Rebecca Hardenburger said customers have been complimenting the mural-in-progress on the south side of her Hutchinson business at 214 S. Main St.

“It was a really happy theme. It made me happy,” Hardenburger said about allowing recent Buhler High School graduate Claudia Hurtado to paint the mural. “I get lots of post comments. Everyone seems to like it and the bright colors.”

The weather pushed back the completion date for Hurtado. But, when it’s finished, the roughly 8-foot high by 20-foot long mural will be one of several BHS senior projects that raised the bar for future student achievements — more than $10,000 high for one philanthropic project.

“This semester has been pretty special,” BHS Passion Pursuits teacher Greg Froese said.

Froese, Jason Kohls and Samantha Neill all teach the semester-long course, which evolved from the senior project. Students are required take to the Passion Pursuits class before they graduate and are encouraged to use their passions or curiosities in their project.

Froese said he thinks it was the special mix of students last semester who pushed the projects to new heights. He said Hurtado’s mural — of a warm-colored sun transitioning into a cooler-colored moon — was the biggest mural a student has done.

He said it was “significant” for previous fundraising projects to raise $1,000 to $2,000. There were a few projects this year to nearly meet or exceed the previous high of around $3,000.

Libby Schultz, Maggie Epp, Maggie McLean, Bailey Harner and Lacie Branscom had the most significant philanthropic effort to date. The teenagers raised more than $10,000 to renovate rooms at BrightHouse. They added their own sweat equity to see the completion of the rooms for survivors of domestic violence.

Mason Cooper and Matt Voth also raised nearly $3,000 for the Hutchinson Police Department K-9 unit though a golf tournament.

Eric Farminer and Faith Kretzer raised a few thousand dollars for the Hutchinson Animal Shelter doing a 1-mile Doggie Dash. Froese said donations amounted to at least $2,000 and the photographer brought in to take photos of people and their dogs brought in roughly $1,000 more. There were T-shirt sales, as well, Froese said.

Other successful projects, Froese said, included a group writing and shooting a movie and sports clinics that raised money for charities.