I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season and I wish everyone a very happy and healthy new year.
I would like to thank all of the clubs for your efforts to give children, senior citizens, the less fortunate and the sick have a happier holiday season by providing dinners and food baskets, caroling, and bringing toys and visits from Santa Claus. Kiwanis did what Kiwanis does best.
Thank you to all in the New York District who attended the gala in honor of Kiwanis International President Jane Erickson. I'd like to offer a special thank you to the Kiwanis Club of Howard Beach for hosting the gala, and to New Jersey Governor Anthony Affalati and the New Jersey contingency for attending. We collected a lot of toys for children; they were taken to Abraham House, a shelter in the South Bronx.
President Jane was very appreciative of the New York District's hospitality and grateful for the District Foundation Kaiser Medal, presented by Tony Kaiser, former Kiwanis International president, and District Foundation President Sal Anelli; the Pediatric Lyme Disease Brittany Medal, presented by Julia Bruzzese and foundation founder John Gridley, a former governor; and the KPTC Trauma Kit that was presented to her by LI-KPTC President Joe Corace. The trauma kit will be sent to Nebraska, allowing the New York District to help save children's lives there.
President Jane asked me to thank all of you for the gifts and the way the district welcomed her and her husband, Gus. She was overwhelmed to hear of all the ways the district helps children and communities.
Now that the holidays are over we need to get back to work. We need to concentrate on membership. In my business, I must constantly look ahead and plan for the future. We must do the same in Kiwanis, and that means we need to retain the members we have and ask new members to join. The more members we have, the more kids we can help.
We must be successful at attracting new members or our impact will diminish. The communities and the children we help would be hurt the most.
I'd like to reinforce my challenge - I would like each member to bring in at least one new member to their club. If we can do this our numbers will be strong. Since becoming your governor, I have brought two new members to my club. I would like every club to have a membership drive and would like clubs to invite the parents of members of Aktion Clubs, Key Clubs, Builders Club and K Kids to attend a club meeting and learn about the ways Kiwanis helps their children, and other children in the community. This tactic will not work for all clubs - so think outside the box and find ways to invite community members to join your club. Think of ways you could have an impact on your community with additional members.
I would like to remind you of my Governor's Projects:
" Autism awareness
" Juvenile Diabetes awareness and fundraising programs
" Anti-Bullying efforts - Keith Cummings is the chairperson of the Anti-Bullying Program. Clubs that want to know more about this program should contact Keith. He is willing to come to club meetings and discuss the program.
" Drug Prevention Program - The Massapequa Club members will present their program to any club, sharing their knowledge.
" Heart Screenings for student athletes - contact Past Lieutenant Governor Jeanne Egan to set up a heart screening in your community.
" Foundation support - it's important to continue to raise money for all of the district's foundations.
Even though we are in the heart of winter it's time to start thinking of raising money to send children to Kamp Kiwanis. Last year we sent 620 children to camp -- this year let's set our goal at 650 children. We need to raise an additional $20,000 to meet that goal.
The mid-winter conference will be held at Villa Roma in Callicoon Feb. 10-12. International President-Elect Jim Rochford, the International trustee assigned to the district, and his wife Deb, will attend our conference. Jim has agreed to conduct a seminar in conjunction with the Formula team on new club building and retaining members. This is Jim's specialty as he has opened more than 100 clubs. I would encourage every club to send a representative to this informative presentation.
There will be many other education forums, and the basket raffle. The club that brings the best basket will win a special prize. Check the district website for updates.
On Friday night, the district will hold a pajama party and ask club members to bring pillows, twin size bed sheets and comforters to be used at Kamp Kiwanis.
All of the amenities of Villa Roma will be available to us so please bring your families, including the main house and outside cabins. Those who register early will have a better chance of getting a room in the main house.
Column Posted on Web Site February 4, 2017