Circle K aims at friendship, service

By Christine Ader

The NIU Circle K is a unique service organization aimed at promoting leadership and friendship, and even though it is more than 10 years old, only recently has its membership grown.

Circle K’s main goals include campus and community service and personal development. Its activities include fundraising for charitable organizations, visiting a group home for mentally handicapped adults, playing bingo with residents of a group home and having a “Puppy Day at a retirement home.

The club is a collegiate member of the K-Family, including the parent group, the Kiwanis Club; the high school affiliate, the Key Club; and the junior high affiliate, the Builder’s Club.

Lauri Holst, president and four-year member, said she believes the club attracts a wide variety of students because it has many different service activities which try to help other people.

One activity, “Puppy Day,” held Saturday at the DeKalb County Home, 2331 Sycamore Road, was met with a very enthusiastic response from both the residents of the home and the group members, Holst said.

On “Puppy Day,” the DeKalb Humane Society donates puppies which the club members bring, along with cookies, to the residents of the home. This activity, which is held every semester, is very popular because for most of the residents, it is the only time they get to pet puppies.

“The halls were lined with people, and the last time we went it took us almost three hours to get through the first two floors,” Holst said.

Neil Tobin, publicity chairman, feels that the “Puppy Day” is a great activity because it allows new members to get involved in the club right away.

“I think that it’s a good thing to do, and it allows us to care about others for a little while,” Tobin said.

In the fall, the club only had seven members, but now it has 27 paid members, Holst stated. A $14 membership fee is charged yearly to cover district and international activities.

Circle K, which orginally started out as a fraternity club at Carthage College in 1958, has won several service awards at NIU and will often link up with other organizations for its activities.

The club plans to begin an “Adopt-A-Grandparent” program in a retirement home next month and also plans on conducting a “Bowl-A-Thon” for Spina Bifida later this semester. The club also has several international projects and a scholarship program.