy set up her quotes and paragraphs, most of the quotes were embedded or paraphrased and it made it more interesting to read. I liked how Addy explained what each of the groups were, she went into detail about Morgan Message, Coffeehouse and NHS. She used compelling quotes that caught my attention about Myah Krueger and mental health with athletes. It was cool how Addy got to talk about three different organizations.

  • I

    Ian LunneborgFeb 6, 2024 at 8:05 am

    Being someone who was skeptical on going to the winter Coffeehouse this year because I had no idea what I might be getting into, this article was a great way to get a feel for what the event is like, and some motivation to go myself in the spring. The article is very informative and gives a lot of background on the NHS and the Morgan’s Message charity that the proceeds went to. It also gives a brief look into what the event is all about and what kinds of acts audition for Coffeehouse so the reader can know what to expect on a first attendance.

  • A

    Alison KeelerFeb 6, 2024 at 7:51 am

    This article caught my attention because of the photos and the description of the story. The writing style was compelling and detailed to give the reader a lot of information about the event that took place. As someone who is a part of NHS but could not attend Coffeehouse, this story helped me read up on what I missed.