By: Bonni Sundberg,
Kiwanis Club of Kirkland Marketing Chair
Yes, it's Autumn, and our "Changing of the Guard" was made at our September 8th Installation Banquet wherein our now Past President Mark Tillman handed over the reigns to incoming President Dale Sahr. Only one time in our 70 years of existence has a member served more than once as President. It's this annual changing of leadership that helps keep the club fresh and vibrant, bringing new committee chairs, new ideas, etc. We'll miss our outgoing president, but welcome our incoming one.
We are fortunate in that we have nearly 90 members, which makes this "changing of the guard" possible. Thanks in large part to Past-President Tillman's leadership, the club concluded another very successful year. We managed to raise significant money in 2017, enabling us to provide more than ever for the children and young people of Greater Kirkland. In addition to increased grants and individual donations, we again had a successful Christmas Tree sale at Juanita Beach Park. We also held our 8th annual Pancake Breakfast to End Homelessness, wherin 100% of the proceeds were donated to Attain Housing, the largest provider of transitional housing for the homeless on the Eastside. In July, we had several dozen members and friends march with us in Kirkland's annual 4th of July parade, and twice this fiscal year, we provided over a thousand healthy, free lunches for Special Olympics participants.
We also awarded a number of young people grants, donations and scholarships through the Kirkland Kiwanis Foundation. And once again, in early August a group of members traveled to Bainbridge Island to help the North Central of Seattle Kiwanis Club with their amazing free week-long summer camp for severely physically impared children... Kiwanis Camp Casey. These dedicated folks have been doing this every year for 82 years!! They are amazing.
For those of you reading this, and who might not know about us, both our club and our Kirkland Kiwanis Foundation are 100% all-volunteer non-profit organizations, so virtually every dollar we raise goes directly to helping local children.
In addition to those listed above, recipients include: High school Kiwanis Key Club leadership conventions, What’s Next Bowlers Aktion Club (a service club for impaired young adults), Scouting, Eastside Baby Corner, Kirkland Easter Egg Hunt, Kirkland Teen Union Building (KTUB), Boys and Girls Club, the Burned Children's Recovery Foundations, the New Bethlehem Project (a day shelter for homeless families), The KTUB/YMCA Summer Youth Institute, The New Bethlehem Project for homeless families, PantryPacks, and much more.
We also annually award academic scholarships to selected graduating high school seniors within the Lake Washington School District geographic boundaries, and, through our Bill Petter Memorial Fund we provide vocational scholarships.
If that isn't enough, through our Jack Keller Memorial Fund we provide orthodontic care for selected lower income children who are caught in the middle... they neither qualify for state assistance, nor can their parents afford the cost of necessary treatment.
Kiwanis International was chartered more than 102 years ago, and our club was formed in October 1947, so we've been here for 70 years, providing service to our community! This makes us one of the oldest service clubs on the Eastside, and with approximately 90 members, we are one of the largest. We are part of Kiwanis International, whose mission is Serving the Children of the World, but the overwhelming majority of what we do is focused on local needs.
We are a diverse group of fun-loving people, never taking ourselves too seriously. But when it comes to our mission of Serving Children, you can be certain that we take that very seriously.
If you're genuinely interested in helping our community's children in a variety of ways, check out our website. And if you'd like more information, contact our club secretary Tom Pendergrass at (206) 910-1949. Better yet, come and join us for a delicious lunch at The Market Street Restaurant (see details below).
And if you care to donate to our club or our foundation, just click the DONATE button on the menu to the right of this homepage. Your money... 100% of it... will go to a number of excellent causes.
Dale Sahr, President
Kiwanis Club of Kirkland
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