NDBG SENIORS Jess Quinn(r.) and Taylor Van Aucken helped raise money fort he Animal Protective Foundation in Scotia in memory of Sister Jeanne Fielder. (Photo provided)
NDBG SENIORS Jess Quinn(r.) and Taylor Van Aucken helped raise money fort he Animal Protective Foundation in Scotia in memory of Sister Jeanne Fielder. (Photo provided)

The Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons School Community — led by seniors Jess Quinn and Taylor Van Aucken — used October to honor not only the Feast of St. Francis but also the memory of Sister Jeanne Fielder, CND, a long-time sister of the Congregation of Notre Dame and religion teacher at NDBG.

In September, Sister Jeanne lost her fierce battle with cancer, and news of her death was especially difficult for the senior class, whom Sister Jeanne had taught for three years prior to her retirement. Besides lessons in the Old Testament and morality, Sister Jeanne passed on stories of her beloved cat “Mr. B.” Mr. B was fostered and then adopted by a former NDBG family, but the lessons Sister Jeanne taught remained with the Class of 2021.

Quinn approached Van Aucken, her fellow Student Council member, about a dress-down day to benefit the Animal Protective Foundation (APF) in Scotia in memory of Sister Jeanne and in the name of Mr. B.

Quinn had organized a similar donation drive for her 16th birthday, asking for pet donations in lieu of gifts. On Oct. 2, which coincided with the Feast of St. Francis, the casual Friday raised $400 and began a movement in the school. Students began to bring in pet food, toys and various supplies for animals in need throughout the month of October. The duo then asked for permission to organize a second dress-down day to purchase additional supplies. Almost $1,000 in pet food, supplies and cash donations were raised by the school with the leadership of these two students to benefit APF.

Quinn and Van Aucken, both pet owners, are in the midst of their college searches. Quinn is looking to pursue a career in physical therapy and Van Aucken a degree in criminal justice and pre-law.