LITTLE CHUTE — To say Little Chute resident Becky Weiske is a fan of St. Francis Xavier High School in Appleton is an understatement. According to Weiske, three-quarters of the clothes in her closet are navy blue — Xavier’s signature color.
Weiske and her husband, Bob, sent their three children to Xavier after they completed eighth grade at St. John School in Little Chute. Their son Shane went on to graduate from Xavier in 2002, daughter Kalyn in 2003, and son Cole in 2005.
Xavier was a whole new experience for Weiske, who is a graduate of Little Chute High School. “I started out at St. John’s High School in Little Chute. I knew a little bit about Xavier because we were in the same conference. But I wasn’t as brave as my kids were breaking away from Little Chute friends to go to Xavier — looking back, I wish I would have went.”
Months before their oldest started school at Xavier, Weiske began her volunteer career there. “When Shane was in eighth grade we were asked to help out with the Hawaiian booth at the food fair with other Little Chute people whose kids were already here,” she said. “In the fall we joined Booster Club right away.”
Even though she hasn’t had children at Xavier for 12 years, Weiske still volunteers extensively at the school, running the concession stand and the school clothing store. Next May will mark 20 years of volunteer service at Xavier.
“When Cole graduated I think my family, my kids, my husband and people here at Xavier expected me to leave, but I realized it was easier to do the concessions and the clothing store once my kids were all in college,” she said.
Weiske said volunteering at Xavier is a ministry. “I treat it as a ministry because it’s a way of giving back to Xavier because Xavier has given us so much. Our kids are all doing very well, they’re all successful,” she said.
On average, Weiske is at the school three days a week. “I come in the early morning on every home game day and get the concession stand ready for the night because things have to be started early,” she said. She returns later in the day to prepare popcorn and hot dogs and wait for the concession workers to come in.
“I train them because they’re all freshmen parents. Some of them have worked in here and some of them have not,” she said. “Once I feel that they’re ready to be on their own, then I go down the hallway and open up the clothing store.” She oversees the clothing store until the end of the varsity game and returns to the concession stand to clean up and take inventory for the next game.
Weiske is in charge of stocking up the concession stand and ordering the items sold in the store. She even bakes Scotcheroo bars and grills brats and burgers at home ahead of time to sell in the concession stand.
Between sports seasons, she has a week or two off, as well as early summer. Then she jumps back into volunteering when football starts in August.
Through the years, Weiske has met thousands of people through her volunteer efforts. “Every freshman parent is asked to work one night in their student’s four years here. I think Xavier is really unique in that way,” she said. “Their children might not be involved in any co-curricular sports but the parents don’t question it at all. I meet hundreds of parents each year. It’s wonderful.”
Someday Weiske will retire from her volunteer job, but for now she’s having too much fun to stop. “At the end of a busy season I think I need a break, then I have that two-week break and it’s kind of refreshing,” she said. “I have a nice summer off and I get excited in the fall for football to start. I don’t get a chance to watch any of the home games — my husband and I go to the away games.”
Weiske is a big proponent of volunteering in whatever capacity a person can.
“We didn’t come from an Appleton parish, so our kids didn’t know many kids when they came to Xavier. My husband and I didn’t know any of the kids’ parents. It was a good way for us to get to know a lot of people,” she said. “I highly recommend volunteering. We met a lot of longtime friends and it makes you feel so good, too.”