Key Club takes part in the Special Games

2011 Special Games

2011 Special Games

Gianna Schuster, ScotCenter Student Interviews

On March 29, 1979, the first Kiwanis Special Games were played on the Foothill College Fields.

Walter D. Chronert, Betty Fairchild, and Sue Carr Katra from the Kiwanis Club of Los Altos Foundation Organization had reached their initial goal of addressing the physical and emotional needs of many severely challenged children across the region.

The event was such a success that these founders decided to make it annual. Over time, the Special Games gained support and became a division-wide project, often referred to as the Special Olympics.

Now, each May, approximately 1,000 severely challenged kids from public and private schools across Santa Clara County are invited to participate in a one-day event of athletic success.

This year, on May 16, members of Carlmont’s Key Club are going to DeAnza College to once again participate in the Special Games. During the event, these student volunteers will help set up the events that the participants are doing and then cheer them on until the end.

“It’s fun to cheer people on. I’ve never gone to one, but a lot of other people who have gone before said it was a lot of fun,” said freshman Hannah Higdon.

Many students see this as an opportunity to connect with the kids and get a feel for how the Special Games are like.

“I am looking forward to meeting the participants. For many kids, the Special Games is something that they love doing, so having people there to encourage them really makes a difference,” said junior Elizabeth Murphy. “[I want] to learn more about the Special Games and see if it is something that I want to volunteer for again.”

One of the reasons that the Special Games is so popular is because it is a peer effort.

According to Higdon, student involvement in the Special Games is important “because it’s not just adults volunteering. It’s peers as well. It’s the same age group, so I feel like the kids would be more happy. When I was younger, I would appreciate it more when older kids would encourage me, where as I wouldn’t so much when parents and adults would.”

When it comes to making a positive impact on the community, “Key Club is really out there,” said Higdon. “We’ve done a lot for different things. We have such a big club, and the people that are active really help out.”