To the Editor:
I was very surprised to see that there was an article today in the advertiser about Key Club, our Key Club. I was surprised because I would think that if there was an article being written about a club and whereas there was communication between two parties that you would want to reach out to the other party. If you are interested in knowing, this is where we stand:
Sussex Kiwanis has always strived to put the children in our community first. Not only in our charity work but also our service clubs starting in Sussex Middle School with Builders Club through to Key Club in the high school. Key Club started back in 2004 and was always a strong club in the high school. I am not sure what happened recently because no one ever reached out to us and told us there was a problem with “attendance.” We had students from Key Club still working outside of school with us during some of our functions. So I am not sure where the ball dropped, or if it ever did. I would hate to think that our Key Club was cut because we weren’t there to advocate for it and that the other clubs survived because of a bias.
The information you received for your article was correct and I enjoyed reading about Key Club in the first 20 lines of the article. Even though the article was factual, unfortunately, the rest of the article was a political platform for Dr. Ripley. In our eyes, the article started out strong about our Key Club and how we can get it back into the school and ended with Dr. Ripley stating his side of the matter and applauding that there were still clubs active in the school. Not Key Club. I have been emailing Dr. Ripley for the last year and a half since we found out that our club was cut from the school. His response never wavered. He explained that it was a decision to be made and he had to make it. Had to make cuts and Key Club was it. He also stated that there would be other clubs cut soon after.
We understand the financial aspect of the school budget. We are all adults that pay taxes to the school. Our problem is that there was no other cuts made and we continue to see these clubs active. We had the Middle School students coming in as freshman, coming in and ready to be in the Key Club. One student actually reached out to me in September of 2019 and asked (on behalf of herself and other students) where was Key Club? That’s how we found out that Key Club was cut. That’s when the first initial email was sent out to Dr. Ripley from our President Dan Vander Berg. Sussex Kiwanis pays annually for Key Club to be registered. No one had the respect or decency to advise us that we were cut from the school!
With no disrespect to the other clubs still active, we still stand firm that Key Club should be introduced back into High Point Regional High School. I have constantly reached out to Dr. Ripley and asked how we can do this. Sussex Kiwanis has offered up their services. We would have no issue with providing a leader for the club, free of charge. Our members can take turns showing up to the school to conduct meetings and supervise functions in and out of school. Why this can not be accepted is very worrisome, since its the money the school has an issue with not the club. We have offered back ground checks to be done on our members if security is an issue. Again, we have offered and nothing in return. Out of sight, out of mind.
Sussex Kiwanis has always been a supporter of our school districts. A sample: Donations to Wantage School playground to be built. Donations to High Point’s Food Pantry and which we are looking forward to working with them again in the near future. And of course we can’t forget our Annual Scholarship Auction that we hold every year to raise money for the thousands of dollars we hand out to the local high schools with High Point High School getting 80% or higher. This past year we were not able to have our auction but were able to raise $4,000 to give to the students at High Point. What a shame that a high school would cut our club with all the attention we have paid to that school in the past and still have continued to support even with the cut.
In conclusion, I am sure you can tell how passionate we are about our organization. The above email is very close to the email I sent awhile ago to Dr. Ripley and most recently to Wayne Dunn and Deb Anderson on the board of education. We felt Dr. Ripley wasn’t letting the members know about our correspondences so I wrote to the members directly. The members did advise us that they had no idea this was happening and was grateful for the email. We are hoping we can speak up at a meeting soon to hopefully help our cause. I hope you can appreciate my email. If there are any other questions or if you would like to speak to myself or the president of Kiwanis we would love to hear from you.
Maryellen Glanville, Secretary