Sunday, February 25, 2018

Kiwanis Korner for January 2018


I sure hope Santa was good to you, because if he wasn’t you know what that means — you probably got a lump of coal in your stocking. That lump of coal just might come in handy with the frigid weather we’ve had so far this winter.

On a personal note, I know that the older I get, the more meaning each Christmas has. Doing service for those in our community is one of the most rewarding experiences. Our Kiwanis club is dedicated to serving the community and we have so much fun while we do our service projects and help out those in need.

If you want to turn over a new leaf as we start the new year, resolve to help others, then consider joining our group. We promise, as a Kiwanis member, you’ll have fun while serving the needs of our community. Call John at (440) 256-1181 if you want to find out more information about joining our club.

On Nov. 30, our club took a trip to see the Historic Kirtland Nativity Exhibit. Elder Jennings gave us a brief presentation and then we toured the exhibit of nearly 1,000 crѐches. What a beautiful display right in our own backyard. If you haven’t seen this, make it a point to go see it next year. You won’t regret it.

On Dec. 7, we had our Senior Dinner for shut-ins at the Community of Christ Hall. Yikes, what a night. One inch of snow closed the state Route 306 hill for an hour, from 6-7 p.m., and over half of our guests didn’t make it due to the poor weather and road conditions. We still managed to serve almost 70 delicious dinners prepared by Rosa Brettrager and the Community of Christ cooks.

A big thank you to the cooks and the Kiwanis-sponsored Middle School Builders Club for helping to serve us and our guests.

Santa was there, passing out gifts that Bruce and Beverly Sandacz helped Santa pick out. Ed Mills and his family and friends provided the great entertainment, and the Builders Club helped with a sing along. A special thanks to all seniors and their Kiwanis sponsors for coming.

The following week we were supposed to have our annual Christmas party with gift exchange and Christmas card signing. Once again, the weather did not cooperate. The Kirtland Community Center was closed, so we cancelled our meeting and held the event the next week.

Before we got going on the gift exchange, we started off the evening with writing out Christmas cards for all of the patients at Heartland and Kirtland Rehab. There were a lot of laughs and swapping of presents throughout the gift exchange. It was a fun night and a great way to start off the Christmas holidays.

Our first meeting in January is our annual poker night. We play for fun and with fake money, but the bragging rights for winning the tournament last throughout the year.

Rick Blum came from the loser’s bracket to win this year’s tournament. He did so poorly in the opening round and was tied with Dr. Jim Porter for the winner of the loser’s table, so they drew cards to determine which of them would move on. Rick’s luck changed from that moment on, and he went on to win the whole thing.

Second place belonged to Scott Haymer. Third place was claimed by Mark Tyler and fourth and fifth places were awarded to Bill Wright and John Bodmer, respectively.

A lot of fun was had by all. The tournament is always held on the first Thursday of the year. Won’t you join us next year?

Hurricanes and earthquakes ravaged the USA, Mexico and Puerto Rico in 2017. Our club voted to help out the disaster area residents by sending donations to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Houston, and the Key West, Fla., areas. We received thank you letters from the recipients, but one of the letters we received really touched our hearts. I’d like to share it with you. It comes from Marco Island Charter Middle School in Marco Island, Fla. It reads:

“Hurricane IRMA made landfall right where or school is located. Although our community has faded from the national news programs, the restoration process continues and different needs are surfacing — so, the generosity of your club arrived at a significant time.

“When three women from the Kiwanis Club of Collier arrive on our campus bearing huge bags stuffed with various sizes and styles of clothes, which your club financed, for our students and their families who were suffering from the impact of IRMA, it was a sight to behold! We cannot thank the members of your Kiwanis Club of Kirtland, Ohio enough.

“A dozen families were the recipients of your club’s generosity. One of the families had seven members who benefitted from your kindness; another family lost everything and is currently living out of a FEMA trailer until they can find adequate housing; another family has been rendered homeless, and yet another one of our students not only lost his home but also will probably be placed in a foster home setting. All of these families came to school and demonstrated heartfelt emotion when we gave them their piles of clothes and told them about Kiwanis.

“Many people and organizations talk about making a difference in a person’s life but your organization has made a difference — and made the difference in not just one person but twelve families’ lives.”

This thank-you letter is so powerful. Dear friends and benefactors of the Kirtland Kiwanis, please know that when you help out Kiwanis by supporting our fundraisers that you are making a difference in our community and in the world. We thank you from the bottom of hearts.

Our fourth annual Kirtland Kiwanis Foundation Community Reverse Raffle will be on Feb. 24 (the last Saturday in February) at The Banquet Center at St. Noel’s. Monies raised at this event go toward scholarships for Kirtland area students.

Main board tickets cost $40 each and the main board prize is $3,000. Dinner tickets are $30 per person. The special sideboard raffle this year will benefit the Kirtland Area Service Council and those tickets cost $20 each for a chance at winning $2,000. There will be $3 and $5 sideboards, Chinese Auction, Last Chance Raffle and more. Contact Kevin (440-478-3788) or any Kiwanis member for tickets. Thank you for your generous support and hope to see you on Feb. 24.


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