Los Alamos High School Key Clubbers Attend District Convention In El Paso

After the banquet on Saturday (March 18), the members of Los Alamos High School Key Club, dressed in formal attire, prepared themselves for the Governor’s Ball that was hosted later that evening. Courtesy photo

Members of Key Club load themselves onto the bus for a 4-hour trip to El Paso for the district convention with clubs from Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Texas in attendance. Courtesy photo

LAHS Key Club

On a cold and snowy St. Patrick’s Day morning, five Key Clubbers and their Faculty (Shelley Clark), as well as Kiwanis Advisor (Morris Pongratz), left Los Alamos for a “white knuckle” drive to Albuquerque. Once arriving at their destination, they met up with four other Los Alamos Key Clubbers who had driven independently. There they proceeded to meet up with Key Clubbers from highschools all over New Mexico (Farmington, Aztec, Cibola, Rio Rancho, La Cueva, and Eldorado). Assembled together, Key Clubbers and Advisors climbed into two buses for a trip to El Paso, the site of the Southwest District Key Club convention. 

In El Paso the Key Clubbers joined Adeline Feng and Brian Han, who along with Karin Church, the Key Club District Administrator, Betsy Hemphill, and the rest of the Southwest District Board, had been preparing the hotel for the convention and the, well-over, three hundred Key Clubbers who would be in attendance. Following an opening dinner, the Los Alamos Key Clubbers caucused with members of the Farmington and Aztec Key Clubs to listen to speeches from candidates for the positions of Division Lieutenant Governor, and for executive positions on the Southwest District Board. At this caucus Praveen Swaminarayan, from Los Alamos, was elected to be Lieutenant Governor for the Sangre de Cristo Division: containing Key Clubs from Santa Fe, West Las Vegas, Robertson, and Los Alamos. 

After breakfast on Saturday the students attended morning and afternoon workshops containing information regarding: stress and time management, how to plan a service project, fundraising, hands on leadership, public speaking, and membership recruiting and retention. At the K-Family luncheon the Key Clubbers heard an inspiring talk from the Southwest Kiwanis Governor Alma Carson. The afternoon closed with a meeting of the House of Delegates where representatives from each club followed parliamentary procedure to vote for their Southwest District Key Club Governor. 

During the recognition banquet in the evening of the same day, awards were presented for a number of contests. The Los Alamos Key Clubbers did very well getting recognition for their efforts in every contest in which they competed. They got a blue ribbon in the Early Bird dues category. Webmaster, Owen Sapp, received a medal for his second-place finish in Oratory. Quinton Geller, the club secretary, received a second-place trophy for the club’s Achievement Award. The club received an award for the Kiwanis Family project, a Foster Children’s Christmas party in cooperation with CYFD. Key Clubbers Brian Han and Rebecca Li took both first and second place in the Impromptu speaking contest. To end the night, the Key Clubbers posed for a photo before the Governor’s Ball that capped off the day (see attached photo). 

Sunday morning saw the formal installation of the new Lieutenant Governors for each division (with Praveen Swaminarayan replacing Adeline Feng) and the implementation of the Southwest District Governor, Michaela Williams, from Paradise Honors HS in Surprise, AZ. With the District Convention officially coming to an end, the Key Clubbers got on a bus for Albuquerque and rode back to Los Alamos. The return trip weather was much nicer!