New Key Club Stresses Service

Fenwick’s multitude of extracurricular clubs appeal to a variety of people. However, there is a new club on campus that is sure to appeal to everyone: Key Club. The club, part of an international service organization, was brought to Fenwick this year by juniors Aimee Morrissey and Ellie Rogowski as a remodeled Community Outreach Club. In Aimee’s words, Key Club helps members “find similarities in people all across the country and the world through service and by connecting like-minded people.”

The umbrella organization Key Club was founded in 1925 in Sacramento, California, with the hopes of encouraging high school students to engage in service in their communities. The idea was to create Key Club as an offshoot of the Kiwanis Club, a global organization whose mission is to provide service to the world one community at a time. Key Clubs work in partnership with their local Kiwanis Clubs to provide high school students with the opportunity to contribute to the Kiwanis’ mission, while also learning invaluable skills of leadership and how to stand up for what is right.

Aimee, whose family is involved with Kiwanis, brought the idea of starting a Key Club at Fenwick to Mr. Holmberg and Mr. Slajchert with help from her friend Ellie. After the former leaders of Community Outreach graduated last year, the service group at Fenwick was in need of new leadership and revitalization: Key Club was the perfect solution.

With Aimee and Ellie as co-presidents, and juniors Martina Perez-Zuleta and Carmela Frontzak as treasurer and secretary, Key Club is off to a great start. It already has nearly sixty members, with the promise of more to join. In September, the club held a bake sale at the Oak Park Farmers’ Market, and it was a huge success. Ellie recounts, “We raised almost $500, and we’re looking forward to using that to go and volunteer places and cover travel expenses.” Aimee and Ellie have been contacting organizations to find opportunities for Key Club members to help the community, including the Oak Park Food Pantry, Misericordia, and Build Chicago, an organization that provides after-school activities for children living in high-violence areas. In addition, the Club may help with providing meals for Ronald McDonald House, and aiding the Glass Slipper Project, which seeks to provide prom dresses to girls unable to purchase their own. Aimee and Ellie also hope to establish a regular, weekly volunteer opportunity that will allow members of the club to participate as they are available. Furthermore, the unique organization of Key Club and its partnership with Kiwanis opens access to new resources and connections with other related clubs in the area.

It’s about people coming together to have fun and do good things in the community,” Aimee explains. “It’s always an experience to see how you can transform someone’s life.” For juniors looking for a boost on their service projects, the club can also provide face-to-face service opportunities. Another bonus is that Key Club is well-recognized by colleges, and therefore a great addition to students’ extracurricular repertoire. Of course, Key Club is about more than simply filling service hours or looking good for colleges. Ellie emphasizes “it’s about how you can help out the community around you, because there are a lot of people that live within a few miles of us that really need our help.”

Although it is only Key Club’s first year at Fenwick, its co-presidents have a clear vision for its future. Aimee and Ellie hope the Club will grow to have a larger presence on campus, and that it will continue on after they graduate. In accordance with Fenwick’s Christian values, Mr. Slajchert reminds Friars that Key Club’s mission is “a matter of taking the Gospel and what Jesus has to say about helping others and showing love for one another and actually putting that into practice.” What more persuasion do you need?

Everyone is welcome at Key Club, and Aimee and Ellie encourage all students to get involved. Interested students should contact them to be added to the Schoology group and receive updates on the Club’s plans.