Consisting of students from the Culver Academies Community Service Council and the Culver Community High School Cavs Club, CYCO has been in existence since 2006.
That year, Lions Club president Don Freese said, the schools applied for a grant to organize, find common ground, and understand each other better. By working together, the two schools could then work toward the betterment of the community. The students used the grant money to attend a four-day seminar at St. Mary’s College in South Bend, followed by a two-day meeting in Culver that included representatives of the various community service organizations in Culver.
Since the formation of CYCO, the two schools have combined for Christmas caroling events, raising money for needy families during the holidays, working community-wide cleanups in the spring and fall, assisting with the community playground project in the park, and collecting books for African students.
The summer BIRD service project that renovated several homes was an extension of the CYCO program, Freese said. Students have also assisted the Lions with their Halloween party, which entertains 200 to 250 children, and the organization’s annual chili supper, which raises funds for the community food pantry.
The Lions Club underwrites the cost of a Culver Community student going to Mexico on the Academies’ Global Pathways Spring trip. CYCO’s adult sponsors are Cory Monnier, who is the Culver Boys and Girls Club director; Nancy McKinnis of the Academies’ Leadership Department; and Brenda Sheldon, a guidance counselor at Culver Community.