In 1988, Springfield’s Christ the King’s (CTK) Over 50 and Dinner Club had 20 members. Today, they boast 200 with members coming not just from Christ the King Parish, but several other parishes in the area. While the club is a great place for those who passed the half-century mark to meet other Catholics, eat a delicious meal every month, and hear from interesting speakers, the club has put most of its resources and generosity toward one thing: the church’s future.
Since 2008, CTK’s Over 50 Social and Dinner Club has given away $16,000 in scholarships for both eighth-graders going to Sacred Heart-Griffin High School and seventh-graders going into eighth grade at CTK. The number of scholarships given each year depends on the amount of money raised or donated.
“The awarding of scholarships has really increased and become part of the mission of the club,” said Terry Lucas, president of the club. “We are especially interested in furthering Catholic education for our students and want to provide as much assistance as we can.”
Currently, the club is offering at least one $1,000 scholarship to a graduating eighth-grader and two $500 scholarships for a seventh-grader. Students write an essay and those essays are then submitted to the club by the teachers and reviewed by a four-person committee who decides the scholarship recipients.
Lucas encourages other parishes to think about adopting a similar club that combines helping students and their families with meeting new people and enjoying each other’s company each month.