Giving Back Through Mundelein After School Coalition


Gabby Antenore

Members of the Mundelein After School Coalition pose together before participating in their turkey delivery event.

Delaney Appelhans, Centerspread Editor

After a successful Turkey Drive on Nov. 22, the Mundelein After School Coalition club has had a year full of community service, and the year is not even halfway through yet.

Mundelein After School Coalition, also referred to as MASC, works with the local middle schools to help the community and to encourage prevention of alcohol and drug use.

Jake Antenore, senior and president of MASC, further explained that “MASC is a community service club that focuses on giving back to the community through charitable deeds.”

One of the club’s main events of the year is called the Turkey Drive, in which members of the club spend time organizing before the Thanksgiving festivities. The members pack about 60-pound packages full of Thanksgiving essentials and a turkey to help families in need properly enjoy the holiday.

After spending time packing, the club members deliver the packages to the families around the community.

“My favorite experience would have to be the Turkey Drive. We work with the middle schools, police department and Girl Scouts to prepare food baskets and go out and deliver them to families in the community. It is amazing to see how thankful the families are for the food we provide them with,” said Jisel Gomez, senior and vice president of MASC.

This event is one of their main events of the year, but besides this, the club also puts a lot of focus and attention on the middle school dances. Members of the club plan dances for some of the surrounding middle schools, including Carl Sandburg, in order to give the middle school students a safe place to enjoy their time after school.

The members work together with the members of MASC at the middle school levels to plan and put together these dances for certain events, such as for Halloween. These are planned at monthly meetings that take place at the police department.

“[The dances] give them a fun, safe event to do after school. The students also get to interact with high school students, which can be a cool experience for them,” said Jake Antenore.

Besides these main events MASC puts together, another unique aspect to the club is its partnership with the police department. In addition to the monthly meetings with some of the officers, the officers also help run all of the events smoothly, as well as work with club members to do smaller scale activities, such as social campaigns—one occurring in the spring around prom where they encourage local businesses to be vigilant about not selling alcohol to underage drinkers.

“Officer [Rachel] Messina is the resource officer of the police department for Carl Sandburg, so we do most of our work with her, but [some of the others] work with us for mostly everything we do,” said Gabby Antenore, senior member of MASC. “During the Turkey Drive, they come with us and go to the houses with us. They also do the social campaigns with us, which [gives] us the opportunity to ride in the back of their cars. Also, for Adopt-the-Highway, they’re there [with us]. Overall, they’re kind of like the safety component of the club.”

This relationship that the club has with the police department also helps them in the funding department.  Some of the community service funding given to the police department can be passed onto MASC. This money allows the club members the freedom to spend more on what they please, as opposed to other clubs that have to fundraise for longer periods of time to be able to do what they want.

With the help that these resources give, the club is hoping to do even more service projects in order to fully utilize everything they are given.

“[Our goal is to] create more opportunities of events to help the community, like doing more events and projects that other clubs might not be able to fund, or might not have the capability to do, because we have the money for it,” said Jake Antenore.

In the future, the members are hoping to include even more community service in their schedule to continue to positively influence the people around Mundelein.

“I hope that the club continues with all the activities we currently do and that it is able to further expand its reach into the community. We have so many resources available to us, and I hope the club continues to use them to have an even bigger impact on the community,” said Gomez.

Besides an increase in service projects, the current members are also hoping to further expand the club and get their name out even more because of the importance and relevance they feel the club has in the community. This will hopefully lead to even more underclassmen representation within the club, which is another future goal of the club.

Gabby Antenore explained, “We hope that members will continue to do it. We have a good relationship with the middle schools, so I hope that those kids continue to do MASC in high school because I think it’s a really important club.”