Robotics Team 931 Destination: Deep Space

Robotics Team 931: Perpetual Chaos

The Kiwanis Club of Belleville is one of the sponsors of the Gateway STEM High School Robotics Team 931, Perpetual Chaos. The team’s mentor and coach is Frank Dressel, a member of the Belleville Kiwanis. The team competes in the FIRST Robotics Competition, which is highly competitive. This is the 18th year of competition for Team 931. The game this year is a bout between two alliances of three robots battling to place hatch covers and cargo to win the match.

Team 931, Perpetual Chaos competed in the St. Louis Regional this past Friday and Saturday against 48 teams from Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and Missouri. Our team finished qualifying rounds with a 5 and 5 record for 17th place and were not picked up for the Saturday afternoon playoffs.

A weekend highlight for the team was the selection of junior and team co-captain Chibale for the STL Regional FIRST Dean’s List. The Dean’s List Award began in 2010 to celebrate outstanding student leaders whose passion for and effectiveness at attaining FIRST ideals is exemplary. It recognizes the leadership and dedication of the FIRST most outstanding students. Chibale will be invited to Houston for the World Championships to compete with other regional winners April 18-20 for the best ten Dean’s List winners.

Team 931 also spent time helping Rookie Team Culture 7746 from the Innovation Concept Academy at Blewett who finished a respectable 34th place. “Lots of teams helped them finish their robot as well as keeping it running and we’re real proud to be one of them,” said Frank. This shows that, while the competition is intense, they help each other across the finish line.
The robot is now back in the bag and the team is looking forward to the Mid-Missouri Regional in Sedalia the first weekend of April for another chance to earn an invitation to the Championships.

Belleville Kiwanis Celebrates Long Time Member’s 90th Birthday

The Belleville Kiwanis Club pulled off a surprise birthday bash for their oldest and longest active member: Dan Wolford. His sons, Dave and Drew, were key in making this gathering a success. They were able to bring him to the party without him being none the wiser that a crowd of old friends were waiting for him as guest of honor. Brian and his Denny’s crew accommodated the birthday boy and his friends during a busy breakfast hour. These good friends, who work closely together in the service of children locally and throughout the world shared many a laugh that day.

Dan Wolford has directly and indirectly touched the lives of hundreds of thousand of children in the Belleville area. He inspired others to make the world a better place on a few fronts. He worked as an agriculture teacher and a vice-principal at Belleville West High School.
His work there was not enough for him. He joined the Kiwanis 57 years ago in 1962 in order to expand his service to children. He took on many leadership roles, which included President and Vice-President of the Belleville Kiwanis Club. He received many awards to include the prestigious Amador Award, which is given to those who have demonstrated over an extended period of time, extraordinary personal dedication of one’s time and resources to the pursuit of charitable, benevolent and community service activities consistent with the Objectives of Kiwanis. This describes Dan perfectly.

Patti Thomas, President of the Kiwanis Club of Belleville says, “Dan Wolford is such a kind-hearted and generous man who has devoted much of his professional & personal life to helping kids. Our club is pleased to name our scholarship for a graduating Belleville West Key Club member in Dan’s honor.” This scholarship award of at least $500 goes to the most deserving graduating Key Clubber.

Dan also brings the Kiwanis and Key Club members to his farm for a year end celebration of food, fellowship, and fishing. It is a tradition that lives on as a joyful reward for service to the children of the world.

Thank you Dan for all you do. Happy Birthday!

Key Clubs Take Top Honors at DCLC

The Kiwanis Club of Belleville congratulates the Belleville West and Governor French Academy Key Clubs for taking top honors at this year’s District Convention and Leadership Conference. Both of these Clubs were designated a DISTINGUIDHED CLUB and will be recognized at the International Convention in Baltimore, MD.

BELLEVILLE WEST earned four 1st place trophies:.
1st Place Overall Achievement
1st Place Single Service for our Sleep Out For the Homeless Project
1st Place Poster design created by junior Delaney Holiday
1st Place Oratorical presented by senior Danyelle Scott

Additional club awards include:
Club Bulletin Award
Kiwanis Family Relations
Distinguished President – Erica Gruenewald
Distinguished Secretary – Isabella Hoolihan
Distinguished Treasurer – Kayla Carver
Distinguished Senior – Abbey Haas
Distinguished Junior – Onna Harlen
Distinguished Sophomore – Chase Capello
Distinguished Freshman – Mason Hagarty

