Key Club: Expanding service opportunities beyond the Bay


Photo Credit: Matthew Jowanna

Principal Camille Jowanna brought her English Bulldog, Brittany to be blessed.

Service has always been a constant trend to students at Academy of the Holy Names, but with Key Club, students have the opportunity to get involved even more within the community. New to Academy last year, Key Club has already begun to host and plan multiple events throughout the school and community.

Key Club is an internationally recognized  service club for high school students to take action through service  in the community. It was started at Academy last year by junior, Gillian Earl with the help of World History teacher, Ms. Devan Adams. “There are clubs all around the world, which makes it so special that Academy has our own Key Club,” shares Earl.

Key Club requires a lot of time and commitment, but with 145 members, the club officers ensure a huge impact can be made by planning multiple events each month.

Some of the more recent service events have included volunteering at  Metropolitan Ministries, Mary Help of Christians, Ronald McDonald House, Aston Gardens’ Fall Festival, and the annual Key Club Kick-off Conference.

On October 6, Key Club students helped Mary Help of Christians  in hosting a Blessing of the Animals for the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi.

Mary Help of Christians, a church and retreat center, hosts multiple events and works with the Tampa Boys and Girls club. On the Mary Help of Christians campus they care for many animals, such as horses, goats, chickens, and rabbits. Academy junior, Ashley Martin, works at Mary Help of Christians with Fr. Steve as a primary care takers of the animals. “We have been working a lot on the animal enclosures and keeping the animals healthy, but with all the work comes large expenses,”she explains.

Martin and Fr. Steve decided the celebration of St. Francis of Assisi’s  feast day would bring awareness to the community about animal blessings and the animal project at Mary Help. Also as a Key Club member, she was able to work with club officers to make the event possible with multiple volunteers.

Academy chapter members helped prepare animal enclosures and the area for the blessing. Many people in the community brought their pets and received blessings from Fr. Steve and Fr. Bruce. The volunteers also made baked goods raising money for better supplies, feed, and more sustained enclosures for the animals.  Martin was overjoyed with the support of her sisters,”[Key Club] was a great help and did a great job!” She considers this just the beginning, and hopes to further raise money for the animals of Mary Help of Christians.

Future Key Club service events include working at Adams House, Zoo Boo, the Glazer Children’s Museum, and the annual Kiwanis BBQ.

President Gillian Earl is excited about the amount of involvement members of the club have already contributed and is excited for the years to come.

“As members of Key Club, we seek to find our passion and use it to help others and benefit our community.”

All the good Key Club has done so far is not only due to its active members but its strong leadership. If you want to get further involved in service, Key Club is a great opportunity, so be sure to join next year!

Officers include: President: Gillian Earl, Co-Vice Presidents: Ashlyn Bradshaw & Amber Orosco, Secretary: Anne Marie Houston; Treasurer: Eleeza Santos and Editors: Kendall Bopp, Julia Metzger, and Trysten Flechas.