Local key clubs join forces to serve the community
Published 9:31 am Friday, October 23, 2015
The Key Clubs from Elizabethton High School and Unaka High School held their first event together Thursday with members of the Elizabethton Kiwanis Club.
EHS club president Meredith Roaten believes this social mixer marked the commencement of a new bond.
“Hopefully after this we can do more projects together,” Roaten said. “It is to foster better relationships so that we can get together and serve the community better.”
At the mixer, they played games, enjoyed dinner and socialized.
The Unaka club, led by President Autumn Little is only in its second year and already has 41 members. Since its initiation, the clubs have shared some ideas, but have not held events together.
They have assisted Kiwanis Club at several events including the Covered Bridge Festival and at Spring picnics for elementary school students and special needs students. They will also help at the upcoming pancake breakfast.
While the clubs haven’t organized their own events separate from Kiwanis, Roaten said they intend to do so in the future.
Last year, they collaborated on their annual Christmas float and will do so again this year.
“We can share our wisdom since we have been around longer and get some fresh perspective from the Unaka Club,” said EHS member Sienna Brown. “It’s a win-win.”
Little said the Unaka club got the idea for its spina bifida walk-a-thon from the Race for Wandell, and that similarly, the clubs brainstorm based off of past events mixed with new ideas.
“Our focus is on children and our community, but we are a general service club because we serve a number of groups locally and nationally,” said Roaten.
She listed Cards for Kindness, the Harold McCormick Easter Egg Eunt and the Love of Reading Project at East Side and West Side Elementary Schools that they sponsored this past year. Currently, they are raising money through Trick or Treat for UNICEF to help prevent maternal and neonatal tetanus in other countries. They will be collecting change from downtown businesses this Friday.
Elizabethton Kiwanis has been in existence since 1928 and began only 13 years after the international club formed. Kiwanis has branches for all ages to participate in community service projects including Circle K for college, Key Club for high school, Builders for middle school and K Kids for Elementary.
“We’re all a big Kiwanis family,” said Roaten.
Kiwanis board member Bill Fryar said that high schools can be competitive with sports and other initiatives, but that these two clubs are working together in a friendly environment to encourage and promote each other.
“They’re working on their own, but together they can do so much more,” he said.