B&G members find keys to success with Keystone Club

Club within a club looks to go to national conference

One Sequim club looks to take its success national.

The Keystone Club, inside the Sequim Boys & Girls Club, recently received some statewide and national attention that has opened the door for eight teens to attend the National Keystone Conference on March 17-19, in Dallas, Texas.

In Keystone, club members participate in community service while focusing on academic success, career preparation and teen outreach. By doing these things, they meet annual benchmarks and they’ve reached “gold” status the past two years leading them to “legacy” status qualifying them for the national conference.

Lillian Allen, 18, vice-president for the Keystone Club, said the milestone might be one of the biggest achievements for the club in its history.

“It’s big for our group to do something like this,” she said. “We’ve never done anything like it.”

There, Allen and seven other Sequim students join 2,500 other Keystone Club members from around the world to learn about service projects, leadership activities and college and career exploration.

“It’s three days of meeting lots of new people, taking different classes for things like career prep,” Allen said. “It’s like going to school but not a bunch of games. We’ll be listening to these people who have done huge things.”

Luke Kisena, Sequim Keystone Club coordinator, has helped develop the local program leading different community efforts such as painting murals and picking up trash at local beaches.

For his efforts, he was named Washington’s Keystone Club adviser of the year at the Washington State Keystone Summit in November in Tacoma. Last year, he was recognized with one of 12 national Maytag Dependable Leader awards. He’ll be one of two staff members to attend the national conference.

However, to attend the conference club members need to raise $5,000 with another $5,000 granted already from the Sequim Boys & Girls Club.

“A lot of this is up to them,” Kisena said about fundraisers. “They continue to get the word out about it and have a lot of ideas.”

One way they are trying outreach is by continuing their mural program. Their most recent project took two weeks painting a Sequim Wolves mural north of the upper tennis courts at Sequim High School near the old swimming pool.

Teens partnered with The Home Depot, which donated paint and painting supplies for the mural and they have enough supplies for their next mural with Sequim Museum & Arts.

“We want to show the community that we continue to do stuff for it and are willing to do stuff for the Dallas trip,” Kisena said.

Additionally, teens have setup a spaghetti feed at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, at the Sequim Boys & Girls Club, 400 W. Fir St., and continue to sell concessions at Sequim Middle School and youth basketball games.

They’ve also setup ongoing raffles for artwork at the club and a taco bar at the Sequim Elks, 143 Port Williams Road, at 6 p.m. Friday, March 4.

“It’s a lot of getting ourselves out there and speaking with the community,” Kisena said.

Allen said she attributes a lot to Keystone and the Boys & Girls Club.

“I have a lot of awards and accomplishments from Keystone and I think it could help me get (college) scholarships,” she said. “(Keystone) is really fun. I hope that it brings kids to the club. It gives me a place to hang out but the opportunity to do something important, too.”

Other Keystone Club members looking to attend the convention include Haelee Andres, Cortney Gosset, Domonique King, Trey Mannor, Faith McConnaughey, Madison Morris and Dylan Perreira.

For more information on fundraising options and/or to make a donation, call Luke Kisena at 683-8095 through the Sequim Boys & Girls Club or visit 400 W. Fir St.