Under the Knife: Circle K gives back to local community

When speaking on the issue of volunteerism, the British politician Winston Churchill once said, "You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give."

This former prime minister would almost certainly appreciate the volunteer efforts of students involved with Circle K International. The group, which is sponsored by Kiwanis International, is Geneseo's largest volunteer organization and works hard in its effort to give back to the community.

Through a variety of service projects, including roadside cleanups, cooking dinner at the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester and raising money for AIDS Rochester with their annual "Harmony for Hope" concert, they are without a doubt making a difference.

Senior Kyle Healy, president of the Geneseo chapter of Circle K, said he is proud of the organization's work. "It shows that the students here really care about the community and are willing to commit their time and energy to help improve the area," he said. "With so much going on in their lives - school, sports and social obligations, to name a few - it's really nice to see support for our events."

Healy said he became interested in the organization when he was looking for a way to get involved with the school and the community. His only problem with the search, he said, was that he was nervous about making a commitment he could not keep. "Circle K was the solution to the problem," Healy said. "I was able to help out on my own time and was never pressured to get more involved than I wanted."

Vice President Eric Lenhard, also a senior, echoed Healy's statements regarding the ease with which he became involved with the club. "I started off by just attending weekly meetings and going to the weekend volunteer events I could attend," he said. "After experiencing how many positive events [Circle K] took part in, I knew I wanted to get even more involved."

Lenhard also mentioned how projects are generally fun and exciting. "Whether it's taking part in a charitable walk or helping injured animals at a horse rescue, you never know what to expect."

Circle K meets weekly on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the College Union. After reciting the member pledge, they discuss the effectiveness of any service projects undertaken the previous weekend and talk about upcoming events. Those who wish to help out need only to sign up for any of the projects that are provided, and meetings rarely last longer than a half hour.

"All I want to do is help people," said senior Greg Pfeil, who is entering his second year as treasurer of the club. "Circle K gives me that chance."