Huntington High School’s Key Club has historically been one of Long Island’s finest, with its energetic members establishing an impressive tradition of making a real difference in the community.
Current club leaders are putting the finishing touches on plans for what the group hopes will be its most successful year ever. Last year’s Huntington Key Club chapter boasted about 150 members. It’s entirely possible that the group could surpass that level of interest in 2017/18. Members attend weekly Thursday meetings in the School Heritage Museum.
Key Club membership has always been a great way for students to earn community service hours while simultaneously making an indelible impact on local families and children.
The Huntington Key Club chapter is well known throughout the school district and community. Last winter its K-Factor talent show raised more than $6,000, which was dedicated to helping defer expenses related to the young child of a Huntington High School teacher who is battling cancer.
The Huntington chapter hosted three blood drives that collected hundreds of units of the badly needed substance from students and faculty members. The group also sponsors a Make-A-Wish holiday card sale and a Sears holiday shopping tour for the children of local financially struggling families. Key Club members get involved in plenty of other initiatives, too.
This year’s slate of club officers includes Erica Vazquez (president), Maggie Giles (vice president), Gaia D’Anna (treasurer), Samantha Sgrizzi (publicist), Megan Erhardt (secretary), administrative assistants David Fredericks, Noah Morris and Sara Frawley and attendance chairs Nick Haupt and Ryan Hoffman.
“Key Club has been absolutely life changing,” Ms. Vazquez said. “Being able to put smiles across the faces of all different types of people really makes a positive impact not only on them, but for yourself. I am so grateful to be part of a club that has created not only the feeling of constant joy in helping others, but also creating second family to enjoy that kind of feeling with.”
The club has established “shadow training” for the group’s future leaders, including Hannah Avidor, Emily Cheshire, Livia D’Anna, Josie Fasolino, Julia Giles, Paul Katigbak, Molly Kessler, Maddy Kye, Diya Rai-Gersappe, Julien Rentsch, Nicholas Rowley and Julia Segal.
“We encourage all students to take part in our efforts to support the community,” Ms. Giles said. “I have established a family within the club and they’re there to remind me of our previous achievements and how we can continue to improve.”
Huntington High School English teachers Gina Colica and Kelly Krycinski serve as the chapter’s faculty advisors. They have been working with the group during the past four years and each matches the students’ unbending devotion to the organization.
“It’s really important to have groups like the Key Club that can rally the community when it’s most important,” Ms. D’Anna said. “It has been such an eye opening experience for me getting to work on all of our events throughout the year.”
Each member has their own individual reasons for joining Key Club and working to make the organization’s initiatives successful. The chapter has a very long and distinguished history at Huntington High School dating back decades and it remains as strong today as it has ever been.
“The opportunity to help local community members, both directly through the Sears shopping tour and indirectly through programs such as Make-A-Wish is truly incomparable,” Ms. Sgrizzi said.
This year’s officers are completely committed to Key Club’s mission. Each of the leaders intends to do everything they can to surpass previous years’ fundraising totals. The ambitious group began the current school year by raising monies to support victims of Hurricane Irma
“Key Club is the oldest and largest service program for high school students in the world,” according to the national organization’s website. “It has more than 275,000 members in 5,000 clubs in 38 countries.” Key Club is a wing of Kiwanis International.