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Service is key to this Scecina student club

Senior Jacob Lenne helps collect warm outerwear for refugees. The annual coat drive is just one of the many activities of  the Scecina chapter of Key Club. Key Club is an international student-led organization that provides its members with opportunities to provide service, build character and develop leadership.

By Beth Murphy, Director of Marketing Communications

If it’s January, it must be time for the Scecina Key Club’s Annual Coat Drive. Throughout the month, the student service club collects gently used coats, scarves, hats and gloves. Catholic Charities then distributes the warm clothing to refugees resettling in the Indianapolis area. 

The coat drive, now in its fourth year, is a signature Key Club project. But there’s so much more to Key Club. 

Key Club extends its leadership program and service projects throughout the year, including the Jenny Deery Memorial Ultimate Frisbee tournament in the summer to raise money for families facing leukemia. The event, like all Key Club projects, is organized and led by the students. It attracted about 100 participants and raised more than $1,000 last July. 

Senior Jacob Lenne played with a team in the Ultimate Frisbee Tournament last year. 

“It was a blast,” he said. He decided to become involved with Key Club as a member this year. 

“I really did want to be more active in serving my community,” said Jacob, who went to school and attends church at Holy Spirit Catholic Parish. He also participates in National Honor Society, Bowling Club, cross country and lacrosse at Scecina. 

Key Club is a good choice for students like Jacob who want to add service experience to their lives and to their college profiles. Jacob also likes the guest speakers at the weekly Key Club meetings who address topics such as service, charity and leadership. 

Cindy Hemmelgarn, Scecina’s vice president of finance, volunteers as a Key Club mentor and moderator, along with Alyssa Chase, a Scecina parent who has worked for the Key Club parent organization, Kiwanis International. Mrs. Hemmelgarn said Key Club gives her “an opportunity to see our students becoming and being leaders while serving others.” 

“It’s gratifying to see our students showing initiative and putting together the service projects and doing service in our community,” she said. “This is truly a student-led club.” 

For example, the coat drive is organized by a committee of 19 students led by senior Bo Sims. Last year they collected 81 coats and 131 accessories. This year they hope to get to 100 coats. 

The Key Club’s connection with Beth Russell of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis' Catholic Charities makes the coat drive meaningful, said Ms. Chase. “Beth has told us that every coat we collect is used to help a newly arrived refugee keep warm.” 

She added: “Our Key Club students are learning about the important things happening in our community and the world. A project like this really brings it all home.” 

Other Scecina service projects include the Buddy Walk to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Jacob Lenne says the Key Club service experience helps him live his faith and the Gospel. 

“We get to serve people just as Jesus did,” he said. 

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