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Local Key Club members recognized

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By Don Pace

West Las Vegas Key Clubbers have amassed a huge number of trophies over the years and continue to bring home the gold from the oldest and largest service organization in the world.

Key Clubs are sponsored by Kiwanis, and the acronym stands for Kiwanis Educating Youth. Sunrise Kiwanis is the local sponsor for West High School, and Noontime Kiwanis sponsors the club at Robertson.

West High Key Club members returned from the 52nd District Convention in Albuquerque some months ago where they competed against 103 clubs from New Mexico, Arizona and Southwest Texas during the 2006-07 school year.

During the convention, West club members attended workshops on officer training, communication, goal setting and developing meeting skills. They also entered a number of competitions, walking away with four trophies.

The club won first place in the single service award category, recognition for the single best service project. Top honors were received for the club poster, which qualifies the chapter to compete internationally. Should the club win the poster competition it would be reproduced and given to all the Key Clubs worldwide for recruiting purposes.

The westside club also won first place for achievement, which is a report listing all projects and services students participated throughout the year. They took second place for the Major Emphasis Program, which deals with working with children.

Key Club sponsor Christine Rodriguez, who has also been nominated for a Golden Apple Fellow, said the Key Club has been successful because the kids like helping other people and getting involved in their community.

“They enjoy the competition, and they also have fun at the same time. They know as club members, they will be giving of themselves, doing things like donating blood, tutoring classmates and getting involved in many community events. They have been successful because helping others is something they want to do. While they are giving of themselves, they are also having fun,” Rodriguez said.

During their weekly Wednesday meeting, club members discussed a number of events they are involved in, including their participation in an upcoming blood drive.

Victoria Lopez said, “You can save a life when you donate blood because if someone is losing a lot of blood and can’t get a blood transfusion, they can die from the loss of blood. The pint of blood you give can save a life.”

Lopez encouraged Key Club members not to be frightened, even though the process can be a little scary.

“Those needles are pretty big, and then you see your blood in a bag and you say, ‘Oh, my gosh, I’m going to die because I’m losing all my blood.’ But a pint is really not that much when you think about how much you have and how much the little you give can do for someone who may die without it.”

Club Vice President Angelique Arguello said members are working to get money to fly to the district conference in Mesa, Ariz.

“This year, I think we’re going to have a good club. We may be small right now, but I’m confident we will accomplish the many goals we have set for ourselves.”

Arguello said last year the club ascended to the highest status, International Distinguished Club-Diamond Level.

As a result, outgoing club officers, President Annaleigh Valdez, Vice President Antonio Rubio, Secretary Ashley Fernandez, Treasurer Anthony Lopez and Editor Ashley Rodriguez, received outstanding officer ribbons.

President Jenee Baca talked about one of the reasons she is a member of Key Club for the third year.

“When you help people you get a good feeling knowing they appreciate your help.” She said the club’s goal is to go to the international competition, something the current members have not done.

The West Las Vegas 2007-08 Key Club officers are President Jenee Baca, Vice President Angelique Arguello, Secretary Ashley Fernandez, Treasurer Ashley Rodriguez and Editors Anayeli Rivera and Victoria Lopez.