A random find at a car show makes its return more than six decades after its debut. 

By Paula Vidal, executive board member, Lindenhurst Kiwanis Club 

When checking the Facebook Messenger page for the Kiwanis Club of Lindenhurst, New York, U.S., I came across a question asking if our club supported a Key Club. I replied that we do: the Lindenhurst High School Key Club, which has more than 60 members who participate in activities benefiting the community. I am the Key Club’s Kiwanis advisor and have been meeting with its members for the past five years. 

The sender was William Boss, a resident of another Suffolk County community. He had seen a Key Club charter bell at a swap-and-meet car show where vendors were also selling items. Boss, who has a collectibles business, recognized the bell as a meaningful find: He had received one from the local Kiwanis chapter in 1979, when he was founding president of the Key Club at Sayville High School.  

“It was like déjà vu,” Boss says. “I could barely make out the inscription, which said, ‘To the Key Club of Lindenhurst High School, 1959,’ but I knew what it was.”  

The vendor asked Boss for US$200 but they agreed on $30, and Boss walked away with the treasure, contacted us and offered to return it to the Lindenhurst community. 

The parent club of the Lindenhurst Kiwanis Club was chartered in 1950, so the Key Club was either founded in 1959 or was in its infancy when the bell was gifted to the school. It is unknown when the bell went missing.   

Once the bell was cleaned up and the inscription was more visible, our Kiwanis club invited Boss and the Lindenhurst High School Key Club officers to a special ceremony. On May 11, Boss presented the bell to the Key Club’s incoming president, Marissa Howard, a junior. Howard promised to safely return it to a showcase at the school. 

“I am so excited to be able to use the bell during our meetings and teach the old and new members about its history,” says Howard.