Thank you, New York Kiwanis members for your great support and contributions to a successful Mid-Year Conference. Our event was a tremendous success, and gave us the opportunity to have some fun, raise some money and continue our pledge to help the children in our communities.
Our annual basket raffle raised more than $4,000, money that will be split between KTPC to buy trauma kits and the Pediatric Lyme Disease Foundation to purchase Brittany Fellowship medals. Thank you for supporting this effort. Congratulations to the Kiwanis Club of Middle Village for winning the outstanding basket -- a weekend at Villa Roma.
Our pajama party on Friday was a fun time, and your donations have provided enough sheets, blankets and pillows to stock the linen closets at Kamp Kiwanis for three years. Thank you to former First Lady Helene Irvine who put together this wonderful event.
Kiwanis International President-elect Jim Rochford was among our distinguished guests. He and his Eye of the Tiger Team brought great enthusiasm for club building. He and his team headed downstate after the conference for a club opening blitz. Our work was quite successful, opening a new club in Lynbrook on Long Island. The new club has 23 members and is growing steadily. We have the opportunity for two to three more clubs on Long Island, in Westbury, Malvern and Valley Stream. Additional thanks also go to Peter Mancuso, a member of the Kiwanis International Board of Trustees; Formula Chair David Morse; Lt. Gov. Tom Cesiro; Lt. Gov. Kathy Levinson and District Secretary Rich Hall.
The membership blitz was important because we need new members allow us to help more children, and we know there are so many kids who need our help. Kids need Kiwanis - that's why I'm stressing the need for new members. I'm asking every Kiwanis club member to bring one new member to their club.
I also challenge you to help us send 650 kids to Kamp Kiwanis this year. Last year we sent 620 kids to camp. Let's hit our goal of raising enough money to send those kids to camp this summer.
I'm so impressed with the work being done by clubs around the district and have had positive experiences on my governor's visits -- more are scheduled this spring and summer. Thank you for the work you do for the children in your communities and I'll see you soon.
The Circle K and Key Club Leadership Conferences were well-attended this year and gave me an opportunity to learn about their projects and service.
The CKI students raised money for St. Baldrick's Foundation which supports pediatric cancer research. I helped Circle K's initiative by shaving my goatee and the lucky barber was Gov.-elect Candace. She didn't cut my neck!
Key Club set a goal to raise $125,000 and provide 95,000 hours of service. Both goals were surpassed, as $160,000 was raised and 100,00 hours of service were contributed. Funds will be shared among Kamp Kiwanis, Camp Abilities, the Icing Project and the Thirst Project.
We should acknowledge Circle K Gov. Jerry Cimo and his team and Key Club Gov. Matt Garver his team for their outstanding work. And congratulations to the newly-elected governors, Jack Curzon from NYU for Circle K and Gavin Li of Francis Lewis High School in Queens, for Key Club.
Soon it will be time for the Kiwanis International Convention in Paris. Check the website for information on how to register, where to stay and what to expect. I hope to see you there.
Then it will be time for our New York District Convention, our 100th district convention. This year's celebration will be Aug. 17-20 in Lake Placid, the site of the 1980 Winter Olympics and a vacation destination. Check the New York District website soon for registration information.
Keep up the good work, and don't forget the support needed for the pediatric trauma centers and our Pediatric Lyme Disease Foundation. We couldn't do this without you. Remember kids need Kiwanis and Kiwanis needs you.
Column Posted on Web Site April 21, 2017