Passing the Torch: Seniors Hand Off Leadership of Their Clubs to Qualified Members


HEART WARMING: Monika Goldschmidt ’10, Eliza Hamburger ’10, Kylie Gould ’10, the graduating board members of the Paper Hearts Club. | Photo contributed by Patrick Goldschmidt

Sam Freeman ’11
Web A&E Editor

HEART WARMING: Monika Goldschmidt ’10, Eliza Hamburger ’10, Kylie Gould ’10, the graduating board members of the Paper Hearts Club. | Photo contributed by Patrick Goldschmidt

Although members of the class of 2010 are leaving Staples, the clubs and organizations they built will continue to flourish and succeed for years.

The Paper Hearts Club and SafeRides are just two of a number of clubs that have been created by seniors in the past four years.

The motivation to create these clubs stemmed from personal experiences.

In the fall of 2007, after attending the Hole in the Wall Gang summer camp with her brother, Monika Goldschmidt ’10 felt inspired to create a club supporting the organization at Staples. With the help of good friend Eliza Hamburger ’10, Goldschmidt was able to fulfill her goal.

Goldschmidt and Hamburger created the Paper Hearts Club, in which members create and sell cards around town throughout the holiday seasons to raise money for the Hole in the Wall Gang organization, which supports families and children with cancer and other serious illnesses. In the past two years, the club has raised $2,000 that has been donated to charity.

“As juniors last year, my co-president and I realized that we had a choice to make: either graduate and allow the club to dissolve as if it had never been there, or work to ensure the club’s continuation,” said Goldschmidt in an article featured in the Hole in the Wall newsletter.

In the hopes of making an easier transition after Goldschmidt and Hamburger graduate, the club has already been handed down to Charlotte Bradford ’11, Christian Kelly ’12 and Jessica Avitabile ’12.

Although nervous at first, Goldschmidt said she knows “that the girls I handed the club down to are very responsible and will carry it on and do good things with it.

Along with Goldschmidt and Hamburger, Alex Dulin ’10 has greatly impacted the Staples community. After experiencing the influence SafeRides had on the high school community in her hometown in Washington, she believed the Westport community was in need of a SafeRides as well.

In September 2008, Dulin introduced SafeRides to numerous community members in the hopes of spreading the word about this influential organization. In February, after receiving positive feedback towards the organization, Dulin interviewed students for board member positions.

SafeRides, which is a national, student run organization, gives free and confidential rides home to high school students on Saturday nights.

Dulin, along with seven other graduating seniors, said that is is bittersweet to hand off the SafeRides to a different team of board members but is excited to see students just as passionate as them continue to run this important organization.

The ten board members for the 2010-11 school year have already been chosen and have been running SafeRides for the past month to ease the transition.

Although SafeRides will not be running during the summer due to an inadequate number of volunteers, the newly elected board members have numerous goals for the upcoming school year.

“In the future, we are hoping to expand to Friday nights. The only reason we are not open Friday nights is that there are simply not enough volunteers. With a new board though, and one year under our belt, we will find more volunteers in order to extend Saferides and the safety it ensures to Friday nights,” said Jake McCambley ’11, who is one of two returning board members.

McCambley is confident in running SafeRides without the presence of Dulin. Having the experience of working on SafeRides for the past year and the numerous returning volunteers, he believes that, during the 2010-2011 school year, SafeRides will run just as smoothly or even more smooth than this year.

Dulin shares McCambley’s enthuasiasm and optimism.

“Each and every one of [the new board members] loves the program, believes in it, and wants to see it prosper and grow,” said Dulin.