Key Club Provides a Variety of Services

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Kelly Ritenour

The Key Club officers meet to discuss new service projects. From left to right: Treasurer Devin Singh, Vice President Isaac Hughes, President Garret Satchell, and Secretary Alexus Rhodes.

Kelly Ritenour, Clubs and Activities Editor

The Key Club is one of the oldest and largest high school service organizations in the nation. Although Dennis Zollicoffer is the sponsor, the club is mostly student lead.

“I’m the facilitator in the beginning. I get the group organized, but after we elect officers it’s pretty much in the hands of the students. They decide which projects interest them, what causes they want to raise money for, and then they use the power of numbers to accomplish those goals,” says Zollicoffer. “One thing I find as a sponsor is if you force an activity that students don’t really buy into, then the results aren’t as great as they can be. We’ll get some results out of it, but you have to have a certain passion behind that push.”

Students meet sporadically to brainstorm new ideas and service projects. This year Key Club’s biggest activity has been the blood drive. The club advertised for the blood drive through posters and the morning announcements. On Friday, November 17th, the Key Club collected students who had pledged to donate blood and brought them down to the gym. Key club members helped with sign in, moral support, and supplying provisions to students after they gave blood. “The American Red Cross relies on high school. They’re like their biggest market for blood drives. 20% of the whole national supply comes from high schools and colleges,” says Zollicoffer. Thanks to our generous student body, ¬†Menchville surpassed our goal of 67 pints.

Along with annual fundraisers, field days, carnivals, relays, and breast cancer awareness events, the Key Club has added some new service projects to their agenda. “One of the new things we’ve done so far is the Thirst Project,” says Zollicoffer. The Thirst project is an organization started by a fifteen year old student who wanted to provide clean water to communities in dire need. Instead of people in Africa having to walk miles for water, the Thirst Project installs local wells to provide clean water and shorten the distance of the journey. Chipotle partnered with all of the Newport News districts’ Key clubs to host a fundraiser for Project Thirst. ¬†On November 15th, students ate at Chipotle and stated they were eating for Project Thirst. This meant 50% of their purchase would be going to building wells for accessible water. “I really like this project more than others. You have to be careful with some of those major organizations because if you look at how much money actually goes to the cause, sometimes it’s very little,” says Zollicoffer.

The Key Club will also participate in a brand new literacy night on December 7th, where students and children from Denbigh Early Childhood Center will pair up and take turns reading.

Key Club meets at least once a month in Cafeteria two. Coach Zollicoffer has some advice for people interested in joining Key Club: “If you have the drive to make a difference, if you want to do community service but you’re not sure where to start or where to begin, if you want to feel like part of a group and you want to make a difference with other like minded individuals, I’d say to go for it.”