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Norwood-Norfolk Key Club returns from conference with bevy of awards

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NORFOLK - Norwood-Norfolk Central School’s Key Club returned home from their 66th annual Leadership Training Conference with a couple of arms full of awards.

They received the Early Bird Award for getting their dues in by Oct. 15, and Perfect Paperwork Award for getting their monthly report forms in to the state by the seventh of the month. In addition, they took a third place Scrapbook Award.

Rebecca Monroe was named Outstanding President and was also installed as the Division 24 lieutenant governor, along with the new district board. Brandon Beattie was selected as Distinguished Freshman and Patti Dean was named Distinguished Faculty Advisor.

The Key Club was also one of only six clubs among more than 250 in New York who received the Distinguished Diamond Level Club Award.

“We’re very close to Ogdensburg. They received 13 (awards), we received seven. It’s the most we’ve ever received,” Ms. Dean said.

Each award was special for the club, she said.

“The Distinguished Club is a biggie. We’ve always been a Distinguished Club. We had never gotten Diamond Level before. There are quite a few clubs that got Distinguished, and I believe there are only six in the state that got Diamond level,” Ms. Dean said.

The award is based on points, which are accumulated in different areas such as having dues turned in by a certain date. Clubs also receive points based on how many meetings they’ve held, how many members attended district leadership training last year, how many went to international conventions, how many functions they had participated in with the local Kiwanis Club and how many projects they had done that dealt with children, which is their major emphasis.

“Then they ask at the end for your top 50 service projects. Our club has well over 50 projects. Sometimes we have four in a weekend,” Ms. Dean said.

Among them, she said, are a Pal Program in which Key Club members mentor younger students. This year’s they’re focusing on kindergarten students, but depending on the need it could be students in kindergarten through grade four.

The Key Club also holds Free Movie Days from September to April, with a concession raising money for causes such as Relay for Life, Special Olympics and the Angel Tree.

“People love it. It can be between 10 to 40 people,” Ms. Dean said, noting some members were recently up all of a Friday night participating in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life and came in for the Free Movie Day on Saturday.

The club also done Middle Level Fun Nights for students in grades five through eight and Report Card Night baby-sitting. They play bingo with senior citizens and participate in the Relay for Life. They raised just under $2,000 during the recent Relay for Life at SUNY Potsdam and earned an award for best banner.

They are participants in the Special Olympics, Adopt a Highway program, Trick or Treat for UNICEF and Angel Tree Food Drive. They help with the Norwood Lake Regatta, elementary track and field day, freshmen orientation and Habitat for Humanity gift wrapping.

She said Ms. Monroe had compiled binders that detailed all of the club’s accomplishments. A committee looked through them to determine who would win awards, and the Norwood-Norfolk Key Club impressed them enough to earn their bevy of awards this year.

“A lot of work went into them. We’ve never had the time to fill those out. She took it upon herself,” Ms. Dean said.

Ms. Monroe was also named lieutenant governor for the district, which includes Norwood-Norfolk, Potsdam, Madrid-Waddington, Ogdensburg, Indian River, Gouverneur, South Jefferson and Carthage.

She is the fourth lieutenant governor from the school district.

Ms. Dean said each club in the eight divisions nominates candidates for lieutenant governor.

“They have to go give a speech and answer questions and may the best man win,” she said.

As lieutenant governor, Ms. Monroe will be in charge of divisional meetings.

“She’s supposed to hold four to five divisional meetings a year in her term,” Ms. Dean said, noting they spread the meeting sites around to all of the different schools.

The Norwood-Norfolk Key Club consists of 49 students, with about 35 of them “very active,” she said. And, Ms. Dean added, they’re ready to take on responsibility.

“I’ve been doing it now for 11 years. These past two years with new freshmen I’ve been able to sit back. They take it and they run with it. They blow me away,” she said.

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