Press Release: June 2017-For immediate release
CR Kiwanis Highlight a Great Year of Service and Leadership by the PHS/XHS Key Clubs
The Cedar Rapids Kiwanis club membership relishes the opportunity to brag about the great kids in their sponsored Key Clubs here in Cedar Rapids. Currently, the club sponsors the Prairie and Xavier Key clubs in our region. Key Club is the oldest and largest service program for high school students in the United States. What makes Key Club so successful is the fact that it is a student-led organization, with members deciding upon the focus of their service activities.
This year the PHS Key club had 109 members who volunteered a total of 2241 hours at 48 different events in our community and school. In addition to volunteering at many community events, PHS Key Club members continued to sponsor several events like the annual PHS Trunk or Treat, making Fleece Blankets for the Catherine McCauley Center, a Dr. Suess birthday party for our Prairie elementary kids and others. This year PHS club leadership spearheaded a school-wide food drive for HACAP's Food Reservoir and Backpack Program. They collected donations at a basketball game, at a local Fareway Grocery Store and from high school students and staff. Over 400 pounds of non-perishable food items were presented to Greg Goodell from HACAP at a monthly Key Club meeting where members learned about how HACAP impacts our community.
Kathy Waychoff, PHS volunteer coordinator and club sponsor shares, “I love that Key Club offers ALL students the opportunity to be included - you don't have to have straight A's, be able to throw a ball or run a race.”
The Xavier chapter of Key Club had just over 200 students join Key Club. XHS Key Club accomplished a lot of work this year with community fundraisers. Groups assisted included the Hawkeye Area Downs Syndrome Assn., American Cancer Society, Families Helping Families, Catherine McAuley Center and Gems of Hope. They also had dozens of events assisting school programs and youth sports programs. Some club member favorites included support for the St. Matthew's elementary school Sock Hop, and the All Saints Chess Club. XHs Key also assisted the Johnson Steam Academy with the "Blues and BBQ" picnic on May 19th. XHS members also provided daycare on many occasions this year. Club members especially enjoyed daycare assignments at Four Oaks while their parents are in foster parent training. Packaging food for the less fortunate was another area of focus for the club. XHS Key clubbers helped out projects for Kids Against Hunger, meals for Haiti, and Share the Harvest at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Marion. Additionally, members assisted with the annual Scouting for Food, and Meals on Wheels.
XHS teacher and club sponsor Mike Goldsmith shares “Key Club is just a tremendous group. Everybody makes varsity, and gets unlimited playing time. As a school modeled after Jesus Christ, we do our best to serve others, and not count the cost."
Annually the CR Kiwanis club honors four students with $500 scholarships for their service and dedication to the PHS and XHS Key Clubs. Students honored included from the class of 2017 include:
PHS Scholarship Award $500 Winners: Katie Parizek and Alyssa Tiedeman
XHS Scholarship Award $500 Winners: Liz Hessman and Elizabeth Fischer
Liz Hessman, 2017 graduate of XHS, was also honored to be nominated and selected as one of four scholarship recipients funded through the Kiwanis Nebraska -Iowa district. This inaugural scholarship award recognizes students for their excellence in servant leadership and living the tenants of Key Club. Ms. Hessman will be attending Creighton University in Omaha this fall. She was nominated by XHS Key Club sponsor, Mr. Mike Goldsmith.
Cedar Rapids Club member and Key Club liaison Laurie Worden shares more about the students involved. “Our Key Club members at PHS and XHS are some of the most caring and generous young people in our region. It’s exciting to see their passions and interests develop out of engaging and fun service opportunities. Students learn so much about their community and even more about themselves through service to others. CR Kiwanian’s are proud to partner with Mike, Kathy and their respective clubs-their dedication to service is inspiring!”
For more information on the CR Kiwanis Club go to cedarrapidskiwanis.org
or find local Key Clubs.keyclub.org/home
CR Kiwanis Club