Article Written by Patricia Black
Over the years many Key Club members have been asking the question “Where did the idea of a mascot for Pennsylvania come from and why is it a flamingo”. Now you can read the true story of “Pinky”, the PA District mascot.
It was 2000 and the 57th Key Club International Convention was being held in Florida with 3,100 Key Clubbers in attendance. There was quite a large contingent from Pennsylvania traveling to the Sunshine State. We also had some very special members from the Elk Lake High School Key Club, Mrs. Josie C., club advisor, her husband, David and club members, Aaron, Eric and Nicole. Little did we know that these teens would help to give birth to the infamous PA mascot-A pink flamingo named “Pinky”.
If you have ever been to ICON, you know that districts parade around the convention center cheering, using noisemakers and flaunting signs and symbols of their mascots. We did not have a mascot and were wondering what we could do to show our PA pride. Aaron, Nicole and Eric, members from Elk Lake HS, solved the problem. When you are in Florida, you see many flamingos and the kids picked up on that idea. And thus, the PA mascot, Pinky the Flamingo, was born.
Mrs. C and David scoured the area for any kind of flamingos-plastic, vinyl, and/or paper. When they returned from their shopping trip, the PA conventioneers went crazy. Excitement was at an all-time high. Plans were executed and the fun began. Aaron led the parade through the ballroom followed by PA members calling out cheers, singing PA chants and generally being ‘loud and proud’ of the PA District.
Not only did we have our mascot, PA was also very proud of the accomplishments of our clubs:
- Elk Lake High School received a third place trophy for Single Service in the Platinum division
- Montrose HS Key Club received third place in Theme and Major Emphasis Program
- Jennifer W. and Alex E. received Kiwanis International Foundation/District Matching Scholarships
- Juniata HS received a $1,000.00 for the Youth Opportunities Fund
- Amanda R. received the Distinguished District Secretary Award
- Robert F. Lucas Outstanding Lieutenant Governor awards went to Sarah D., Peggy G.
- Becky L., Rory M., Benjamin P. and Monica W.
- Last but certainly not least, Nicki C. from Bishop Hafey HS Key Club, was elected as Trustee
We were proud of the accomplishments of the Pennsylvania District of Key Club International.
It is now 2016 and I am pleased to say that “Pinky” is still our mascot.