RLC group honored

by Hanna RussmannStaff Writer

This past summer, the Breakfast Club, a RLC group at Simpson College, was presented the Governor’s Volunteer Award in Des Moines.

Individuals or groups receiving the award had to demonstrate outstanding dedication to helping the community with ongoing activities; show leadership, hard work and cooperation in their service to the community; and make an exceptional contribution in their volunteer service.

The Governor’s Volunteer Award was presented by First Lady Mari Culver on July 27 to chapel assistant Ann Shepherd and juniors Kellyn Pappas and Danielle Caswell.

“This award is always given in the summer and many of the students are gone, so we wanted to be able to represent the Breakfast Club and Simpson for all the hard work that the students do,” Shepherd said.

To receive the Governor’s Volunteer Award a person or group must be nominated. The Breakfast Club was nominated by the Iowa Board of Regents. People or groups nominated for the award must volunteer their time with a state or city government agency or an Iowa nonprofit organization to be eligible to receive the award.

The Breakfast Club serves the community by going to Des Moines early every Thursday morning to play, read or do math with inner-city kids and feed them breakfast.

The club started as an outreach for Religious Life partnered with Children and Family Urban Ministries, better known as CFUM.

Only six to eight students normally participate, but that number was even less at the beginning of this school year, as mentioned by a student leader of the Breakfast Club.

“My first outing, it was just the two student leaders and two other students, but that should increase as the year goes on,” sophomore Abby Frazier said.

Interim Campus Chaplain Fritz Wehrenberg hopes this award will boost the Breakfast Club’s popularity to become a major activity on campus, despite its early morning schedule.

“I know that the time of day is difficult and I know that our schedules are crammed with activity and responsibilities,” Wehrenberg said. “I also know that we at Simpson are privileged people, students, faculty and staff. I would hope that more of us would see the Breakfast Club as an expression of care that our privilege provides and get involved.”

Senior Stacy Bonertz has been volunteering with the Breakfast Club for three years. This year she became one of the organization’s two student leaders. Bonertz began work with the Breakfast Club for a class she was taking and decided to stay with it.

“I love service, but (the Breakfast Club) was originally for a class,” Bonertz said. “I needed so many hours of service, but I liked it so I kept doing it.”

Bonertz is enamored with the children she works with.

“I just love kids,” Bonertz said. “They have a unique outlook on life.”