Students from the Key Clubs at Owego Free Academy (OFA) and Candor High School gathered with advisers, Owego Kiwanis Club members and other guests on May 5 at the V.F.W. Post 1371 in Owego, N.Y. for an annual recognition program and luncheon.
College scholarships, in the amount of $1,000 each, were presented to four students; two from OFA and two from Candor. Cords to be worn at their graduations will be forthcoming.
Founded in 1925, Key Club International is the oldest service program for high school students. The student-led organization allows opportunities to serve, build character, and develop leadership skills. On the local level, the Owego Kiwanis Club, and a part of Kiwanis International, sponsors two Key Clubs comprised of students from Candor High School and OFA.
Lou Sauerbrey, a charter member of the OFA Key Club while a high school junior on Elm Street, explained that the original club at OFA was formed about 1961 by then guidance counselor, Jim Guido. Sauerbrey remarked that Guido, an active Kiwanian at the time, felt it important to start a Key Club at the school.
Kiwanis Club member Dean Morgan shared that annual scholarships are provided via the Owego Kiwanis Foundation, which is part of the Owego Kiwanis Club, and remarked, “We’ve distributed close to $100,000 in scholarships over 30 years.”
Morgan explained that events such as an annual golf tournament and trivia night help offset the cost of the scholarships, among other efforts.
Meredith Roessner, Key Club adviser at Candor High School, introduced scholarship recipients Shelby Swartz and Elly Hatton.
Shelby was presented an English scholarship. She will be attending Hartwick College in the fall majoring in Pre-Physical Therapy and Biology. In addition to Key Club service, Shelby has been involved in multiple sports and various clubs.
Elly was presented a Community Service Scholarship. She will pursue a service industry major, and culinary arts; first at TC3, and then with a goal of continuing on at Johnson and Wales. Elly is also attending a summer program at the Bartenders Professional Training Institute. Elly has participated in a number of clubs, and it was noted that she created the cupcakes served at the May 5 event.
Barb Melby, Key Club Adviser at OFA, introduced scholarship recipients Macie Cunningham and Caoilainn O’Hara.
Macie was presented a Key Club Award and will attend St. Lawrence University in the fall to major in chemistry. Macie is President of the OFA Key Club and has participated in various music programs, clubs and bands, as well as multiple sports.
Caoilainn was presented with the Allan Bishop Award, which is awarded to a student who demonstrates potential in written and oral versatility. She will attend Binghamton University in the fall to focus on STEM coursework. Caoilainn has participated in dance for several years as well as multiple music and chorus groups.
All four students were recognized for their leadership, community service, work ethic, and positive character, among other attributes.
To learn more about the Owego Kiwanis Club, visit www.owegokiwanis.com/.