This year, the Saugerties High School Key Club chose to donate money it raised at the Garlic Festival to the local Historical Society and Food Pantry.
Key Club faculty advisor Missy Greco says the club chose those two organizations because “we wanted to help those in our own community. We heard that the Kiersted House was low on funds for the winter and would possibly need help to pay the heating bill. When I told the kids, they agreed.”
It may seem like an unlikely choice: a group of young people deciding to support an organization dedicated to everything old in the community. Saugerties Historical Society president Marjorie Block doesn’t think so. “Even though we are dedicated to old, the Historical Society is also dedicated to educating the community through the arts,” she said. “Music is constant at the Kiersted House. We also have a close friendship with the Art Tour.”
To underline her point, Block notes that a recent grant was given to the Saugerties Historical Society to help build a barn, not because it is a historical structure, but because it is part of a community institution.
The Kiersted House received more than $1,700 from the Key Club toward heating oil costs this winter and to help fund barn construction. “Anytime we get a gift from the public we are always appreciative, but there is no other word than ‘awesome’ to receive it from these young people who worked for this money,” said Block.
Key Club is a community service club in which each student donates at least 50 hours of their time throughout the school year. The Saugerties High School Key Club currently has 150 members from ninth through twelfth grade. The officers this year are: Shannon Averill, president; Phoebe Defino, vice president; Emily Smedek, secretary; Jackie Greco, treasurer; and Nick Natale, web master.
Other recent Key Club projects include the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival, donating to the Saugerties Food Pantry, the Mum Festival, Holiday in the Village, tutoring elementary students, AYSO soccer, the Wacky Ramble, Cahill Classic and The Village Invasion Zombie Crawl.