On June 20th, 48 Key Clubbers from the Carolinas arrived at the Sleep Inn in Kernersville to embark on the 72nd annual Key Club International Convention to celebrate the 100th anniversary of our parent organization, Kiwanis. It was a long bus ride on that first day, but we got to know each other very well, which served us well as the tour progressed.
On the following day, Key Clubbers spent a day with their new and old friends at Cedar Point riding roller coasters and eating lots of amusement park food! Then, one bus ride later, the Carolinas arrived in Chicago for the night.
The Carolinas spent two days in Chicago, of course participating in all the mandatory tourist activities, including visiting the Shedd Aquarium, going to see a Cubs game at Wrigley Field (bonus: the Cubs won!), sampling all of the classic Chicago cuisine, from Chicago hot dogs to deep dish pizza, and getting a good view of Chicago from the observation level of the John Hancock building. We were also lucky enough to be able to take a boat tour and get a great view of the Chicago skyline (which made for lots of great pictures!)
After leaving Chicago, the Carolinas finally made their way to Indianapolis, where convention activities would be held. Before heading to the convention center, though, we first made two stops: one to see a matinee performance of Peter Pan in a dinner theater, and one to have a tour of the Kiwanis International headquarters, where Kiwanis International Board meetings are held and where things like dues are processed. Afterwards, the Carolinas headed to the convention center, got checked in and registered, and attended the first session of a very exciting International convention!
Over the next three days, each Key Clubber attended seven workshops, learning new information to bring back to their clubs and make them stronger in the coming year. Throughout the convention were several exciting sessions, including the Kiwanis Opening Celebration, which featured an inspirational speech by Tim Harris as well as an impressive speech by Key Club International President Maria Palazzolo; the recognition session, in which several Carolinas clubs and members were recognized for their work and Geoffrey Whitley performed "You Raise Me Up" in the talent show to a standing audience; and the closing session.
The Carolinas also represented themselves well in Caucusing and House of Delegates, asking intelligent questions in the former and making a well-educated vote in the latter. We played a part in the passage of two new amendments to the Key Club International bylaws and the election of the thirteen members of the new International Board.
International Convention isn't just all business professional attire, though -- between the dance and the concert included in convention activities, Key Clubbers proved that they know how to be professional but also how to have a good time!
It was a long and tiring week, but I'm sure we all can't wait to do it again next year in Atlanta! I'll see you there!