NHS Holds Fundraiser for KEEN St. Louis
MHS’ National Honors Society (NHS) held a kickball fundraiser called “Kickin’ It With KEEN” at Ellisville Ballpark on Oct. 16th.
The event worked in association with the St. Louis chapter of Kids Enjoy Exercise Now (KEEN), a nationwide organization that provides opportunities for kids with developmental and cognitive disabilities to be active.
Senior Soham Saraf, NHS president, has volunteered with KEEN since his freshman year.
“We felt like they’re an organization that doesn’t get a lot of publicity [in Rockwood], and they serve hundreds of families in the St. Louis area,” Saraf said. “I’ve been volunteering with them since freshman year so KEEN is an organization that is very near and dear to my heart.”
KEEN pairs their athletes up with a volunteer for events, and the events are free for the athletes. Many programs KEEN offers involve swimming, dancing and playing sport-related games.
Saraf said he introduced the concept of the fundraiser to the other NHS officers and together they came up with some ideas.
“We knew we wanted to get the KEEN athletes involved somehow, and kickball just stood out as a fun option for them,” Saraf said.
The fundraiser served as a way for the KEEN athletes to have fun as well as to raise money for the organization to rent spaces for future activities, Saraf said. KEEN helps families have better quality lives and help the kids have better quality childhoods.
NHS leaders at MHS reached out to the Eureka, Rockwood Summit and Lafayette National Honor Societies to get them involved.
“I thought this would be a really great way for Rockwood and it’s high school NHS clubs to create a great relationship with KEEN,” Saraf said.
Though Eureka was unable to produce enough volunteers to attend, Lafayette and Rockwood Summit students participated alongside MHS volunteers.
The tournament consisted of four teams of 12 playing a “round robin” game. The KEEN athletes were mixed into the teams and paired up with an NHS student.
NHS also had a face painting station, additional small games and a Kona Ice truck for the athletes and their families.
“It means a lot to donate back to an organization that has meant so much to them,” Anna Gray, NHS sponsor, said.
NHS was able to collect donations from the Corner Pub and Grill and other places in the community. This money helped buy T-shirts for the participants and supplies needed for the fundraiser.
A portion of the profits from the Kona Ice truck and concession stand at the Ellisville Ballpark were donated to KEEN along with the money from the entrance fee into the tournament. The amount of money raised by the event is still to be totalled.
Grace Teixeira, junior, was inducted into NHS on Oct. 12 and participated in the KEEN event.
Teixeira is also part of an art buddies class that helps students with special needs and she enjoys doing these types of events.
“It’s different than most volunteer opportunities,” Teixeira said. “It’s more fun and interactive with the kids.”
This is Annabelle's first semester on staff. She plays JV softball. She likes to bake and listen to music.