CLARK, NJ - The Key Club is thriving at Arthur L. Johnson High School.  There is lots of action and many projects to do.  At Key Club meetings, elected officers talk about upcoming events and what is going to happen at the next meeting.  The meetings begin with people reciting the official pledge, promising to serve not just themselves but the community and everyone around them. 

 The Key Club Pledge:

 "I pledge, on my honor, to uphold the Objects of Key Club International; to build my home, school and community; to serve my nation and God; and combat all forces which tend to undermine these institutions.”

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Key Club is a community service club in which people give back and help the people around them. It was founded in 1925 by Albert C. Olney and Frank C. Vincent in Sacramento, California. Their purpose was to create school spirit and community service. It eventually spread to the rest of the country and even internationally.  Key Club is a division of Kiwanis International.  

There are different levels of the club in each phase of schooling. In elementary school, it’s the Terrific Kid’s Club or Bring Up Grades. Middle schools offer Builder’s Club.  High schools offer Key Club. The organization also has clubs for college students, adults with disabilities, and international chapters.

Key Club is one of Johnson’s most popular clubs with over 200 student members.  People join to have fun, to get community service hours and to enhance their college applications.

“I think the kids do the club because they really want to give back to the community,” said Ellen Zamboni, advisor of the Key Club and one of Johnson’s guidance counselors. “They are really dedicated to it and we also have student officers who get elected every year. We have an award ceremony at the end of the year.” Zamboni, who has been running the club for the past four years continued, “It’s a great thing for everyone to do.”

Amanda Depinho, the president of the Key Club, has nothing but praise for it. “I originally joined this club because everyone was telling me I should, but I started to love everything about it. I have also made lots of new friends over the years.” She was in Builder’s Club in middle school and joined the Key Club freshman year. Amanda was elected as Key Club president last year.

Lucas Gallo and Danielle Marzano, vice president and secretary of the Key Club, like the club too and have been in it since freshman year. They are currently running a No Hate project with the Anti-Bullying Club. They’re also working on a freshman-only project, since lots of freshman joined the club this year.

Some of the Key Club’s most popular events are the Great Fall Rally, which is their annual Six Flags trip. The Club just participated in the Miracles for Myeloma walk, which raises awareness for multiple myeloma, a very rare type of cancer that affects the blood. (Read the Miracle for Myeloma story at TAP into Clark). Other events include babysitting at PTA meetings and Relay for Life.

ALJ students think Key Club is an awesome club to join because of the many fun events and the many friends they make. New members are always welcome and can join anytime during the school year. 

The Key Club’s next meeting will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 8 at 7:00 p.m.  Magazines will be collected for distribution to a local hospital. 

Editor's Note: Julia Tyrie is a student at Arthur L. Johnson High School, a member of the Key Club and a member of the TAP team at ALJ.