Key Club service projects, fundraisers, events canceled

Julianna Poe, Sports Editor

With the announcement to shut down all Kansas school buildings for the remainder of the school year, Key Club has been forced to cancel all activities for the next few months.

“I think the most important thing to remember is that we are a strong and uplifting community,” sophomore Ashi Wickramasundara said. “As long as we do what is recommended and take the necessary precautions, we will hopefully be okay.”

One of these cancelations includes the club’s annual district convention, in which members have spent numerous hours throughout both semesters raising money for. Without another outlet for fundraiser profits, Key Club members who paid out of pocket will be reimbursed while the rest of the money raised will stay with the club.

“We’ve been fundraising pretty much the whole year through our Bramlage [Coliseum] cleaning and volunteering for the Kiwanis pancake feed,” senior and president Duru Dogan said. “It’s a bit disappointing to say the least, that we won’t be able to attend [our District Convention].”

Weeks before the shutdown, the club designed t-shirts and stickers to raise money for the Thirst Project. They planned to release these items to the public after a trial run, in which they sold shirts to club members and stickers to local businesses. Unfortunately, with the social distancing and public gathering restrictions, Key Club is unable to continue this fundraiser.

“I won’t be here next year but I’m hoping that they can pick up in the fall and perhaps sell some more [t-shirts and stickers],” Dogan said.

As of right now, Key Club is unsure how officer elections will go or what activities the club can proceed with, given how the club’s focus is participation in public volunteer events.

“Key Club mostly revolves around in-person service projects for the school and community,” Wickramasundara said. “Seeing as it is recommended that people stay at home, I can’t really see how we would be able to continue pursuing our goals, other than raising awareness and maybe discussing what we could do to help Manhattan during this time.”

Regardless of the current ongoings, members are looking forward to volunteering their time next school year.

“I hope the school closure doesn’t affect much next year,” sophomore Camila Gomez said. “I hope to start volunteering again as a Key Club member as soon as possible.”


Q&A with the leaders

Duru Dogan, senior; president


What events have been canceled for Key Club due to the school closure?

“We intended to attend our district convention which is in Wichita, Kansas, but that has been canceled. So we’re missing out on that …. We are also going to have to put a pause on our Thirst Project fundraiser, and talent event. Our first round of shirts came in, so our club did a little test run of fundraising. We sold a few T-shirts already to the members in our club and we’ve been selling stickers around town so we have raised some money and that’s good news, but we won’t be able to go public, because the school is closed. 


Do you have any thoughts as to where the money Key Club raised will go instead?

“First of all, we plan to refund all the club members that paid for their attendance to the district convention. But then the money we’ve raised for the convention will go straight back to the club.”


Ashi Wickramasundara, sophomore; member


What events have been canceled for Key Club due to the school closure?

“Our district convention, which we refer to as D-Con for ease, was canceled, and would be taking place today and this weekend actually. We were planning on selling T-shirts and stickers to help raise funds for the Thirst Project, as well as potentially partner up with another Kansas school in order to have more donations collectively. Also, we have yet to properly decide what we’re going to go for officer elections, but the rest of the school year would most likely have been dedicated to the Thirst Project and small service activities for the club. We did order shirts for our club members, but delivering them is proving to be a new obstacle.”


As you are unable to go to D-Con, does Key Club have a plan for where the money raised will go instead, whether that be reimbursements, donations, club savings, etc.?

“Some of the money used to attend was raised through volunteering in the community with the club, as well as from Kiwanis and the booster club, and those funds will most likely stay with the club as a whole and can be used again for different attendees next year. Although, all of the money members paid individually, from their own pocket, will be refunded fully.”


What are your personal thoughts on how the school closure will affect Key Club?

“I can definitely sense a blow to the morale of some members, especially our senior class, as they are definitely affected by the premature closing of the school, but I feel as though Key Club always finds a way to prevail and we’ll work through all of this together. …

Moreover, I don’t think Key Club will suffer greatly from the school closure, but I might be mistaken. I am well aware that the club offers a safe space for people to help the community and get service hours, spend time with friends, maybe get an after school snack, fine-tune their leadership skills, and so on, but I hope our members know that the club officers are always available if they need us, regardless of whether or not we are physically in session.”