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Circle K serves community, hosts leadership convention

Sept. 10, 1996

By Whitney Daniels

Lariat Reporter

Service has always been an integral part of life at Baylor. One group keeping the tradition alive is Circle K International. A division of Kiwanis International, Circle K is a co-educational club whose members participate in campus and community service.

The Baylor chapter of Circle K International was chartered on Jan. 20, 1956, and became a part of the Texas/Oklahoma organizational district. Annual conventions and leadership weekends are important for the nationwide advancement of the club. One such conference came to Baylor last spring.

Dr. Dan Valahu, assistant professor of French and sponsor of Circle K, said the group members are 'amazing.'

'They are just regular Baylor students who do several [service] activities a week,' he said.

Some of the organizations Circle K works with on a continued basis are the Salvation Army, the Waco Head Start program, Caritas and the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter. Some members tutor and entertain children at the Waco Boys and Girls Club. Frequent highway clean-up days and Steppin' Out are permanent fixtures on the Circle K calendar. These are just a few of the activities that help each member meet the individual requirement of six service hours per month.

The club often accepts special projects. In October 1995, Circle K designed, built, and manned a Haunted House and booths for a Halloween carnival. Their effort raised $8,000 for the Association of Retarded Citizens and the Waco Boys and Girls Club Choir.

Like many other campus organizations, there is plenty of time for play to balance out all the hard work. During the year, members enjoy formal and casual fellowship opportunities.

The fall recruitment period for Circle K will begin Sept. 24. The chapter has 18 members. A typical new member class is made up of 10-20 men and women.

The recruitment activities for Circle K are unique. During a two-week period, each prospective member must attend at least one social event and one service project.

'It's [recruitment] a hands-on experience where people can really get to see what we're all about,' said Claudia Wong, president of the Baylor chapter.

Valahu said, 'At the first meeting after the Halloween carnival last year, I really expected some grumbling.' Instead, he heard positive remarks about the time-consuming project.

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