by Danny Maerten
Kiwanis Club of Niagara-Wheatfield
As the end of a perfect summer approached, the members of Kiwanis Club of Niagara-Wheatfield boasted a full schedule of events related to the local community.
On Aug. 15 to 18, "Meet and Greet" was the responsibility of the club during the Kiwanis NY District Convention in downtown Niagara Falls. They shuttled some New York Kiwanians from the train station to the hotel, welcomed the guests to the area and aided the visitors to the variety of venues and tourist attractions.
On Sunday morning, Aug. 19, the club set up in the Kids Tent at the annual Wheatfield Family Picnic with games and education for the youth. The bean bag toss was back again with colorful pinwheels serving as prizes; and, as always, everybody won, even if our youthful contestant placed the bean bag, in hand, through the target. Working side by side with Sara Reed, pharmacists Chris Diehl and Chris Saul, from Summit Park Pharmacy, presented a Kiwanis Childhood Asthma Awareness Project. The children were handed a squirt gun with which to shoot the asthma monsters (triggers of asthma.)
The weekend of Sept. 7 to 9 brought the Niagara-Wheatfield Kiwanis to Lewiston's Peach Festival, serving their celebrated turkey legs, sweet corn and peach slushies. A huge crowd gathered Friday evening, making for a busy, but when Saturday morning arrived and water was being pumped and sucked out of the field, the consensus was it was to be a slow day. Sunday was better, but the club's biggest fundraiser didn't meet expectations. In fact, it was the first year they did not sell out of turkey legs.
On Sunday, Sept. 16, members and families assembled nearly 800 picnic lunches of hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken and salads for servicemen/women and their families. This was done in conjunction of Armed Forces Day at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. The club also is continuing the sponsorship of a K-Kids club at West Street Elementary.
Friday evening, Oct. 19, the Niagara-Wheatfield Kiwanis club held its installation ceremony for the 2012-13 officers at Water Street Landing in Lewiston. Dale Dohm, sponsored by his wife, Mary, was inducted as the newest member by Lt. Gov. Ron Parent. After dinner, Parent continued with the induction of the board members and officers: the 2012-14 board of directors, Jane Cushman, Greg Ford, Gary Heuck and Colin Smith; 2012-13 officers, Secretary Susan Smith, Treasurer Alice Attardo, President-Elect Mary Dohm and Danny Maerten as President. Afterwards, a "friendly" roast of past president Susan Smith, ensued: ensuring a fun conclusion to a great evening.
Another project was marshaling the Town of Niagara's Electric Lights Parade.
Upcoming projects include visiting the Richardson/Olmstead Complex, assisting with the Salvation Army's Christmas bell-ringing, Opportunity Unlimited's gift-wrapping at the Fashion Outlet Mall, and "Safe Passage" Christmas, providing gifts for children and women living in the shelter for victims of domestic violence.
The Niagara-Wheatfield Kiwanis Club meets every Thursday at the Jetport Family Restaurant at 6:30 p.m. For further information on attending a meeting, supporting programs or any interest in the Niagara-Wheatfield Kiwanis, contact this writer at 716-731-3636 or [email protected].