It's Living Mercy day on Friday at McGann-Mercy, and students will spend the day giving back.
Through the school's philosophy of "Living Mercy," students find satisfaction by helping others in the community.
On Friday, seventh and eighth graders will spend the day on a variety of community projects, including a cleanup at St. John the Evangelist Parish, collecting non-perishable items and a bottle return at both King Kullen and Waldbaum's, and hosting a car wash at Out East Family Fun to help benefit the Water Project and raise funds to help build a well in Africa. Other students will play games and sing with patients at the Peconic Bay Skilled Nursing Facility.
Some students will head out on an educational field trip to the Riverhead Fire Department, and Father Jerry will lead students in campus ministry.
A highlight of the day will take place when the students get to meet, for the first time, McAuley, a guide dog puppy that they helped raise funds to sponser.
In 2008, after seeing a guide dog puppy in training and realizing the impact that a guide dog can have on an individual’s life, students at McGann-Mercy Junior High participated in a class project to raise the money to sponsor a puppy through the Smithtown Guide Dog Foundation.
As part of the project, the students voted on a name, deciding upon McAuley; the pup was named for the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, Catherine McAuley.
The puppy, eventually named McAuley was born, in 2011. Through what school official say feels much like "divine intervention," McAuley was placed with a puppy raiser who lives close by in Southold -- Barbara Salmiery, the school nurse at the Phillips Avenue Elementary School.
Students will get to meet McAuley for the first time ever Friday afternoon, kicking off the school's homecoming pep rally.
Friday's events lead up to the Homecoming football game, which will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, when Mercy faces off with Greenport/Southold.