The Washington Times-Herald

Local News

November 29, 2013

Putting children first

(Continued)

Mattes said in the past, students have made cultural coloring books, music CDs and historical books. “There’s so much beauty in the diversity we have and as people see this, it broadens their respect for the different cultures,” said Mattes.

Every other month there are also Friday night dances with the proceeds benefiting different causes and there’s a Bowl-A-Thon for St. Jude’s, March for Babies and other smaller projects too.

But Junior Beta isn’t the only activity on Mattes’ to do list. He tutors and does Back Packs for Kids, a national program that helps provide meals to 50 students on the weekends. Mattes was one of the co-founders of Feed My Sheep, served on the board of Habitat for Humanity for several years, is a past president of the United Way Board and served as President of the Daviess County United Way for one year. Yesterday, Mattes and other members of his family delivered Thanksgiving meals to elderly shut-ins and others who requested a meal.

“I’ve been privileged to work in this capacity for several years and I feel so blessed to be able to serve others,” Mattes said. He’s also serves as house manager during the annual Madrigal dinner. “I co-coordinate the junior high and high school servers,” he said. “I’ve done this for several years and started after my youngest daughter Rebecca was in the Madrigals.”

In May, Mattes will hang up one of his many hats, this one as the junior high guidance counselor, but that won’t mean taking it easy for Mattes. “I’m still going to do Beta here but my wife Marilyn would probably like to have me at home a little more,” he says, a big grin sweeping across his face. “I’m hoping we can get a Community Foundation grant project going for Junior Beta and that’s what I am hoping will be my legacy.”

What Mattes may not realize is that the lives of students he has touched over the years will never be forgotten.

Retirement will also mean Mattes will have more time to visit with his eight grandchildren and daughters Rebecca, Sarah and Rachel.

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