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A grand supporter

Cindy Young checks people in at a Gleaners food distribution in June. As secretary to the superintendent of Fayette County School Corp., she is in charge of organizing volunteers from the schools who help staff the distribution.

By BOB HANSEN - bhansen@newsexaminer.com

Cindy Young, who speaks calmly and deliberately and says she prefers support roles to the public spotlight, finds herself the grand president of an organization she joined in Connersville 25 years ago.

She has worked for the Fayette County School Corporation for 34 years, serving now as the superintendent's secretary. Among her more public roles is organizing volunteers to staff the food distribution from the Gleaner's Food Bank truck a few times a year. 

Her sisters in Kappa Kappa Sigma Sorority elected her as the grand president for all of their 16 chapters. She will preside over the national organization along with Grand Council members representing eight other chapters, and a past grand president.

Zeta Chapter, the Connersville group, came together a century ago, in 1919. It has 47 members. Six years later, an associate chapter was organized here for women who had been members but weren't quite as active as they had been.

Young joined the sorority after her own son was old enough to drive, looking for the fellowship of a sisterhood and because her sister and a co-worker were already involved.

"It's a very strong support group," Young said. "Sometimes you just need to feel that someone cares. The family may not be around but the sisterhood is there."

She also likes being involved in helping support local efforts.

In 2018, the organization's chapters donated $90,503 to charity, including $15,604.91 to local groups from the Zeta chapter. Local charities that received support from Zeta chapter include Connersville High School scholarships, Fayette Senior Center, the Free Health Clinic, a nursing home, Christmas for Families, the Hope Center, after-prom, the Ronald McDonald House, Community Sharing and the Fayette County Drug Task Force.

One of the Zeta chapter's biggest efforts is the Zeta Bag Luncheon, which raises money for the Fayette County Cancer Society and other charities. It's a luncheon and auctions both silent and live for purses. Since 2007, Zeta chapter has donated $67,833 to the Cancer Society, which helps Fayette County people dealing with cancer.

 

The national organization's projects for this year include breast cancer, diabetes, ALS, Alzheimer's, muscular dystrophy, leukemia and mental health. In 2018, the national project was breast cancer and $3,100 was given to Margaret Mary Health.

The Zeta chapter meets twice a month, averaging about 30 at each meeting, and it has various social functions throughout the year. Adding to that for Young will be six meetings a year of the grand council, which is the national group's governing body.

Young believes in the group and is always looking for new members, especially younger ones. She knows that many younger women find it harder to attend, with the responsibilities of family and work. Still, she says, "It can be as little or as much as you want."