By Robert Stoneback
The Danville News
RIVERSIDE — Key Club advisor Marsha Kouf left Danville’s district in style, with a new trophy from July’s International Key Club Convention.
The trophy, for third-place in the scrapbooking category, was awarded to Danville out of 64 entrants from around the world. The international conventions took place in Washington, D.C., from July 3 to July 7.
This is the second international scrapbooking trophy Kouf has brought home in her 14 years as advisor, though about 11 of her club’s scrapbooks had previously qualified for the international competition.
“We were very pleased,” said Kouf of their performance.
The scrapbook was designed around the theme of a birthday party, with images of cakes, party hats and noisemakers on almost every page. “The girls who created the book did a very good job of that,” said Kouf. The Danville Key Club has traditionally gotten high marks for having a consistent theme in their scrapbooks, she said.
With her at the event were Danville Key Club members Grace Deegan, Breezy Hendrickson, Katelyn Quinn and Cody Griffin. Grace will be entering her junior year at Danville this fall, while Katelyn and Cody will be seniors. Breezy graduated this past summer, but was still considered a member of Key Club until after the convention.
Competition and camaraderie came from more than 265,000 Key Club members from groups across the U.S. as well as England, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand.
Kouf met the girls from one of England’s key clubs in the lobby of their hotel, and took the chance to welcome them to America during the week of its anniversary. “They were very excited having never been here before,” she said.
The keynote speaker at the convention was former kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart, who recounted her experience being taken from her home in 2002 at the age of 14 and abducted for nine months.
“It was incredible. She told her story of her experience,” said Kouf.
This was Kouf’s last convention as the advisor for Danville’s Key Club. Starting this fall, Kouf, who is employed by the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit as a teacher for the hard of hearing, has accepted a new position that will have her teaching out of a classroom in Shikellamy’s school district.
“Logistically, it’s next to impossible” for her to continue as Danville’s advisor since she would only be done with work right as the club meeting would start, she said. Kouf would be more than happy to mentor her successor if they want it.
“I’m going to miss the kids,” she said of the Danville students. “They’re my kids.”
However, as the new advisor for Shikellamy’s Key Club, she’ll now have new students to teach.
“You can’t keep me out of the Kiwanis family,” she said.
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