GENEVA – Geneva Community Chest member Jill Johnson and others reached out to Geneva High School students at the beginning of the new school year, hoping to stir some interest for them to join.
Johnson and Mark Byars – who both graduated in 2001 from Geneva High School – as well as Tom Sheridan, who attended there – started talking to Principal Tom Rogers about it.
“We thought it would be good to get a liaison group type of involvement,” Johnson said. “We wanted to have a way to get the high school involved with our club.”
The Geneva Community Chest is a local non-profit that raises funds for more than 20 local social service charities that help those in need in the community, according to its website, www.genevacommunitychest.org.
In response, students started Vikings for our Community, a new group affiliated with the Geneva Community Chest. With a membership of 10, the group is led by co-presidents Olivia Tegge and Abby Finch, 17-year-old juniors.
Tegge said the group has volunteered at Hesed House and for the Joshua Tree Community, as well as put up Christmas decorations for a local family with a sick child.
Now they are hosting a Swing Party at 7 p.m. April 29 at the United Methodist Church, 211 Hamilton St., Geneva. Music by the Geneva High School Jazz Band will be featured. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for students, with proceeds to benefit Literacy Volunteers of the Fox Valley.
“The club is to serve as a bridge between the high school population and the adult-run Geneva Community Chest,” Tegge said. “Our goal is to broaden the efforts of the Geneva Community Chest by including student-run activities and ideas that support the mission of the Geneva Community Chest.”
Johnson said they hope to attract more students, including sophomores and freshmen for next year.
“They want to do good and they want to make a difference,” Johnson said. “Our long-term goal is for them to love the club so much, that after college, they come back to Geneva to be board members in the future.”