Community: Key Club hosts its mentors at Holy Family

Holy Family High School Key Club turned the tables on its mentoring club, the Glendale Kiwanis, by hosting a December meeting at the high school rather than its regular meeting place at the Elks Lodge.

Key Club President Angelina Louise Alejar, 17, a senior, conducted the meeting, which included lunch and entertainment by the school's a cappella and bell choirs.

Angelina is a big fan of people who do a lot for the community, she said, so the group, made up of 30 members, decided to honor the Kiwanis Club.

“I have a personal motto that you put God first, others second and yourself last and it really helps to recognize that there are other people in need and you have so much to give and, as an adult, we forget there are other people with needs and giving is a good habit to have and to keep,” she said.

“They did a very professional job leading the meeting,” said Kiwanis President T.J. Denton.

The Kiwanians thanked them by “passing the hat” among the members and raised $500.

“We are hoping to be able to send people to the international convention because, as far as I know, no one has been able to go because it is really expensive, and it is convenient, since it's in Anaheim,” Angelina said.

The convention teaches Key Club members how to make their club more productive for the community, as well as keep their level of enthusiasm up and give them a chance to enjoy being a Key Club member, she added.

The Kiwanis Club mentors include Key Club members in their projects, such as helping at the annual Duck Race in Verdugo Park. A “lake” is constructed and people purchase ducks that are launched from a ramp and the first ones across the finish line win prizes for their owners.

They help haul the crates with the ducks loaded on them, Denton said.

“Those weigh about 60 pounds a piece and the average age of a Kiwanian is starting to get up there, so we need strong backs and they provide a lot of the help,” he said.

Another joint activity is the Salvation Army’s “Rice and Beans” project. Members divide half a ton of rice and half a ton of beans into quart-sized bags with instructions on how to cook them, and give them to the Salvation Army, which adds more food items to the mix and distributes everything to the needy.

“We usually pack up to 1,000 units,” Denton said. “And we usually get more Key Club members than regular Kiwanians.”

Conducting these projects with school students sets the foundation for them to become a full-time Kiwanian when they graduate from college and start their career.

“It starts on the elementary level with what we call K Kids. In the middle schools, we have the Builder's Clubs, high school we have Key Clubs and college we have Circle K clubs, so it starts with sixth grade and it introduces them to the world of Kiwanis and giving back to the community,” Denton said.

The youth clubs are growing faster than Kiwanis itself, he added.

“Our club has six K Kids, two Builder's Clubs, two Key Clubs and one Circle K Club at Glendale Community College,” he said.


JOYCE RUDOLPH can be contacted at

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