Key Club is Not a Quack


By: Marsha Kemp Photograhy

Key clubbers, Lauren and Olivia, working the popcorn machine during the Duck Race

Thousands of bright yellow rubber ducks surfing happily on the Hillsborough river. It sounds like something out of an episode of a children’s show. Yet on August 18th, this fantasy was made a reality by Kiwanis of Tampa Bay. It was called The Incredible Duck Race.

Although you might not have heard of Kiwanis, you’ve definitely witnessed some of their work. Key club, Blake’s only community service based club, is actually a branch of Kiwanis. Most, of not all, of the incredible events put on by Key club have had Kiwanis’ help and

By: Marsha Kemp Photography
Key club secretaries Savannah Watson and Adell Davis working concessions at the Duck Race

support. Proceeds from the duck race go to Kiwanis, who in turn gives the money back to the community via community service or sponsoring programs like Key club. Of course, Blake’s key club shows their gratitude by volunteering every year.

Many local key clubs showed their support for the incredible duck race by volunteering at various booths. Blake’s key club is apart of division 14b, led by Blake’s own Emily Lewis. 14b includes many other noteworthy key clubs of Tampa, such as Tampa Prep, Jesuit, and Tampa Catholic. Olivia Harrington, our key club’s president, loved volunteering with the rest of her club, “It felt so good volunteering and knowing that my time went to people who care about education,” she says, referencing the countless service that Kiwanis has done benefiting local educational programs and opportunities.

Blake’s members volunteered not only on event day, but also prepared the ducks for the race. During the event key clubbers sold water bottles, operated concessions booths, and managed a bounce house.

Trina Sessions was the volunteer coordinator. “My job is to get 100+ plus high school and college students to the event”, which includes Blake’s key club. Although the job is high stress, Sessions loves all of it. “Knowing that I’m making a direct impact on the local community is an amazing and rewarding experience”. The bobbing ducks in the river are so much more than a fun event, they represent a whole community of support and service. Each donation per duck goes towards a much bigger whole.

By: Marsha Kemp Photography
Kiwanis’ ducks floating on the Hillsborough river, ready to race

This year, there were nearly 10,000 ducks adopted! That means that over $42,000 were raised for Tampa’s Kiwanis. Despite that astronomical feat, Sessions doesn’t plan on stopping there. “My personal goal is to do at least 15,000 rubber ducks next year!” she says. “I want to see how big of an event we can make it and how many lives we can impact through our work with Kiwanis”. It’s simple- the more ducks sold, the more possibilities for great developments in our community.

This sort of remarkable work is exactly what inspires Blake students to join key club. Hiram Figueroa, an aspiring key clubber, says “Even though I’m just a new member, I’m very excited to volunteer at the next duck race”. Even with Key club’s year just starting, Figueroa can’t wait to be apart of noteworthy projects like this. “It’s so cool how much key club impacts Tampa!”

Blake’s key club has done some incredible service projects in its many years. Anything from the Teacher Appreciation Breakfast, blood drives, to even park cleaning events has been done by these inspiring students. Maybe, just maybe, it was all made possible by a bobbing bright duck, resting on the Hillsborough river.