Key club installs new members, grows to 65 in 2 years

Published 9:02 pm Monday, October 8, 2018

The Albert Lea High School Key Club more than tripled in size this year as students stepped up for a common goal: to help others.

Key Club is a service club in the Kiwanis family. Faculty adviser and Albert Lea High School English teacher Jeremy Corey-Gruenes said the group is focusing on at least one service project per month. This is the club’s second year at the high school.

“We started it last year as a, you know, a service club … and the students, they plan their service projects and then execute it and then, you know, in so doing that, they learn leadership skills, you know, and inclusiveness and caring for others in service,” club adviser and First Lutheran Church Rev. Sean Forde said.

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He attributed the club’s growth to its student leadership.

At Monday night’s induction, Key Club members received two things: a pin and an envelope. The envelope had a number written on the back between 1 and 65 — the number of members in the Key Club this year — and that number was the dollar amount members are asked to fundraise for this month’s service project, Thirst International.

Thirst International’s mission is to end the global water crisis by educating young people and providing communities with safe drinking water. Senior and Key Club President Rowan Kraft said the club picked the organization after seeing it in a Key Club division newsletter.

Key Club President Rowan Kraft and Vice President Ava Corey-Gruenes choose envelopes for October’s service project, a fundraiser for Thirst International. – Sarah Kocher/Albert Lea Tribune

“We thought it would be really cool to contribute to clean water,” Kraft said.

Kraft ran for president after participating as a member last year.

“I love the idea of this club and the things that we do for this community,” she said.

Junior Salestina Alitz, who was inducted to Key Club Monday, said she joined the club to become more involved and meet new friends. She’s interested in a service career like education or medicine.

“I just like to help others,” she said.

Alitz said she is excited for Thirst, which has a longer duration than some of the club’s previous projects.

“Key club isn’t just a chore,” she said. “So, just some people would see as volunteering as a chore. It’s something that gets me more dedicated to and willing to help others just than, rather than worry about just yourself.”

Corey-Gruenes said the larger group means more hands chipping in. Even if some members can’t go, there are still enough members to make things happen.

“It means that we can really have a good turnout for all our service projects,” he said.

Activities Director Afton Wacholz said she looks forward to seeing the group grow more and watching other students buy in as their peers push out into the community.

“They will help grow each other, grow our community, grow our school — so it’s very exciting,” Wacholz said.

Those participants span the social spectrum, Corey-Gruenes said, and they’re doing something important.

“It’s making service cool, and that’s great,” he said.

Division 6 Lieutenant Governor of Key Club Serena Mobley conducted the induction of Key Club officers, reminding the students of their responsibilities to the club and the community. Elected officers then helped induct their fellow students.

Key Club officers for the 2018-19 school year include Kraft, vice president Ava Corey-Gruenes, secretary Rebecca Forde, treasurer Zane Sadauskis, editor Emma Loch and webmaster Emily Taylor.

The Rev. Sean Forde, adviser to the Key Club, shakes hands with Lindsey Rognes Monday night as she is inducted into Key Club. – Sarah Kocher/Albert Lea Tribune


New members include:

Alivia Adams

Salestina Alitz

Jaden Anderson

Morgan Anfinson

Anna Bordewick

Samantha Brumbaugh

Sophia Brownlee

Dylan Callahan

Sydney Collins

Madison Doyle

Alex Dulitz

Dominica Eckstrom

Jack Edwin

Katie Funk

Anna Grossman

Elise Gryzbowski

Diego Guerra

Koby Hendrickson

Grant Herfindahl

Rachel Holcomb

Chloe Hoveland

Tokota Hurley-Mellard

Cole Indrelie

Alyssa Jensen

Mya Jensen

Travis Jensen

Esperanza Johnson

Makenzie Kenyon

Andrew Kirsan

Kaitlyn Klocke

Braden Kraft

Lizzy Kunkel-Erickson

Kamden Larson

Andrea Larson

Brook Maier

Lauren Miller

Maggie Moller

Hattie Nelson

Priya Patel

Stephanie Redman

Leah Rognes

Lindsey Rognes

Hanna Sack

Zoe Sadauskis

Erika Saindon

Shayna Skaar

Samantha Skartstad

Joci Strom

Htoo Wah Tee

Atziri Torres

Elizabeth Torres

Madeline Van Ryne

Aliyah Vernes

Bailey Vinge

Lily Vinge

Ebony Weitzil

Hannah Wilner

Key Club members gather onstage after being inducted Monday night. – Sarah Kocher/Albert Lea Tribune

About Sarah Kocher

Sarah covers education and arts and culture for the Tribune.

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