Showing signs of service

About a month ago, a sign was put up that welcomes residents and visitors to Almaden Valley. Former city council members Pat Dando and Nancy Pyle had come up with the idea, and local service clubs like Kiwanis, Almaden Valley Rotary Club, Lions Club and the Assistance League of San Jose (ALSJ) funded the sign. Pierce Signs, a local business, also helped by agreeing to build the sign for $18,000, a significantly small sum for a similar sign in the construction business.

“The sign was created by the social clubs to show what a unique and distinct community Almaden is. However, the project was also meant to show residents that service clubs are here serving the community. We are in the community to provide assistance to those in need, and to maintain the beauty of Almaden,” Lions Club member Greg Snow said.

These service organizations coordinate charitable projects within the community at their monthly meetings. The Almaden Lions are currently planning the Annual I Care Bicycle Tour for this May, which raises funds for visually-impaired children. In January, the ALSJ helped run shows for youth enrichment and compiled clothing for newborns of families in poverty.

“I think the service clubs of San Jose have done a phenomenal job empowering the youth and serving the community,” Junior Baolinh Nguyen said.

The school also hosts its own service clubs that are directly associated with the city’s clubs. The Almaden Valley Rotary Club sponsors the school’s Interact Club while the school’s Key Club functions as a branch of the Kiwanis Leadership Program. The school’s Key Club is currently working on a Pediatric Trauma Program (PTP) that hopes to prevent life-threatening childhood trauma by training pediatric doctors and nurses, purchasing vital medical equipment, and spreading awareness about the cause.

The Rotary Club also holds an annual speech contest with the purpose of helping students make good choices in their daily lives. This year Senior Ann-Katherin Merz , Sophomore Akhil Kestur and Sophomore Laura Sheih will be among those competing for an opportunity to win cash prizes and a chance to compete at a higher level.

“These contests are really helpful to the speech kids. It’s a whole different kind of environment and it gives kids access to a broader audience group,” Junior Anirvin Sikha said.