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Ceili Leahy Day of Service

Click here to donate to the Ceili Leahy Day of Service & Service Scholarship.

James Monroe High School Principal, Dr. Duffy, JM senior Katie Fidler, and Leslie & John Leahy joined Ted Schubel’s August 3rd Town Talk radio show to chat about volunteering, what the Day of Service means to the community, and to share the news that Stafford High School is teaming up with JM for the Sept. 11th event.


The Ceili Leahy Day of Service is just around the corner ~ can’t wait to see high school students from JM & SHS volunteering together on 9/11, which is also a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Volunteers will be honoring 1st responders, Service members and Veterans as the students work together to serve our community. Please enjoy an interview with Fredericksburg Today about the day of service below.


The 2021 Ceili Leahy Day of Service is in the books! Thankful to the volunteers from James Monroe High School, Stafford High School, and Ceili’s family & friends (235 in total!), who served the Fredericksburg community on 9/11. Our local partners, the Friends of the Rappahannock, Downtown Greens, Loisann's Hope House, Mary Washington Grief Support Services at Harbor House, the Original Walker Grant building, and James Monroe High School all benefited from the energy and dedication of each volunteer. 

Tammy Clark's Speech to Day of Service volunteers on 9/11/21, recorded by Margaret Rowe.


Rappahannock Canal Native Tree Restoration Project Begins with Invasive Tree Removal

The Ceili Leahy Service Project is partnering with Tree Fredericksburg, Dominion Energy, Bartlett Tree Experts, Friends of the Rappahannock, and James Monroe High School to restore native trees along the Rappahannock Canal at James Monroe High School (JM).  

Crews from Dominion Energy and Bartlett Tree Experts worked together to remove invasive ailanthus trees along a 1,000’ stretch of the north rim of the canal below JM.  The ailanthus tree removal took place the week of October 4, 2021.  This was a major undertaking that Dominion Energy and Bartlett Tree Experts generously volunteered to do for JM.

Friends of the Rappahannock and student volunteers from JM will plant native trees to reforest the canal’s rim in the fall of 2022, in conjunction with the fall ’22 Ceili Leahy Day of Service. 

Since 2018, student volunteers at JM have planted over 130 trees on the campus of the school as part of Ceili Leahy Day of Service events, with financial support and guidance from Tree Fredericksburg.  Project partners will select the native trees to replace the invasive tress, with planting beginning next year.  This effort is part of a long-term urban reforestation project at JM, with goals of (1) improving open spaces to make nature more accessible to the school community, (2) educating students about environmental stewardship, and (3) introducing young people to volunteerism and community service. 

Day of Service Photo Gallery

About the Day of Service:

The Day of Service focuses on service projects around Fredericksburg and honors humanitarian and community activist Ceili Leahy, a 2014 JM graduate, who passed away in 2016 from cancer.  Started in the fall of 2016, JM students have volunteered for nonprofit organizations whose missions are consistent with Ceili’s values and passions, which included human rights and justice, the environment, and global sustainability. Students have also served nonprofit organizations that provide help to families dealing with pediatric cancer and grief. 

Whom we serve:

Nonprofit organizations that volunteers have served so far include: Loisann’s Hope House, Mary Washington Grief Support Services at Harbor House, Friends of the Rappahannock, Fairy Godmother Project, Fredericksburg City Schools, Downtown Greens, Tree Fredericksburg, and Greater Fredericksburg Habitat for Humanity.  The Day of Service has now become a tradition for JMHS students to get involved and volunteer around Fredericksburg.

Our sponsors:

Local businesses sponsor the Day of Service events. Over the years our generous sponsors have included White Oak Animal Hospital, Suzy Stone Century 21 Redwood, J. Brian’s Tap Room, Fredericksburg Ballet Centre, Rappahannock Development Group, Coleman Motor Company, Inc., Blackhawk Homes, LLC, Meadows Farms, Bartlett Tree Experts, and Dominion Energy.  Traditionally our sponsors have allowed us to purchase supplies for service projects, refreshments for volunteers, and “Ceili Leahy Day of Service” tee shirts for all our volunteers— a visible reminder of Ceili’s passion for volunteerism and our commitment to community service.  

Volunteer Hours

The Volunteer Hours Tracking Sheet is an optional way for students to track the hours volunteered, either in person or virtual.  Students can earn the Virginia Department of Education Board of Education’s Excellence in Civics Education Seal for their diploma by volunteering 50 hours over their high school career and complete 2 courses (Virginia & US History and Virginia & US Government) with a grade of “B or higher.  Students should communicate with their school counselor that they are working toward the seal.  Please set up an appointment with your school counselor to sign off on the hours.

For more information about the graduation diploma seals of achievement, please visit Virginia Department of Education’s website at the following URL: 



James Monroe High School student Katie Fidler on the importance of service.

Ceili Leahy Volunteer with children
Celie Leahy Volunteers
Ceili Leahy Volunteers
Ceili Leahy volunteers
Ceili Leahy Volunteers