TRENTON, NJ -- Union Catholic’s Zach Reichgut, Liam Bennett, Ray Lestarchick, and Patrick Hartnett were honored at the New Jersey State House on Thursday for their award winning video project in a contest sponsored by the New Jersey Network of Catholic School Families.
The theme of the one-minute video presentation, “Our Catholic Schools Care For God’s Planet,’’ was about Union Catholic’s Environmental Club Water Filtration Systems. UC has nine Water Filtration Systems in the school.
Reichgut, Bennett, Lestarchick, and Hartnett were selected as the video winners for schools within the Archdiocese of Newark. They each received a special certificate in recognition of their outstanding achievement conveying Catholic schools as communities that Learn, Serve, Lead and Succeed.
Union Catholic’s commitment to the environment was displayed in the video, which showed Hartnett, Bennett, and Lestarchick refilling their own bottles at the ezH2O bottle filling stations, and explaining how it helps the environment.
Reichgut, a junior from South Orange, spent several hours editing the video.
“It felt very rewarding,’’ Reichgut said of being recognized at the State House. “And I think it’s very important that all the students know how much work and effort went into installing the nine water filtration stations we have here. We really wanted to show how we are helping the environment.’’
Hartnett, an Executive Committee member for UC’s Environmental Club, said it was nice to have Union Catholic showcased at the State House.
“It means a lot to show different parts of the school that people don’t get to see all the time, the environmental part, and it shows the diversity of the school and what we do as students here at UC, ’’ said Hartnett, a senior who lives in Clark. “It was huge to showcase that to other schools.’’
“The filtration system here has kind of become second nature here, and has become an integral part of the UC culture,’’ said Hartnett. “Knowing we are doing good deeds and helping the environment just by filling up and reusing our own water bottle is a great system to have. We are ahead of alot of schools when it comes to this, and it’s just a great way to help out the environment.’’
“It was a pretty big honor and I really liked being able to represent the school,’’ said Lestarchick, a senior from Scotch Plains. “We had a lot of great ideas that we worked in and had to sort through, and it was great to get rewarded like that. I took Mrs. Yezo’s Environmental Science class last year, and since then the environment is something I’ve been very passionate about. It’s something I don’t think we all realize how much of a difference we are making. The way we’ve incorporated it into our day to day lives is just fantastic.’’
Bennett, a junior from Scotch Plains, said the whole experience was great.
“It felt pretty cool to have the opportunity to go to the State House for a video we made,’’ said Bennett. “We had a lot of fun making the video and I think it’s cool that we are helping the environment just by filling up our own personal water bottles.’’