Phil-Mont Kiwanis rewards teens for service

John Meehan, a seventh-grader at St. William Elementary School, received the Anthony M. Leto Community Service Award. The Kiwanis Club of Phil-Mont honored John, along with three other young people last week, at a dinner at Kelly’s Seafood in Bustleton. (Maria Pouchnikova)

The Kiwanis Club of Phil-Mont presented a community service award to a local elementary school student and scholarships to three area college students.

The awards dinner took place June 6 at Kelly’s Seafood restaurant, at 9362 Old Bustleton Ave.

The Anthony M. Leto Community Service Award went to John Meehan, a seventh-grader at St. William in Lawndale. He plans to use the prize toward his tuition and to buy gifts for his grandparents.

John has been active at St. William. He opens and closes the school gates, takes trash out to the Dumpster and sets up for events at memorial hall. He’s an altar server and member of student council. He’s volunteered at pancake breakfasts at the Philadelphia Protestant Home and delivered poinsettias to shut-ins at Christmas.

St. William will close for good on Friday, and John will be an eighth-grader at Presentation BVM.

The community service award is named in memory of Tony Leto, a businessman and Kiwanis president who died suddenly on his 40th birthday in 2004. John’s name will be the seventh engraved on a plaque.

The Walter Gimbel Sr. Scholarship Award, named in memory of a longtime member and past president known as “Mr. Kiwanis,” was presented to Amy Keever, Marissa Rubin and Mary Radziszewski.

Keever is a St. William and Bishop McDevitt High School graduate who first earned the scholarship last year. She’s majoring in business administration at Drexel University. She serves as a tutor and mentor at Alain Locke and Martha Washington elementary schools in West Philadelphia.

Rubin just graduated from Northeast High School with a 3.88 grade point average. She was a member of the National Honor Society, the debate team and the science club. She donated the money from her bat mitzvah to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She’ll attend Temple.

Radziszewski recently graduated from Archbishop Ryan and will attend DeSales University. She’s already taken some courses at Gwynedd-Mercy. She’s a lector at St. William; volunteers at Lawncrest Library as a tutor focusing on reading, literacy and homework; and has volunteered at Protestant Home breakfasts for the last eight years.

The winners were joined at the dinner by family members.

The St. William contingent included principal Sister Catherine Clarke; the Rev. Stephen C. McCarthy, a parochial vicar; and fifth-grade teacher Kathy McDonough. ••