ST. GEORGE – In promulgation of its mission statement and goals, the St. George Exchange Club honors high school seniors monthly throughout the year for their scholastic achievements, community involvement, and leadership at their respective schools. It is currently led by its president, Danny Wittwer; Wittwere holds a Master’s Degree in accounting, he is a graduate of Dixie High School.
Pictured with this article are October 2012 Students of the Month: Jessica Peterson from Pine View High School, Kaleb Caplin from Desert Hills High School, Shalynne Seegmiller from Dixie High School, Madeline Berger from Snow Canyon High School; awarded but not shown is Josh Puchlik from Tuacahn High School; and Accepting the Challenge of Excellence Student of the Month, Kadan Holt from Millcreek High School.
These students, along with other Students of the Month honored throughout the year, will have the opportunity to participate in an essay contest at schoolyear’s end, vying to become Student of the Year. One from each high school will receive a scholarship to the college of their choice from the Exchange Club. And from those, the club will select one student as its representative at the Exchange Club’s district and national level.
The Accepting the Challenge of Excellence program recognizes high school students who have made a dramatic change in their attitude and performance during their high school years. These changes have enabled the students to overcome adversities and prepare for graduation. Clubs may also submit their top A.C.E. Award winner to the district competition. Winners at the district level then have an opportunity to compete for the National A.C.E. Award.
According to its mission statement, the Exchange Club helps members develop leadership, networking, and organizational skills that contribute to success in business, family and personal endeavors.
More importantly, the Exchange Club provides members with the opportunity to share their time and talents to help others, whether by reaching out to an abused child who needs love and affection or organizing a community crime prevention program or wielding rakes in a clean-up project.
The St. George Exchange Club, founded in 1974, is associated with Exchange, a national all-volunteer service organization based in Toledo, Ohio. Its primary focus is child abuse prevention and aims to ignite the spirit of community service across the nation.
Locally, the Exchange Club supports the Children’s Justice Center, sponsors the Southern Utah Performing Arts Festival where over 5,000 area music and dance students are professionally adjudicated over a four-week event with the winners receiving scholarship funds to further their music, and presents a Festival of the Stars concert highlighting the brightest of each genre adjudicated during the festival. Brian Tenney, one of its members, said the the club originated the St. George Marathon and ran it for a few years until it became too large for the club to handle and then donated it to the City of St. George; the club now sponsors the Mayor’s Walk n conjunction with the Marathon as a fundraiser. It also sponsors the St. George Ironman Kid’s Fun Run as a fund raiser.
Funds the club has raised have gone to help provide playground equipment for local city parks, a scoreboard at the Rec Center, the pavilion at Bluff Street Park, thousands of dollars worth of trees that the club has planted along the city trail system, among other donations.
The Exchange Club also promotes respect and passion for America. Tenney said that Exchange Club members can be found along parade routes handing out American flags with its sponsored program, “Give a Kid a Flag to Wave,’” and sponsors Freedom Shrines in public buildings and area schools –permanent mounts of the club’s collection of 30 of the most important and historic American documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the Gettysburg Address. These Freedom Shrines, Tenney said, show our nation’s youth the strength and courage of their forefathers by allowing them to read, with their own eyes, the immortal words of inspired Americans who so decisively changed the course of history. The club also introduced the Give Me Liberty program into the school district through which area 6th Grade students memorize important historic documents, states and capitols, among other items and then recite them to earn an award.
For more information and to join The Exchange Club:
Contact Danny Wittwer, Telephone: 435-673-4844 / email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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