At the start of the current school year, language arts teacher John Waldon wanted to embark on a new chapter for the LHS Key Club, seeking help from a former member to get things restarted and regain student interest.
Torie Barclay had previously been in the club as a freshman, but now as a junior she wanted to renew the role of Key Club within the school and support the overall mission of the teen-level Kiwanis Club.
Within the first month of classes, fifteen members had committed to the club, more than it had when it dissolved two years ago.
“We had more than we expected,” Barclay said. “I just started asking people and then they asked other people, so it just grew from there.”
Waldon appointed officers for the club as they attended the first leadership meeting in September.
The group has 56 active members, which are having fun while undertaking a number of fundraisers and causes.
“This makes you feel like you can do something important that is going to impact someone else’s life,” said Kylie Wilson, a senior and Key Club president.
She and the other officers are hopeful that the club will continue to expand in members and projects for years to come.
Earlier this year, several of the members volunteered during a festival for the Ronald McDonald house in Chattanooga.
Along with handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, the club managed to collect $230 during LaFayette’s Scare on the Square event, which went to a humanitarian UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) program.
The students also sold nearly 300 bags of kettle corn and netted $768 for the club’s general fund.
Key Club members will become a “spirit team” handing out water and encouragement during the LaFayette Optimist Club’s first annual Reindeer Run on Dec. 8.
The club likes to collaborate with other service-oriented groups in the area, including collecting cereal box tops for LaFayette Middle School and a donation jar for fellow student Brandon Lowe.
The ambitious group will join the school’s marine biology club feeding the less fortunate on Nov. 21 at a soup kitchen in Dalton.
They start 2013 by avoiding eating during the Thirty Hour Famine (Jan. 3-4), a chaperoned school party with plenty of entertainment, which will raise money by sponsored donations for World Vision, which fights child hunger.
A few of the club members hope to attend Key Club’s National Convention, which is held in Washington, D.C., during the week of Independence Day celebrations.
The students’ roles as officers has even led to the consideration of community service careers as they continue to prepare for college, which has the Circle K Club, a college-level Kiwanis group.