Key Club at Whittell |

Key Club at Whittell

William Ferchland, Tahoe Daily Tribune

Everybody loses their keys. On Wednesday night Whittell High School found their own.

The Key Club, a community service-oriented club, has been defunct at Whittell High School for more than 14 years. It returned and was formally welcomed Wednesday night at Tep’s Villa Roma by other Key Club members from four area high schools.

The Key Club at Whittell High School was charted Nov. 17. Plans are already on the horizon for a blood drive, volunteering at the Special Olympics in February and a spring carnival to raise money for diabetes.

Before the formalities and speeches began, introductions flew and grew among Key Club members from Dayton, South Tahoe, Carson, Douglas and Whittell high schools.

Lorin Kline, Whittell’s club president, said she foresees a good year for the club.

“I’m doing it because I wanted to get involved in the Key Club so it won’t just die out and get lots of kids involved for years to come,” said Kline, 16.

Seventy-six years ago, Sacramento officials wanted to find the “key leaders” in local high schools, said Robert Sharp, Lt. Gov. for Key clubs in California, Nevada and Hawaii.

Presently, the club is the largest international youth organization with 200,000 members in 23 countries.

“I think it’s great,” said Sharp, 18. “The fact they can get it back and have it bigger and better is exciting.”

Sharp, who lives on his own and oversees 29,000 club members, said he moved to Carson City to boost his most ailing Key Club.

Lindsay Wines, Whittell’s Key Club advisor, teaches the leadership class. The club is made up mostly of leadership students, but is open to anyone, she said. The only requirement is a minimum of 50 hours of community service per year.

Wines recalled a Key Club at Whittell when she was a student there in the late 1970s.

“We’re all pretty new to it,” she said through a hoarse voice caused by laryngitis. “We’re just trying to get things going. The main thing is helping the community and getting involved with doing community service.”

The Whittell High School Key Club is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club. Doug Patterson acts as the Kiwanis liaison between the two clubs.

“I missed a meeting and got appointed,” he said.

Patterson mentioned a car wash the leadership class put on in the Fall which raised $16,000 for Sept. 11 victims. The funds were matched by a local bank.

“They are truly citizens of the community and to be able to see that is pretty rewarding,” Patterson said.

Colleen Taft, a 16-year old Dayton High School Key Club member, drove more than an hour to attend the formal introduction of the newest Key Club.

“It’s wonderful,” she said through a smile. “The more people we have in it the more good we do.”

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