Disbanded Kiwanis club delivers last of its funds to Oasis Teen Shelter

December 29, 2018

MOUNT VERNON — As its final charitable act, a disbanded Mount Vernon Kiwanis club has given the last of its money to the Oasis Teen Shelter.

At the shelter Thursday afternoon, Maryl Skjei, a 15-year member of the Kiwanis Club of Mount Vernon-Morning Club, met with Oasis Teen Shelter Director Justin Krupa and handed over a check for $20,997 — the last of the club’s project and administrative funds.

“It’s our culminating project,” she said. “That’s what I’m calling it.”

Skjei and fellow club member Brian Paxton said the club has for years helped Oasis, so it was fitting that the money go to the shelter.

“We’ve officially disbanded,” Skjei said, adding that the club hasn’t met for a couple months. “Just over time, our membership dropped.”

Krupa said the shelter has been a safe and reliable place for at-risk youth in the county, and it depends on grants and donations to keep offering services.

“Kiwanis’ motto is serving the children of the world,” Skjei said. “We wanted to help out in a year when they’ve had so much difficulty.”

This year, Krupa said Oasis had to make due with about $70,000 in budget cuts, as two large annual donations stopped or were reduced.

At the same time, he said the shelter served twice as many youth as it did last year.

Getting this gift from the Kiwanis club will go a long way to helping the shelter make ends meet, considering the shelter’s busiest months — January and February — are coming up.

For the last of the Kiwanis club’s members, Skjei said she sees this as an opportunity to find new ways of donating time and energy to help those in need throughout the county.

“We’re not going to stop contributing to the community,” she said.

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