SIDNEY — A group of Shelby County adults is ready to take “Aktion” to help make their communities a better place to live. Twenty-two adults have joined the newly-formed Aktion Club.
“Atkion Club provides awesome experiences for adults and they do service projects in the community,” said Jessica Guillozet, club adviser. The club is for adults with disabilities.
The club is under the umbrella of the Sidney Kiwanis Club, of which Guillozet is a member. She is also employed by the Shelby County Board of Disabilities as the Community Connections facilitator and is also the People First adviser.
“Before the club, we had adults volunteer with the adopt a highway program and work at the recycling center,” said Guillozet, of two projects supported by the Kiwanis Club. “I went to the dayhabs (S & H Products for example) to see if they were interested in being in a club.”
The answer was a resounding “yes,” she said.
The club recently held its first meeting and Cassie Dawson, of Sidney, was sworn in as president of the club. Brady Hoying, of Anna, is secretary, while Janelle Zumberger, of Sidney, is vice president. Amanda Frederick is the club treasurer.
“Cassie has gone with me to Kiwanis meetings,” said Guillozet.
The Aktion Club held its first meeting on Oct. 22. The club meets the third Wednesday of each from from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Senior Center of Sidney/Shelby County.
“We discuss things each month as a club of what we’d like to do as community service projects,” said Dawson.
As part of her responsibilities as president, Dawson calls each member to remind them of an upcoming meeting.
“I get to bang the gavel to open the meeting. I also get to sit in the comfortable chair,” Dawson said of being club president.
Each meeting is opened with the Pledge of Allegiance. There are fun and games at each meeting and a special program. At the October meeting, Shelby County Commissioner Bob Guillozet was present to give the group a proclamation on behalf of the commissioners for Disability Employment Month, which was held in October.
Two weeks before the monthly meeting, an officer meeting is held so the four officers and Guillozet can discuss what they will be talking about at the meeting.
“We talk about activities and the agenda,” said Hoying.
They practice going over the agenda and then critique what’s in it to decide if that’s what they want to do at the monthly meeting.
“If they feel it needs to be changed (agenda), they let me know,” said Guillozet.
The officers, said Guillozet, volunteered to be an officer. Each was interviewed before taking office. During the interview, they talked about what they like to do.
Hoying said he likes to help at his church’s breakfast. He also enjoys woodworking.
Zumberger, who is a fair-goer, said she’d like to see the club help with projects at the fair.
“I also want to help clean up the parks in Sidney.”
Dawson said she’d like to see the club help at the animal shelter.
Zumberger and Dawson have also been helping with the Fast Break.
The “Fast Break” program sponsored by Friends, Allies and Neighbors (FANS).
“We help do vegetable trays, fruit trays and cheese trays for Fast Break,” said Zumberger. “We make the trays for different companies in Shelby County.”
The trays, said Guillozet, are free to businesses. When a company contacts Guillozet about a tray, she sends out a request to her FANS network, who then supplies the items needed for the trays.
“We want the community to know what we’re doing,” said Guillozet. “If they need to, they can get in touch with us for projects to help fulfill our requirements as a club.”
The club members will be inducted during a special celebration on Nov. 18 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Senior Center, said Guillozet. The lieutenant governor of Kiwanis will be at the ceremony.
The Aktion Club’s mission is to teach leadership through service. Planning and taking part in service projects is a great way for club members to gain leadership skills and make a difference in our community. The Shelby County Aktion Club is open to any suggestions that anyone may have in regards to community projects. Contact Guillozet with any suggestions at 937-658-6825.
Aktion Club has more than 12,000 members worldwide. Part of the Kiwanis Family of clubs, it is the only community service club for adults with disabilities. Aktion Club was started in 1987 and became an official Service Leadership Program of Kiwanis International on Oct. 1. 2000. Today, there are more than 500 Aktion Clubs. Members are making a difference in Austria, Canada, Barbados, Malaysia, Jamaica, Bahamas, Philippines, Australia and the United States.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822; follow her on Twitter @MelSpeicherSDN. Follow the SDN on Facebook, www.facebook.com/SidneyDailyNews.