Pandemic troubles large clubs


Elyse Gallagher

Students recite the Key Club Pledge.

Haiden Fox

The coronavirus pandemic has forced  many clubs to modify their operations, especially clubs with many members. Mini-THON, a club dedicated to helping raise money for those affected by childhood cancer, and Key Club, a service-based group, have made extensive adjustments to continue their meetings and events.

Both Mini-THON and Key Club have changed meeting locations for this school year. Mini-THON opted for Zoom, and Key Club adopted a mixture of both Zoom and in-school meetings. Mini-THON has elected to conduct only Zoom meetings run by the heads of their respective committees.

 Sneeringer, a Mini-THON advisor, said that it would have been a challenge to follow COVID-19 procedures with the large engagement of their club. Key Club has decided to go into separate rooms and zoom into their meetings, according to Aiello, the club’s director.

 “We did decide to cancel our Trick-or-Teach for UNICEF fundraiser that we’ve done for the last couple of years, in which teachers raised money by canning in their classrooms. We don’t have a digital platform to fundraise, and we figured teachers/students would not want to deal with any change or cash,” said Aiello. 

Mini-THON must contend with changes in local businesses and general fundraising. With the pandemic putting many local businesses into tough economic positions, Mini-THON has been trying to support them with joint fundraisers to generate revenue.  Sneeringer also recognizes that the overall money raised for Mini-Thon may be less than previous years. He is excited for any money raised to help support pediatric cancer.

Because of health measures, many events that Key Club and Mini-THON held in the past need to be canceled or moved online. Aiello explained that the amount of community service options has dwindled. Many of the school projects Key Club hosts and participates in have been canceled. Similarly, Mini-THON canceled the snowball and moved the pageant online. Much of the money raised for Mini-THON comes from events such as the dances and pageant at school. 

Many students are still participating in both Mini-THON and Key Club. “I had to limit club membership based on the number of seats available in each classroom. Unfortunately, I had to turn away several students this year. Participation will certainly change, as the majority of what we will be able to do this year will likely be conducted during the club period, rather than outside of school hours,” Aiello said.