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.
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.
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
Governor Arbuckle was joined by his Assistant Governor, Mr. David Daniel, who handles issues for the southern portion of the District.
The Belleville Kiwanis hosted an Inter-Club/Inter-Divisional meeting on May 28. Twenty-one members from the Collinsville Sunrise, Alton, Wood River, and Fairview Heights Clubs joined the Belleville Club for dinner and a powerful presentation from National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasia (NFED for short).
Jodi Edgar Reinhardt, Director, Marketing and Communications for NFED presented information about its research that is ongoing and the programs that their organization provides. This International organization began locally in Mascoutah, IL in the early 1980s and helps children afflicted with any mixture of genetic disorders that involve defects of the hair, nails, teeth, skin and glands. For more information, please visit https://www.nfed.org/
After some discussion, Laurie Nichols, President of the Collinsville Sunrise Kiwanis Club, will Chair the Committee to establish NFEDS as our inter-Divisional project. More to come.
Sean Louth, Belleville ClubSecretary challenged everyone at the meeting to get the ball rolling by showing personal commitment with a donation. The Kiwanis members in attendance offered $487 to the NFED coffers. Ms. Reinhardt, graciously accepted the donation with a tear in her eye. “This is such a surprise. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you so much,” she said.
The officers for the Belleville Kiwanis Club’s 70th Anniversary are:
President: Patti Thomas
1st Vice-President: Sean Louth
2nd Vice-President: Tom Tebbenhoff
Secretary: Susan Grimmer
Treasurer: Al Thomas
These experienced Kiwanians begin serving these posts on October 1, 2018. Three incumbents Patti Thomas, Tom Tebbenhoff, and Al Thomas continue their work. Sean Louth moves from Secretary to a Vice-President post and a newcomer to the officer ranks Susan Grimmer will serve as Secretary. We all thank you for your continued service!
Ms. Lisa Guilliams, Twigs Founder and Chief Dreamer, attended the Belleville Kiwanis weekly meeting to discuss the Twigs program. She was introduced by member Creag Banta, who learned of the splendid work performed by Twigs and thought it may be a good fit our Club. As it turns out, it is.
Twigs is a summer lunch program and school-year pack-a-sack program in multiple communities in Illinois that was launched in 2011. It provides a free summer lunch program for children that begins the day after school lets out in the spring until it begins again in the fall. Lunches are distributed Monday – Friday.
After a thorough discussion of the details on how to best support Twigs, the Bellville Kiwanis has information on how to volunteer at their lunch locations this summer and the Club bought 288 meals for the Belleville kids.
The Southwestern Illinois College held the SWIC Student Art Show from April 26-May 10. Each year, the Belleville Kiwanis awards a cash prize to a promising young artist. This year’s winner is Ashley Sower with her 3D art entitled “Tower of Thoughts”.
“Belleville Kiwanis made a difference in this student’s life. As you can see from the photo, Ashley Sowers was a very happy student,” said Nicole Dutton, Curator of the William & Florence Schmidt Art Center at SWIC.
The Belleville Kiwanis is a strong supporter of student art. In addition to the SWIC Student Art Show, awards are provided for the High School Student Art Show & Congressional Competition as well as the Art on the Square held in Belleville each year.