By Bonni Sundberg - Marketing & Public Relations
Yes, it's Autumn, and time for another smooth, peaceful transition of power in the Kiwanis Club of Kirkland. On September 8, the club held it's annual Installation Banquet wherein our Past President Mark Tillman took the first steps in handing over the reigns to incoming President Dale Sahr, which took effect October 1st. Only one time in our soon-to-be 70 years of community service 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 part to President Tillman's leadership, the club is concluding 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 assorted grants and donations, we again conducted our very popular Christmas Tree sales at Juanita Beach Park, and also had our 8th annual Pancake Breakfast to End Homelessness, wherin 100% of the proceeds were donated to Attain Housing, the largest provider of transitional housing on the Eastside. 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 hundreds of 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 the 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.
In addition, 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 are rapidly approaching 70 years of 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. We have loads of fun ...and never take 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).
Dale Sahr, President
Kiwanis Club of Kirkland
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