MAHS student project benefits shelter animals

MARQUETTE – Students at the Marquette Alternative High School have worked to organize a number of fundraisers and awareness drives in recent months.

Continuing in what is rapidly becoming a tradition of community service at the alternative school, MAHS senior Willa Cisluycis has created a service project that will work to benefit the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter in Negaunee Township.

“I think it’s good to let kids find where they want to help others, whether they be future students or someone out in the community,” Cisluycis said of the school’s service project requirement for graduating seniors.

Cisluycis has set up a collection box outside the alternative school’s main office on the first floor of the Graveraet building. It will be accessible to the public during regular school hours.

Donations of all kinds are accepted – from food to toys and everything in between.

“I’ve always loved animals my whole life and UPAWS is just a great organization, and they deserve to be helped out,” she said.

Cisluycis said she’s hoping to collect a variety of items that will be useful to the shelter and directed potential donors to UPAWS’ wish list, which can be found on the organization’s web site at

Though Econo Foods receipts will be accepted, monetary donations should not be left in the box. Rather, those can be sent directly to UPAWS.

The motivation behind the project is a wish to help generate more donations for UPAWS from people who wouldn’t want or be able to drive out to the shelter themselves.

Once the box is filled, Cisluycis will drive its contents to the shelter.

The donation box has been available to the public for a few weeks and will remain for the rest of the year.

And though Cisluycis is a senior, and will no longer be attending Marquette Alternative next year, she’s hoping the donation box will continue on, with an underclassman picking up the torch.

“I talked to a couple of girls at the school who said they’d carry out the program,” Cisluycis said. “One actually volunteers regularly at UPAWS.”

Upon graduating from MAHS, Cisluycis said she’s planning to attend Western Michigan University, where she’ll be pursuing a degree in culinary arts.

Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is