Three years ago, Leadership Fredericksburg alumni Matt Mitchell (’11) and Jennifer Mackowski (’11) and Next Generation board member Phil Leonhardt attended a Chamber of Commerce Next Generation meeting as usual. Luckily for area high school students belonging to Key Club, the speaker at that meeting, Kiwanis Club board member Roger Keddie, persuaded all three to step up and revitalize the Fredericksburg Kiwanis Club, the sponsor for area high school Key Clubs.
Key Club is an international student-led organization offering opportunities to teens to provide service, build character and develop leadership. The Fredericksburg chapter was formed in 1923.
Mitchell, Mackowski, and Leonhardt were happy to take on the challenge.
“Our experience with Leadership Fredericksburg and the Chamber NextGen board prepared us to encourage students to step forward to help their communities,” says Kiwanis Treasurer Matt Mitchell. “We were impressed by the Kiwanis mission to help high school students discover their leadership qualities.”
Since 2014, all three Chamber members have served as President of the club. The club now has 20 active adult members and supports 5 local Key Clubs, including one of the largest in the Capital Area at Stafford Senior High School.
These young students work hard to change their communities for the better. Stafford Senior High Key Club has focused on the Relay for Life event to eliminate cancer. James Monroe High School has worked to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus deaths through the international Eliminate Project.
What is Service Leadership?
Service leadership is the powerful force that occurs once people discover their heart to serve, answer their call to lead and exercise the courage to engage.
It's the premier level of social contribution.
At the June meeting, Aiden Gossett, Key Club Lt. Governor for the Capital Area and a rising Senior at Stafford Senior High, announced that Capital Area Key Clubs’ focus for next year will be supporting area Boys and Girls Clubs.
The Kiwanis Club’s impact on the community is impressive:
- In December 2016, Kiwanis rang the bell for the Salvation Army red kettles. Their one day contribution of $18,569.47 was the highest in the region.
- In April 2017, over 20 Key Club students from James Monroe High School, Stafford Senior High, Brooke Point High School and Chancellor High School collected over 700 pounds of trash from Old Mill Park to Bragg Hill Road.
- The annual golf tournament, just completed in May, raised over $10,000 for scholarships for local Key Club graduates.
- In 2016, the local Club and the Kiwanis Foundation contributed $30,000 to find activities and provide financial support for young men and women in the community.
Kiwanis Club members clean up the Rappahannock River region