On Monday, Indiana High School Key Club sent its executive board to a local event called Christmas Dinner for the Mentally and Physically Handicapped of Indiana County. This rewarding event has been going on for 40 years and has given our community the chance to make sure that each person is shown that someone cares at this time of year.
Mentally and physically handicapped residents of Indiana County were invited to the Indiana Country Club for a served dinner. Guests were dressed in formal wear including dresses, skirts, jackets and ties. Guests ranged in age anywhere from high school students and up.
Indiana Key Club members volunteered their time to help serve the dinners to all of the guests, help pack gifts for each one of the guests, bus tables, manage the coat room and help in any way possible so that the event would run smoothly.
Approximately 190 guests attended the event that the members worked so hard to make special. And special it was indeed. Key Club supervisor and 10th-grade English teacher Devon Duffy told her club members, "(This event) starts off your Christmas season remembering what's really important this time of year."
Duffy also commented that this event wouldn't be possible without the endless hours of volunteer work that Maria Jack, who manages and arranges the entire day, puts in each year.
She has been running the event for more than 16 years, Duffy said. And before that, Christine Toretti was head volunteer of this special event.
Also, Duffy thanked Indiana Country Club for donating the location for the event, Indiana Country Club workers for pitching in their time, and Walt Lewis for also being there and helping to make it special.
During this event the guests got a shock when -- who else but Santa Claus himself? -- arrived to hand deliver a gift to each guest. Key Club executive board member and current senior Alexia Akbay said, "When Santa Claus came in they were all very excited and erupted in smiles and cheers!"
The day was rewarding and fun-filled for all, including guests and Key Club Executive Board members, who all agreed that this was a day that none of them will forget.
Senior Maddy Mohney added, "It feels good to help people around the community, especially during the holidays."