One big Kiwanis tree bears many branches


The K-Family gathered at Hempfield Park in Greensburg at the end of September for their yearly get-together of food, games, service projects, and more.

Key Club has kicked off another school year with the annual K-Family picnic at Hempfield Park in Greensburg on Saturday, September 30, 2018.  Kiwanis Club of Greensburg hosted the event under the non-profit international organization, Kiwanis, that focuses on community service.

Along with Greater Latrobe’s Key Club, University of Pitt Greensburg Circle K Club [College Level], St. Vincent College Circle K Club, and Kiwanis past, present, and future presidents attended.  

The picnic began with a potluck lunch with all different types of food from the normal hamburgers and hotdogs to bacon covered water chestnuts.  The members from each club sat with one another to eat and bond over upcoming service project ideas for this year. “Volunteering helps bring everyone closer together, and in doing so you meet a lot of wonderful people you wouldn’t have met otherwise. You really just get to make a difference no matter how small it may seem,” said Key Club President, Lauren Sigut.  

“I recently joined Circle K this semester, and so far it’s given me a sense of belonging both on campus and in the community,” said Madeline Jackson , a sophomore at University of Pittsburgh Greensburg. “My biggest goal when doing service projects is to improve the lives of others. I’m excited to experience more with the club in the future.”

“I like working with the higher levels of Kiwanis because they are great people who truly want to help others and it is nice to see how dedicated and inspiring they are,” said sophomore, Sydney Sapir.

Following lunch, the adults and students began three service projects.  There were three service projects the K-Family worked on, including dog treats, trick or treat bags, and teacher appreciation bags. “This is personally one of my favorite projects of the year because we have people of all ages coming together to serve our community. I love talking to everyone, learning things about them and about life, having fun, of course helping others, and just feeling like I’m a part of this big family of what started off as strangers,” said Sigut.

The first service project was putting together treat bags together for Halloween with classic candy bars such as Hershey, Kit Kat, and Twix.

Another group of people worked on making dog treats for a local animal shelter.  Homemade dog treats were mixed up and baked. The animal shelters will appreciate these cute treats shaped like dog bones, and the dogs will definitely enjoy something extra special.

“The most memorable thing about the picnic was probably how kind and creative everyone there was,” said Jackson.

The biggest service project of the day revolved around teacher appreciation bags.  The bags contained things a teacher would need for a classroom like highlighters, glue sticks, pens, and a Dunkin Donuts gift card was added in too.  The gifts are being sent to Nicely Elementary School in Greensburg. Their dedication to education is not overlooked and the handwritten cards and decorated bags were given to remind the faculty of that.  The K-Family members had all the materials needed to draw pictures and write personalized notes to the hardworking teachers at Nicely.

“My favorite part was working with everyone to make bags filled with many materials for teacher appreciation,” said Sapir. 

“It is a great feeling knowing that I am helping out and possibly putting a smile on someone’s face.”

— Sydney Sapir

Key Club would not be made possible without the help of the Kiwanis’ generous donations to assist the yearly costs to run.  “The Kiwanis Club of Greensburg is always so supportive of our club, helping us out and showing us opportunities, that when we as high schoolers get to in turn help them out, it’s a really cool experience. They are wonderful people with a wonderful purpose, and I think we could all learn something from them,” said Sigut.

Greater Latrobe’s Key Club plans to do as many activities within the community as possible this year including a Pancake Breakfast, christmas caroling in nursing homes, highway clean-up, tutoring, Salvation Army bell ringing, and the Greensburg Christmas parade with Kiwanis.