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September 2012 magazine

SPOTLIGHT: MAKING WISHES A REALITY

Ravenscroft High School Key Club fulfills children's dreams

story by Danielle Karstens

For years, Angelika Barth had dreamed of raising enough money to sponsor a child’s wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Mission accomplished! 

Barth (pictured at right, with her father Paul) and her fellow Key Club members at Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, North Carolina, organized a father-daughter/ mother-son dance fundraiser. The dance was open to all of Ravenscroft’s students—kindergartners through seniors—and about 150 people attended. As a result, the club presented US$16,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern North Carolina, which was enough to grant at least two wishes. 

“Through this project, I realized my leadership abilities and time-management skills are gifts that I’ll continue using to help those in need,” Barth says. 

Barth has been involved with Make-A-Wish since an early age. When she was nine, she discovered she had Burkitt’s lymphoma. With two eggplant-sized tumors in her stomach, she underwent chemotherapy. While she was in the hospital, the organization granted her a wish. Her choice: a trip to Australia. 

At the dance, Barth—then a senior— shared her story during a special candlelight service. 

“There wasn’t a dry eye,” says Key Club Advisor Elise Thrash. “She talked about how Make-A-Wish granted her an amazing two-week vacation for her entire family where they were given the red carpet treatment.” 

During this time, attendees listened to other stories and made pledges to Make-A-Wish. Although each couple paid a US$25 admission fee, the crowd’s additional generosity far surpassed Barth’s original goal of US$6,000. 

Planning such a large-scale event wasn’t easy. Some of the club’s accomplishments include stuffing and mailing 1,000 invitations, building towers for their 200-plus cupcakes (pictured, left) and recruiting two Arthur Murray Dance Studios instructors as volunteers to teach the Carolina shag and swing dancing to attendees. To handle all of the responsibilities, several Key Club committees were formed to prepare decorations, refreshments, music, promotions, photography, coat checks and check-in. 

It might have taken a lot of work, but Barth said it was worth it. 

“Everyone had something they were in charge of, but we all had the same vision,” Thrash says. “Teamwork made the dance successful.”  KC