Club fun and helpful at same time

By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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One Lincoln High School club comes together in the spirit of helping the community. The Interact Key Club, a junior version of both the Rotary Club and Kiwanis Club, has a membership of 50 students, according to club adviser Jim Spratling. Senior Brandon Waidmann, 17, is this year’s president and Carissa Haar, 18, is vice president. “Our goal is to do community service and make our school and community a better place,” Waidmann said. “We try to make the club feel like a family and make service fun.” The Interact Key Club meets every Wednesday at noon on campus, and members from Lincoln’s Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs attend the meetings and present projects their clubs need help with, according to Haar. One recent example was when a group of Interact Key Club members helped the Rotary Club paint the gazebo at McBean Park last Saturday, according to Spratling. “A lot of it is beautification, making stuff look nice,” Waidmann said. “It’s mostly community events and we do set-up and clean-up.” The club also does canned food drives and fundraising, such as hot chocolate sales for cancer research. There are some service projects the club does regularly. Every Wednesday, about 10 members do clean-up or other projects for the nonprofit Ride to Walk organization, Waidmann said. Once a month, club members also travel to the Kiwanis Family House in Sacramento to do yard work and also housework, according to Waidmann. Kiwanis Family House houses families of sick children who are receiving treatment at UC Davis Medical Center and Shriner’s Hospital, according to previous News Messenger reports. A goal set for each student is 50 hours of community service a year, Waidmann said. Spratling said the Interact Key Club benefits students in a few ways. “I think it shows them how to work together,” Spratling said. “There are adults in Kiwanis and Rotary, and it’s nice for them to get interaction with adults outside of their parents.” Belonging to the club also teaches the students professionalism and networking, according to Spratling. “Those little connections in the long-term make a difference,” Spratling said. To Waidmann, the club teaches students that giving back is “fun.” “It’s hard to get kids to join at first, but once they get into it, they realize it’s fun,” Waidmann said. The club is a way to meet other students outside of their circle of friends, according to Haar. “I think it’s a good, relaxed place you can be with friends and accomplish something of a good purpose,” Haar said. “Anything can be fun if you make it fun.”