Kids for Christ Club
The Kids for Christ Club is a youth oriented program for Our Lady of the Sacred Heart parish students in 5th, 6th and 7th grades. It is designed to encourage members to pray, play and serve together in a Catholic Christian atmosphere. We meet according to a planned schedule of activities in the Red School Building from 7:00 – 8:30 PM on Friday Evenings. KCC members now have their own Club Room filled with games, art supplies, a ping pong table and sports equipment. Recently, former members (8th grade and older) have returned to participate in the group’s activities as Junior Moderators. They assist the adult leaders by acting as positive role models and generally supporting the work that the KCC is involved with.
During normal Friday night meetings, the members of the Kids for Christ Club will take part in a variety of activities, including icebreakers involving new members, free play during activity nights, and of course, prayer. Although, this is only part of what being a member of the KCC is about. Aside from our regular meetings on Friday nights every other week, the KCC also participates in a multitude of other activities and endeavors, which we put great effort and time into accomplishing. Following is a list of every activity that the KCC has been involved with over the years …
A Christmas Carol
In December of 2009, members of the Kids for Christ Club took a trip to a local movie theater to see A Christmas Carol in the spirit of the holiday season. The movie was enjoyed by everyone who attended, and helped us all realize the true meaning of Christmas.
Camp Turner Weekend
One of the most memorable activities the Kids for Christ Club participates in is the Camp Turner Weekend. Beginning in October of 2009, the KCC has spent a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Camp Turner in Salamanca, NY. The members and chaperones participate in many exciting activities, including a talent show, scavenger hunt, trust exercises, and more. Every morning, the group gathers together to pray and eat breakfast with each other, and later eats lunch and dinner together as well. On Saturday evening, the group attends Mass at a local church, before returning to camp for dinner and a bonfire with s’mores and ghost stories (long live McInturf!). The campers all meet for breakfast and prayer on Sunday morning before their families come to take them back home again. The most recent Camp Turner Weekend was held in October of 2010.
In January of 2009, the members of the Kids for Christ Club gathered together at the doors of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart to sell flowers of all shapes, sizes and colors to interested parishioners. The money that was raised at this event was donated to the St. Gianna Molla Room in Buffalo, NY.
Chestnut Ridge Trip
Over the years, the Kids for Christ Club has occasionally found time during the winter to visit Chestnut Ridge Park. The members of the KCC all meet there with sleds and inner tubes in hand, and have fun sledding down the large hill near the entrance. In August of 2010, the KCC traveled there again, this time to have a summer picnic with food and games.
For many years now, the Kids for Christ Club has visited a local nursing home, around Christmastime, where they bring holiday cheer to the residents by singing many Christmas carols to them. Members are often encouraged to wear festive clothing, including Santa hats or reindeer antlers if they have them. In December of 2009, members met in the White School Building to practice their singing before visiting the Father Baker Manor Nursing Facility. During the Christmas caroling trip in December of 2010, the KCC visited the residents of the Orchard Brooke Living Center. Afterwards, the KCC usually regroups at their meeting place in the White School Building to have a short party with snacks and drinks before returning home.
Collecting Money for Harvest House
In late 2010, the Kids for Christ Club gave its members plastic baby bottles, and urged them to help in raising money for the Harvest House of Buffalo by filling them with generous donations. Collectively, the group ended up raising a significant amount to help those mothers and babies that are in need.
At the end of every school year, when the KCC events wind down for the summer, the KCC members and their families are invited to attend a Communion Breakfast. The KCC members and their families gather to celebrate Mass at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church and then proceed to a local restaurant in the area to share a meal, talk about the events of the year and distribute awards. It is a great time to reminisce and discuss the good times that were had by all, and also to say goodbye to friends until next year.
Fantasy Island Trip
In 2007, some members of the KCC visited Fantasy Island over the summer. The kids went on rides, ate snacks, and played games along with the adult members. Although the KCC has not visited Fantasy Island again since then, a great time was undoubtedly had by all!
Father Baker Manor
Sometimes, the Kids for Christ Club will go to the Father Baker Manor and participate in activities with the residents. In 2010, some of the members met with the residents there and played Bingo and sang other songs to help cheer them up.
Ice Cream Social
Sometimes, the adult moderators of the Kids for Christ Club will host an Ice Cream Social for its members, usually during the first KCC meeting of the year. Members are each given a portion of ice cream, and are then able to choose from a variety of toppings. It is a great opportunity for the members to have fun, eat dessert, and become reacquainted with one another before the start of another KCC year.
For many years, the Kids for Christ Club has been taking an annual trip to Lasertron, where they have fun together by participating in Laser-Tag, eating pizza, and playing video games. The KCC members meet in the Church parking lot and board a bus to head for the Lasertron facility in Amherst. Each of the members has a chance throughout the year to defray the cost of their Lasertron admission fee by participating in the various other KCC events that take place throughout the year. In 2007, the KCC decided to try something different, and visited Paige’s Paradise Island in Depew instead of Lasertron.
