Holly Pond Key Club raising funds for Children’s of Alabama, challenging removal of ‘God’ from club pledge

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2018-19 Holly Pond Key Club officers are, left to right: Co-President Tylor Trimble, Treasurer Zackery Reynolds, Vice President August Floyd, Co-President Emma Grace Daniel, Secretary Kirsten Campbell.  (Photo courtesy Chelsie Alldredge)

HOLLY POND, Ala. – The Key Club of Holly Pond High School (HPHS) is working to remember its founder and longtime sponsor Bob Palys through acts of service and fundraising for Children’s of Alabama.  This Wednesday, May 1, HPHS Key Club members will be hosting a Swamp John’s dinner from 3:30-6:30 p.m. in the school cafeteria. Plates will be $12, and a portion of these proceeds will go to Children’s of Alabama in memory of Palys and his son, Matt Palys.

Palys was the HPHS Key Club sponsor for almost 30 years, continuing to serve in that post even after his retirement from teaching.  

In a letter to The Tribune, students from the Key Club wrote, “He dedicated his life to helping and serving others.  The Holly Pond Key Club is striving hard to honor Mr. Palys’ legacy of service through many service projects and by raising money for Children’s Hospital of Alabama in memory of Mr. Bob Palys and Matt Palys.

“This past year, 75 members of the Key Club raised $2,448 for Children’s through T-shirt sales and a silent auction.  Key Club also partnered with the Holly Pond Elementary, Middle and High Schools to collect supplies and donations for the victims of the Lee County tornado.  The members also joined with Ms. Melba Palys to prepare and serve breakfast for the veterans from our community for Veterans Day. The Veterans Day Breakfast has been a tradition for many years and has continued after Mr. Palys’ passing.  Key Clubbers also decorated pumpkins to raise $380 for the UNICEF Elimination Project. The members participated in an elementary mentoring program called ‘Bronco Buddies.’ This program was made to provide children that are struggling academically or with their home lives a ‘big sibling’ to talk to.  

“Some of the other events Holly Pond Key Clubbers have participated in are the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, the Oktoberfest Dog Show and the Special Needs Rodeo and Field Day.  Caleb Knedlik had the honor of serving as Division 4 lieutenant governor this past year and Josie Harbison will serve as the lieutenant governor for the upcoming year. Both are members of Holly Pond Key Club.  All members of the Holly Pond Key Club are active servants for the Cullman community.”

Andy Palys added a quote from his late father: “It takes very little effort from you to change someone else.”

Facing a challenge to Key Club statement of faith

Part of the proceeds from the fundraising dinner will help HPHS students attend the International Key Club Convention this summer in Baltimore, Maryland.  A plan is circulating in Key Club circles to bring a motion to the convention floor to remove the phrase “and God” from the Key Club Pledge. The current pledge reads:

“I pledge, on my honor, to uphold the Objects of Key Club International; to build my home, school and community; to serve my nation and God; and combat all forces which tend to undermine these institutions.”

HPHS Key Club Vice President August Floyd told The Tribune,  “The majority of the members in our club are going to vote against taking God out of the Key Club Pledge.  Many of us are devoted to our beliefs. If the International Key Club Board takes God out of the pledge, we feel this action will ultimately take away for our commitment to serve others as we serve our God.  We are in the process of raising money so that we can attend International Convention to speak out against this plan. Each school is allowed to have two voting delegates, and if we have enough people to speak against this proposition, then we can prevent it.”

According to HPHS Key Club sponsor Chelsie Alldredge, representatives of local Kiwanis Clubs, Key Club’s parent organization, have already sent letters to Key Club International opposing the proposed change.

At a glance

Holly Pond High School Key Club Swamp John’s Dinner

Wednesday, May 1, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

HPHS lunchroom, 160 New Hope Rd. in Holly Pond

Proceeds to go to Children’s of Alabama and expenses for students attending the Key Club International Convention

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Photo courtesy Chelsie Alldredge
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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com