Junior Classical League Promotes Community Engagement with Popular Waffles

November 5, 2022


Michele Hratko

The JCL waffle sale donates their proceeds to the Redwood Family House, typically drawing in $1,000 with each pop-up. Staff Illustration: Michele Hratko

Menlo’s Junior Classical League graced the quad with their waffle sale yet again on Thursday, Sept. 22, delighting students and staff with their five dollar waffles and toppings bar. JCL hosts around five waffle sales a year to raise money for the Redwood Family House, and each sale typically raises around $1,000 in four hours, according to JCL leaders.

While most Menlo students only interact with JCL during these waffle sales, the club’s roots extend much further. JCL is a nationwide organization, founded in 1936, for middle and high schoolers devoted to promoting Latin and Greek studies. Over 35,000 members participate in roughly 1,000 chapters across the country, and Menlo’s JCL branch frequently hosts Latin events for others throughout the region. Two years ago, they even hosted the California state convention.

JCL functions similarly to student council; students attend weekly lunchtime meetings, and elected members hold positions that help the club function. Positions range from consuls (presidents), to treasurer and Lorica editor. The Lorica is Menlo JCL’s student publication that releases a new edition about four times per year.

Junior and Co-Consul Patrick Galligan became a JCL member in sixth grade, but he first joined the board as the historian last year. This year, club members voted him and senior Annika Porteous co-consuls for the 2022-23 school year. Both the consuls also serve on the state JCL board: Galligan serves as the webmaster, managing the organization’s website, and Porteous as the secretary.

Galligan loves the atmosphere that Menlo JCL fosters. “Everyone’s super nice, and it’s a good community to be a part of,” Galligan said. 

As treasurer, senior Eddie Fujimori handles the finances for JCL, including managing the funds from the waffle sales. “I make sure that we have an accurate spreadsheet of everyone who’s paid for certain events,” Fujimori said. Fujimori also registers all proceeds from the waffle sales with Menlo before the donations go to the Redwood Family House.

Fujimori loves taking Latin as a whole because he can apply it to his other humanities classes. “Latin helps because you can see groups of words,” he said. “It’s an interesting language, because you can look at older [works].”

Senior Katrina Golob serves as the second vice president for the JCL club. Golob also joined Menlo’s JCL branch in sixth grade, and she first joined the board last year. The second vice president manages community service. “I do outreach with the Redwood Family Shelter, which the proceeds of the waffle sales go to,” Golob said. 

JCL hosts the waffle sales to raise money for the shelter, but they also volunteer for the organization in other ways. “At the shelter, we try to host holiday parties,” Golob said. “We had a Halloween party and a Christmas party last year. It’s been a bit challenging because of COVID […] but we’re seeing if we can do that again this year.”

Along with interacting with other schools and students fascinated by Latin studies, Golob loves JCL’s community outreach initiatives. “[JCL] allows me to interact with parts of the community that I probably wouldn’t have interacted with otherwise; I didn’t even know that the Redwood Family Shelter existed until I joined the board,” Golob said.

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About the Contributors
Photo of Erica Fenyo
Erica Fenyo, Head Copy Editor

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 3

Favorite aspect of journalism: getting to know new people through interviews. I love learning about new topics at Menlo that most students don’t know about.

Interests outside of school: water polo, Hawaii Five-O (basically all crime shows) and my three dogs.

Class of 2023
Photo of Michele Hratko
Michele Hratko, Staff Illustrator
Fun fact: Michele loves doing jigsaw puzzles; once, she even did a 2,000-piece puzzle!

Interests outside of school: dance classes, painting, spending time with friends.

Favorite show to binge: Money Heist.

Class of 2023

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