100 Hour Awards
Abbey Haas
Onna Harlen
Isabella Hoolihan
Bailey Mrsich
Savannah Tiemann

Abril Hunter received the $1000 Cunard Scholarship

Distinguished President – Abril Hunter
Distinguished Vice President – Breanna Goyea
Distinguished Secretary – Aiden Truckenbrod
Distinguished Treasurer – Courtney Smith
Distinguished Senior – Sydney Stauffer
Distinguished Junior – Lili Smith

100 Hour Award
Breanna Goyea
Abril Hunter
Taylor Johnson
Courtney Smith
Sydney Stauffer
Ayanna Steward
John Stewart
Aiden Truckenbrod


The Belleville Kiwanis Club has brought Christmas cheer to homes in the surrounding area for about five decades. They continue that tradition again in the usual place: the Skyview Drive-In.

This year, Judy Zillen paid homage to this tradition with her second place finish in the Master’s Category of the Downtown Belleville’s 29th Annual Gingerbread Contest. Judy’s creation is entitled “Skyview Drive-In at Christmas”.

Judy is from Belleville, “born and raised,” and she has competed in this annual contest for 12 years.

When asked why she chose us as her model for this year’s entry, she says, “I love tradition in my entries, and what is more traditional than the Christmastime tree lot?

We share your sentiment Judy. Thank you for honoring us in such a special way.

Kiwanis Christmas Tree Lot Now Open

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Bellville Kiwanis Christmas Tree Lot Prices

The prices for the trees at the Kiwanis Christmas Tree Lot is from $55.00 to $115.00 depending upon the size and type you are interested in.

Sizes are from 6-8 feet in Scotch Pine as well as Balsam, and Frazier Firs. We also have some Frazier Firs that are as tall a 9 feet.

We have an adorable $15 “Charlie Brown” Special (a good size for an apartment or bedroom).

Roping and Wreaths have not arrived yet. However, they will be available for:

$35 for 25 yards or $2.00 per yard

WREATHS – Balsam 24 inch

Grave Blankets are not available this year.


Many left with designer purses, some left with cash, one left with a barrel of booze, and another left with a chance to win over $1,000,000. These were a few of the many prizes given away at the third Belleville Kiwanis Designer Purse Bingo held at the Quail Club last Sunday. The day was filled with good music, great friends and family, cheering, and some “aww S%!.” The energy and the number of winners kept growing throughout the day.
“The thing I love about this event is that everyone leaves with a smile. That makes everyone a winner in my book,” said Susan Grimmer, Club Secretary.
Some fun facts about BINGO are that the game can be traced back to the year 1530 in Italy. If you want a higher chance of winning, bring a friend named Margaret with you. Someone named Margaret is more likely to win more than any other name. Lastly, purple is the most preferred Dauber color.
The Kiwanis Club of Belleville holds Designer Purse Bingo regularly to raise funds to help the kids in the community through various community projects.

Divisions 31 & 34 Host Governor Alan J. Arbuckle

(l-r) LTG Wally Streuter, Div 31; Asst. Gov David Daniel ; Governor Alan Arbuckle; LTG Rodger Allison, Div 34

Governor Alan J. Arbuckle joined the club members from Divisions 31 and 34 of the Illinois and Eastern Iowa (I-I) District of the Kiwanis International last Friday night at the Quail Club in Belleville. Friends from O’Fallon, Columbia, and Belleville of Division 34 along with those from Alton-Godfrey, Bethalto, Collinsville, Glen Carbon, Maryville, and Wood River of Division 31 gathered to hear Governor Arbuckle speak. The Governor’s speech highlighted an evening of warm fellowship and good food. The evening meal was provided by the Bellville West High School Key Club.
Governor Arbuckle spoke of the state of the District. A highlight of his speech for many of us relates to membership, both in count and in quality. He encourages us to move our Divisions and the District from being a good service organization to being a GREAT one. He showed his audience how membership has declined over the years.
In response to this decline, he offered strategies and encouragement to reach out to others to join our cause in making the world a better place for children. He stressed that we must invite, inform, and involve potential members in our Club’s activities. As we do that, he also emphasized the need to make their involvement
meaningful and fun to borrow words from one of his predecessors.

Governor Arbuckle also awarded Distinguished Club honors to the Kiwanis Clubs of Collinsville and Columbia. Presidents Michael Evans of Collinsville and Bruce Doyle of Columbia were on hand to receive the

Collinsville Club President Michael Evans accepts Distinguished Club Award.


Columbia Club President, Bruce Doyle accepts Distinguished Club Award.







Governor Arbuckle was joined by his Assistant Governor, Mr. David Daniel, who handles issues for the southern portion of the District.