Letters to Kelvin
One of the first charity efforts that the KCC took on, in it’s early years, was the aid given to a little boy at the Timau Mission in Kenya, Africa. Every single year since, the kids in the KCC have been sending money, letters, school supplies, love and prayers to a boy named Kelvin. The KCC has also purchased livestock for Kelvin’s family, which has helped their own economic status and growth. He is so proud of the KCC T-Shirt we sent him that he told us he will wear it as his “Sunday best.” Kelvin and his mother have always expressed their thanks and their prayers back to the KCC for the help they have been able to give. Kelvin writes every year to tell us about how he is doing in school and how he is learning about Christ. The KCC hopes to be able to keep helping and following Kelvin as he grows into a young man.
Every Halloween, the Kids for Christ Club celebrates by having a Masquerade Ball, the first of which was held in October of 2008. The dance features music, dancing, bobbing for apples, and most importantly, spooky snacks! At the end of the dance, there is a costume contest to determine the best, scariest, silliest, funniest, and most creative costumes of the night.
The first annual KCC Movie Night was held in September of 2009, during which the group watched the movie Cars on a big screen that was set up in the Red School Building’s gym with help from the KCC’s own Dominic Aroneseno. Each KCC member is given tickets which they can use to “purchase” snacks and drinks to enjoy during the movie. The 2011 KCC Movie Night was held in January, when the KCC watched the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
Our Lady of Fatima Trip
In December of 2003, the members of the Kids for Christ Club and their families were invited to board a bus and head out to the Holy Family Parish on the Tuscarora Reservation in Sanborn to attend Mass. After, they traveled to the Our Lady of Fatima Shrine in Lewiston, NY where they enjoyed the many elaborate Christmas decorations, and a few of the older members were interviewed by a reporter from The Western New York Catholic Newspaper. The KCC has since made several pilgrimages to the Fatima Shrine in the years following. During their time there, they are able to explore the grounds, look at all the statues of the Saints, visit the gift shop, participate in communal prayer in the Basilica or one of the side chapels, learn about the Rosary, and learn many other important things about the history of both Jesus and Mary, including her appearance to the children of Fatima. After a few years of snowstorm cancellations, the KCC was finally able to return to the Shrine once again near the end of 2010.
The Kids for Christ Club will occasionally host special fundraising events. From 2005 to 2008, they hosted a Pierogi Dinner in the Red School Building cafeteria. Some of the parishioners made various kinds of pierogies which the KCC then packaged in a meal for later sale. The kids acted as servers and hosts during the dinner and everyone had a great time.
The Kids for Christ Club has been holding their annual pizza sale for a number of years. Every year in late November, the members of the KCC all get together in the cafeteria of the Red School Building and collectively make about 300 pizzas, which they then sell to the members of the church on the following Saturday and Sunday. At the beginning of the following year, the members meet in the cafeteria once again to make 300 more pizzas, which they then sell just in time for Superbowl Sunday. The money raised is used to support many of the KCC’s efforts and defray the cost of some of the trips that the KCC takes later in the year.
Sermon on the Mount
In mid-April of 2010, adult moderators of the Kids for Christ Club joined some of the Junior Moderators in going to see Sermon on the Mount, a one-man play of scripture performed by former actor Frank Runyeon. The play was followed by a powerfully delivered speech entitled Hollywood vs. Faith. Both performances, while different, enabled us to view the choices we make regarding our faith with a greater sense of appreciativeness and understanding.
Every year since it’s inception, and always on Holy Thursday, interested members of the Kids for Christ Club meet at Our Lady of the Sacred Church and attend Mass before leaving to visit seven different churches in the area during the time of Lent. It is a very solemn and holy time where the members and their families have a chance to see how other churches in our area choose to venerate the Sacred Body of Christ as it sits in repose. Afterward, the group returns to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart for a closing prayer.
Spirit: the Musical
In January of 2011, some adult leaders of the KCC met at the White School Building with many of the Junior Moderators before leaving to see Spirit: the Musical at St. Philip the Apostle Church in Cheektowaga, NY. The musical was very enjoyable, and seeing it taught the members of the group important lessons about trustworthiness, friendship, and forgiveness.
Stations of the Cross
Every year during Lent, the Kids for Christ Club hosts their own version of the Stations of the Cross. Some members of the group are chosen to be readers, recounting Jesus’ journey through all fourteen stations, while others are chosen to hold candles under each station of the cross. Afterward, the group invites everyone into the basement of the church to participate in Lenten-themed activities and enjoy some snacks.
Tour of the Basilica
Each year, the KCC tries to make a trip to the Our Lady of Victory Basilica in South Buffalo. Father Baker has always played an important part in the history of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, and his devotion carried over into his greatest endeavor, the building of the OLV Basilica. The members and their families are invited to attend and meet at the Basilica where they take a guided tour of the facility and learn some very interesting facts about the history and design of the Basilica itself. The members and families then have an opportunity to visit the Father Baker museum and gift shop.
Other Charity Efforts
At a KCC meeting in November many years ago, a Nicaraguan missionary spoke to us about the needs of families in Central America. We were subsequently able to earn enough money to buy a cow, some bunnies, and a sheep for several families. We learned that through the donation of these simple gifts, we have ultimately given three families a way to a better life. We hope to donate more animals in the future.
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