Guest Editorial by Marty Pauly
As we enter into spring, it is a great time to reflect on what the Lewiston Kiwanis has been up to and take a look into the near future.
We are pleased to be able to sponsor the new all-inclusive playground, which is to be located behind the Red Brick. Kiwanis’ main objective is children and community. When both of these can be combined into one, such as this new playground, it is a double victory.
This sponsorship wouldn’t be possible without the Peach Festival and the hardworking Kiwanis members and community volunteers.
In the last six months, due to the success of the Peach Festival, we have been able to donate to over 40 different local organizations, Kiwanis projects, and student clubs. More donations are on the horizon. In addition, Lewiston Kiwanis fed over 130 families during Thanksgiving and Christmas. As in years past, our annual Easter egg hunt will take place the day before Easter, and we will have a fishing derby in June.
Our club is also a proud supporter of several service leadership programs (SLP), which are leadership and character-building programs within local schools. Each is responsible for carrying on the Kiwanis way through organizing community events or fundraisers throughout the year.
•Our collegiate SLP is at Niagara University and is called Circle K. They recently completed a food drive partnering with Niagara Community Action Program to collect donations for families this Easter. Three of their members also recently attended a statewide leadership conference in Albany.
•Our high school SLP is at Lew-Port and is called Key Club. Along with other smaller events they coordinate throughout the year, these students help the club fill food baskets at Thanksgiving and Christmas. They annually assist the Salvation Army during the kettle bell fundraiser in December and helped Kiwanis raise over $1,400 for the Salvation Army. Every other year, members of Key Club attend a statewide leadership conference in Albany. Key Club also cooks french fries during the Peach Festival
•Builders Club is for students in grades 6-8 at Lew-Port Middle School. These students coordinate a variety of charitable events within the school throughout the year. One of their signature projects takes place during Lewiston’s Christmas Walk. Along with support from Hibbard’s, the Builders Club assists Niagara Area Habitat for Humanity with the gingerbread house fundraiser. These young students also serve hot dogs and hamburgers with Kiwanis at the Peach Festival.
•K-Kids is an SLP for students in fifth grade and we sponsor two of them: one at Lew-Port and another at Tuscarora Elementary School.
This past school year, students at Lew-Port made Valentines for the residents at OLP, created favors for the Lewiston Senior Center’s Christmas dinner, and made shamrock decorations, which were delivered with Meals on Wheels. The students at Tuscarora sang Christmas carols to the residents at OLP, will hold their annual bike rodeo in June, and will send of few students to Kamp Kiwanis during the summer.
•We also sponsor the Aktion Club, which is for adults with disabilities. These tremendous individuals help us with our Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets. They also pass out our program books during the Peach Festival, coordinate a couple of car wash fundraisers, and assist with the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life.
Kiwanis is extremely proud of these students and all they do to help make our community a better place to live. As we look ahead, along with tireless planning for the Peach Festival, our club will be awarding three local high school seniors a total of $5,000 in scholarships for college. We are sponsoring the annual Artpark Family Movie Night, and will join our SLPs on April 27 for the Earth Day cleaning of the village.
Kiwanis thanks the Village of Lewiston and its residents for the support you have given these past 62 years. The Peach Festival is the main driving force behind what we are able to accomplish. The upcoming Peach Festival will begin Sept. 5 and run through Sept. 8.
Please consider visiting our website, www.lewistonkiwanis.org, and the Lewiston Kiwanis page on Facebook.