Niles own ‘super heroes’ have been helping the community for 70 years

Published 1:13 am Thursday, September 9, 2004

By By SPIROS GALLOS / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Last year, there was a summer movie called the "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," about literary figures being super heroes.
Well Niles has it's own league of extraordinarily gentle women - the Niles Service League. In one way or another, they too are super heroes to the needy children and families they help.
The League held its first meeting of the year Wednesday night to introduce new board members and induct new members.
This year, the League celebrates its 70th anniversary of helping the community through fund-raisers to help needy children and families.
The League was started in 1934, when founding members noticed children and infants playing along the river wearing little to no clothing, and wanted to help them, according to Heidi Bucholz, president of the League.
The first fund-raiser ever held by the League was a charity ball to raise money to help needy children. The League now holds a charity ball every year.
The League also started a pre-school immunization program in 1935, long before the state began mandating immunizations.
From 1936 to 1971, the Niles Service League provided "good fellow" Christmas baskets to needy children. From 1971 to the present, the League has adopted a needy family each year and made their Christmas wishes come true, Bucholz said.
In 1937, the League started a children's clothing bureau to help clothe needy children. In 1950 the bureau became the school children's clothing fund.
Now, the League works with the Niles, Brandywine, and Buchanan school districts to identify children in need who might otherwise, go unnoticed, Bucholz said.
A school liason from the League works with the schools to encourage anyone who notices a child in need to report them to the League, so that child can be helped.
During the annual Apple Festival, the Niles Service League provides carnival games for children free of charge on the festival youth day.
The League also holds two rummage sales over the course of the year, providing a huge amount of clothes for needy families.
The next rummage sale is scheduled for Oct. 16 at the Michiana Christian Embassy, 1922 E. Main St.
The League's biggest fund-raising event of the year is the Charity Ball held at the Knollwood Country Club. Last year, the League raised more than $9,000 at the charity ball, Bulchoz said.
Sept. 17th through the 19th, the public is invited to play at Knollwood Country Club for $50 a round. The cost includes green fees and a cart. The country club will donate $20 per golfer to the Service League.
Call Scott or Dustin at the Knollwood Pro Shop, 574-277-2620, to make a tee time. Please mention that you are golfing for the League.