Key Club

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In a world inundated with self-centeredness, the Key Club allows students to see past themselves to a community where they can make a difference.  The focus of the Latrobe Key Club has always been to help those in need, whether that means collecting cans for the food bank or cleaning up a local highway.  Social Studies teacher Mr. Snyder runs the club, while junior Alex Brant acts as president with senior Jocelyn Jaworske as vice president.

Throughout the years, Latrobes Key Club has impacted many lives.  In years past, the club has raised money to purchase a wheelchair for a little girl, filled Christmas stockings for veterans in the hospital, and helped a Derry family get back on its feet after their home burned down.  “The club’s main goal is just to help as many people as possible,” says Key Club president Alex Brant. “We also have new things planned that I hope will really take off, such as a possible Soles4souls shoe drive and working with the Operation Iraqi Children (OIC), which gets school supplies to kids mostly in the Middle East, who have never had their own box of crayons or even a notebook.”

In spring of last year, the Latrobe Key Club attended the Key Club State-District convention, in which the various Key Clubs are able to learn from each other and take part in a program called Youth Serving Youth.  Last year’s Youth Serving Youth project was Caitlin’s Smiles, which was begun by Cheryl Hornung.  Her eight-year old daughter Caitlin suffered from a brain tumor and died in 2000.  She founded Caitlin’s Smiles in 2004, which puts together creative art care packages to children in the hospital.

In September of this year, the Latrobe Key Club collaborated with Derry High School to hold a food drive at the Latrobe vs. Derry football game; though Latrobe’s food count was much lower than Derry’s, the food collected was a huge step towards beating hunger in this and surrounding communities.  Saturday, October second, the Latrobe Key Club teamed up with the Kiwanis Club, a version of Key Club for adults, to clean up the highway near Hoss’s Restaurant.  Key Club also recently sold thirty dozen roses to help raise funds for their upcoming projects.  They are certainly keeping busy and many club members are becoming more committed to the organization.  “Once they participate and realize the rewards of helping others, it is easy to help them commit,” says Mr. Snyder. “You can be as involved as time allows.”

As the goal of the Key Club is to make the community a better place, deciding what volunteer opportunities to take on is a large responsibility.  At the board meetings every Tuesday morning, as well as the weekly meeting with all of the members, different opportunities are brought up and decided upon.

Different students join Key Club each year, yet many of them have similar reasons for participating in the club.  Vice president Jocelyn Jaworske explained, “I joined Key Club, because I genuinely enjoy helping others.  I like that the club offers so many different volunteer opportunities to help our community.  Junior Lauren Hennessey agrees, “I joined Key Club to get involved in my school and my community.  I like that it gives me an opportunity to serve others.”

With over one hundred members, the Key Club is growing in numbers, as well as in the positive impact that it is having in the Latrobe community and elsewhere.  Mr. Synder puts it this way: “Knowing that you have made someone’s day better is what makes it worthwhile.”