By: Madey Jacks

While winter sports are wrapping up and spring sports are preparing for the season ahead, school clubs are set on helping the community this semester. Center Grove has many clubs aimed toward serving others locally and globally. These clubs offer a variety of community service opportunities.

Riley Club: Dance Marathon

Riley Club is gearing up for Center Grove High School’s Riley Dance Marathon on April 29. The event challenges attendees to “stand for those who can’t” while having fun with their friends. Although it is a Dance Marathon, students do not have to dance for the entire event; the club has scheduled other activities such as dodgeball, making crafts for Riley Kids and indulging in the snack bar. While the event focuses on having fun with other participants, the Dance Marathon benefits the Child Life Department at Riley Hospital for Children.

“Students should go to [the Riley Dance Marathon] because you get to help sick kids and you’ll be part of making miracles FTK (For The Kids),” Riley Club President Sneha Dave said. “Dance Marathon is fun because you get to meet really awesome Riley Kids who have overcome so much. It’s a celebration of all the miracles that happen at Riley!”

While Riley Club will maintain the same framework for the Dance Marathon, they’re planning a few surprises for participants. The club is in the works of getting a Colts or Pacers player to attend the Dance Marathon and meet with Center Grove students.

Student Government: Community Service Committee

The Community Service Committee facilitates several charitable events each semester. In March, the committee will be selling lemonade to benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand. On May 13, students can attend the Center Grove Film Festival and enjoy a movie while contributing to Riley Hospital for Children. Community Service is hoping to provide students with an exciting and competitive dodgeball tournament while raising money for charity.

Partnering Across Land and Sea (PALS): Polar Bear Shirt Sales

PALS will be selling polar bear shirts that will benefit humanitarian and environmental projects. The proceeds from shirt sales will “support human trafficking victims (Polaris Project), help save polar bears, stop global warming and raise money to provide water to people suffering from the terrible drought in Africa,” PALS president Ally Colinco said.

Even if you are not a member in PALS, your impact through PALS fundraisers is crucial, much appreciated and diverse.

“If one wants to make a difference in a place outside of Center Grove, PALS can help them. PALS allows students to donate to causes and help people in an easy and fun way,” Colinco said. “The most important piece is definitely the donor[s], who are the students of Center Grove.

Sew Fun Club: Tag Blankets

Sew Fun Club offers students the opportunity to sew tag blankets for infants in the NICU at Community Hospital South. In addition to serving families in need, students can learn valuable life skills.

“You don’t need to know how to sew. This club will teach you,” officer Abby Ogle said.

The benefits of serving through Sew Fun don’t stop there; membership has benefits for members beyond the satisfaction of serving.

“Students should participate because we mainly focus on community service projects which look excellent on college or job applications,” Ogle said. “You also meet a lot of great people who share the same interests as you.”

National Honors Society (NHS): Leadership, Academic Excellence and Service

Members of NHS serve other students through tutoring.

“If you’re in NHS, you are expected to participate in these events because service is a core pillar of NHS,” Vice President Amrit Parihar said. “Plus, it’s just nice to help others.”

NHS members are able to give back to the high school through their service; however, students receiving help from their peers are able to provide NHS members with experience and the service required from the chapter.

Although the membership window for NHS has already passed, Parihar urges eligible students (‘16-’17 juniors and seniors) to consider joining next year.

“NHS is about leadership, academic excellence and service. So, if these things catch students’ eyes, they should look into joining NHS. It’s an overall great experience.”

Project Hope: Mental Health Illnesses

Project Hope focuses on an invisible community need: mental health illnesses. Although Project Hope does not have any community service events plans, the club is still in need of passionate students.

“A big way students can pitch in when we do have a project is by coming out and supporting Project Hope with whatever event that may be,” Acting President Madison Hickman said. “Mental health illnesses [are] something that so many in the community [are] dealing with and the awareness needs to be out because you never know if someone you may know is dealing with it.”

No matter how you decide to serve in the community, look to other students who are already involved. The Center Grove community has numerous opportunities for serving, you simply have to find what best suits you.