The Key to Running Key Club

Shannon Flynn


In recent years, high schools have treated clubs and extracurricular activities like Boy Scout patches – everyone wants to have a lot of them and to show them off.

According to a college advice website,, “They are a great way to show your individuality and demonstrate key qualities that college admissions boards want to see, like motivation and time-management.

“The students going after high profile schools are sometimes known for their full plate of five or six clubs and organizations, some volunteer and some requiring an application and interview process to be able to participate.”

Clubs and organizations are a privilege to be able to be involved in especially since guidance counsellors threaten having no clubs or extracurriculars to a basically worthless college application.

Clubs available to students are often run by one head advisor who organizes the logistics of the club and makes it eligible to be recognized as an official club. Having so many different and successful small organizations all running within one school is known to be more impressive than students may recognize, and sometimes only appreciated when students realize that not every high school in the country, or even in the district, offers so many opportunities to be involved.

Administration is often thanked for its policies of allowing so many clubs, however there are so many other people involved in the real work and action of what each organization does for the school and for the community. The club advisors are most likely the teachers and faculty that keep each club operating.

            For a teacher, adding a club to their plate may benefit them in some ways but it is inarguably a commitment to more time at Foran and within the school’s community.

            Clubs are not ranked by importance or value. Some are created by Foran students, while others are connected to national organizations. Key Club, for example, is connected to the National Key Club in America. This is why Jonathan Law also has a Key Club as well as tons of other schools.

Key Club Adviser and Physical Education teacher Mrs. GaNun stressed how the class dues the members pay go to the national organization and are what allows them to function under this huge group. Being nationally recognized means that the group works within their community, school and country. All money that Key Club makes goes directly to the charity it is funding. This includes their work raising money for the Neonatal Tetanus Project, the American Red Cross Blood Drive, and a project donating backpacks to Haiti.

This process is something GaNun said she is more than happy to be a part of. While Key Club is a nationally recognized club, according to some it is not fully recognized by the school.

Junior Mikayla Perry said, “I do not think that the school realizes Key Club’s impact on the community. Although Key Club is highly recognized by Foran I do not think students and faculty realize just how mimic Key Club does around Milford, and communities everywhere. Key club acts behind the scenes at many city wide events which many people may not know. Aside from the 100+ members of Key Club many of our volunteering goes unnoticed which I think needs to be changed. Key Club is a great club which in turn deserves more recognition by the school.

Club member, Brooke Carlson who is a junior has been in key Club for three out of her three years in the school and agrees that running a club would be a lot of work. She says specifically for her club’s adviser, “Mrs. GaNun is a good adviser that is organized and pushes us to volunteer a lot.” Carlson highlights another aspect of the club which is as she says the push to volunteer that she says Mrs. GaNun is able to do for her many members. Clubs need members to function but they also need those members to be as active in the club as the adviser is which is something that Key Club has been able to accomplish as seen in there 100 or more students that volunteer every month. Such a large amount of club members could be seen as both a positive and negative for a club because the more people, the more volunteer opportunities, but organization and competition between members may also come along with the size. Carlson says, “There are a lot of members but Mrs. GaNun manages it well.” and that the large size is difficult because, “there’s a lot of members all going for limited spots to volunteer.” Perry has also been in the Key Club since her freshman year and will be taking the role of Treasurer next year. Perry went through an election process up against her peers in order to have that position and had presented a speech in front of all members in order to be votes into treasurer position. This is another aspect to the organization of a club when it comes to the officers and who out of the many members will hold those responsibilities. Perry along with Carlson seemed to agree in that their club specifically takes a lot of hard work to organize, Perry said, “A ton of hard work and effort goes into making Key Club function the way it does. Foundations and organizations consistently reach out to Key Club, however we also reach out to many organizations in order to hold as many volunteering opportunities as possible.” A tool used by many groups is the Remind App which allows one user, the adviser, to communicate to many different members on one text sent via mobile device. This is noted as helpful for organization by GaNun who said, we welcome students in athletics. Whatever kind of group you might be in, that’s why I have the remind app.” She said it allows everyone to, “Know what’s going on.”

Mrs. GaNun spoke very honestly about all the work she puts into the club along with her officers and the various ways that the club not only works within Foran but the community. The club is bigger than it’s ever been and is also one of the biggest clubs in the entire area so people from all over Milford on both sides of town have reached out to Mrs. GaNun’s group of 128 members for help in their events. Several elementary schools from all over Milford have reached out to this organization and its large amount of available help which GaNun said is something she wants to capitalize on. Her work continued outside of just her club members when she and her officers attended a conference for the international group to according to Mrs. GaNun allow the students to, “learn to speak and motivate students.” This is something she wishes and doesn’t hesitate to show them and be able to delegate responsibility onto them to give them leadership experience. This is another hidden aspect to clubs like Key Club, which is that while guidance counselors push for clubs to be on recommendations, according to GaNun this club will also teach the students lessons and do more for them than the ability to write the club name on their resume.

The resource needed by any club adviser or faculty member that organize an event is time. Staying after school for meetings, sending our remind texts, organizing funds, and networking within the community are all things Mrs. GaNun mentioned come with the role as well as more. However she says she could have passed on the role as adviser but didn’t want to because she, “wanted to make a difference” and to, “spread empathy for people that need it because we all need to help each other.” She stressed her personal value of working together after her experience volunteering in a recreational department for senior citizens along with her mother who was a nurse there every summer when she was young, and that she would like to allow the Next Generation to have that experience of helping people in their community. Her passion for what she is doing allows her to be excited for spending time within the club in their events that are coming up including the clubs selling of five dollar Danni Strong car magnets and the Blue Star Memorial, an event in downtown Milford where families and loved ones of Veterans and those currently serving will be able to honor those who have or are serving.