On February 8, 2024, we welcomed representatives of the William Allen, Brandywine Heights, Salisbury and Southern Lehigh High School Key Clubs to our annual Key Club Dinner at the Shanty on 19th. Mary DiFebo and Steve Patterson, faculty advisors to the Allen Key Club introduced two of their members. Tom Beaupre, long-time advisor to the Southern Lehigh Key Club was joined by two of their members. Due to a conflict in his schedule, Salisbury Key Club advisor Barry Frick was unable to attend. However, two of their members were present. And, for the first time, we welcomed Kirsten Paxson, advisor to the Brandywine Heights Key Club to the dinner, along with two of their members. Regrettably, no one from the Allentown Central Catholic Key Club was able to attend.

We were also honored with appearances by Bob Orlando, the Pennsylvania District Key Club Administrator, and Morgan Coolbaugh, Key Club Zone Administrator.

Program Chair Enos Martin provided everyone with a history of each of the five Key Clubs we sponsor. The oldest is the Allen Key Club, which was chartered in March 1948. They were followed by the Allentown Central Catholic Key Club in December 1949. The Southern Lehigh Key Club was chartered in December 1985, followed shortly thereafter by the Salisbury Key Club in January 1986. Just last year, we reached out and offered to sponsor the Brandywine Heights Key Club, which was chartered in 1996 by the former Kutztown Kiwanis Club.

Members of each of the Key Clubs provided a brief report on their activities. 

William Allen helped out at the “Back to School” event at the Raub Middle School, and the LVCC Christmas Party in December. 

Southern Lehigh has held both food and clothing drives, has ushered at school plays, and participated in last year’s Rose Sale. 

Salisbury donated 111 Holiday Hope Chests for Christmas, 2023, participated in the Homecoming Parade, and are volunteering for the Lehigh County Special Olympics competition this spring.

Brandywine Heights helped out with a blood drive, a Halloween Town event, hosted a luncheon for senior citizens, donated gifts for the Salvation Army Angel Tree and held a “Ready Set Read” event.

All of the Key Clubs are looking forward to volunteering for our annual LVCC Picnic in May.

Key Club Dinner 2024 1
Bob Orlando
Key Club Dinner 2024 2
Morgan Coolbaugh

Bob Orlando provided an inspiring talk about his personal history serving as the President of his Key Club at Wyoming Area High School. He credited that experience, along with his role as District Administrator, for promoting Key Clubs as builders of character and citizenship. He cited the many benefits of Key Clubs in developing leadership skills, teamwork, school pride, and community service. 

Morgan Coolbaugh shared her own journey as a struggling student who found a purpose in life through Kiwanis Service Leadership Programs. At the age of 14, she was a Key Club Lt. Governor. She was elected Governor of the Pennsylvania District Key Club at age 17. When she went on to college, she helped charter a Circle K Club. In 2002 she joined the Wyoming Area Kiwanis Club, serving as President when she was just 25 years old. Morgan provided information about this year’s Key Leader program, to be held April 12-14 at Camp Conrad Weiser. She has attended Key Leader for the past 3 years. 

Key Leader is for students, ages 14-18. Applicants do not have to be a member of a Key Club. During the weekend retreat, participants learn the five principals of leadership. There are classroom and outdoor activities. It is a camp-like environment where students stay in up-scale cabins. The cost is $175. Our club’s Foundation has approved sponsoring one student from each of the five high schools to this year’s Key Leader program.

This was a fantastic dinner meeting! It ended with Enos Martin presenting both Bob and Morgan with a copy of our club’s history book. He also gave a gift card to Tom Beaupre in recognition of his 25 years of service as faculty advisor to the Southern Lehigh Key Club.

Thank you, Key Club members and advisors for all that you do for your school, and community!