Ever since first learning of the project known as Go Baby Go in late 2018, the members of the Belleville Kiwanis Club have been researching and planning to host a car build for children in the Belleville, Illinois area. Members visited a build in the Chicago area hosted by the Kiwanis Club of River Forest- Oak Park to observe and learn about the logistics of hosting a successful build.
Go Baby Go events consist of a group of volunteers custom modifying ride-on cars for kids with special physical challenges which impact their ability to be mobile like non-challenged kids. For these kids, the cars are more than playthings. They represent opportunities for improved mobility, increased socialization with non-challenged siblings & peers, and in some cases may even incorporate elements of physical therapy.
Planning for these events takes months as the car recipients are selected and their health care teams provide information regarding the sorts of modifications needed for the individual child. The considerations are numerous —does the child need additional support devices such as a 5 point harness to allow them to sit erect in the car? Does the child have limitations of feeling or use of their legs? Is a system needed to allow for proper transportation of IV bags? Planning also involves working with engineers to ensure the safety of the electronics and parts used for the modifications.
The 2019 Belleville build will provide cars to 5 children from the greater metropolitan area all with the diagnosis of Spina Bifida. Children will be coming from Belleville, Sparta, Highland, Wentzville, and Imperial to be fitted for their individual car and should leave the event with their cars. There is no cost to the families for these vehicles.
Go Baby Go was started at the University of Delaware with a mission focused on increasing mobility and quality of life solutions for children whose access to such may be limited during their early developmental years. It was intended to be an innovative movement for inclusiveness.
For more information about Go Baby Go Belleville 2019 contact the Belleville Illinois Kiwanis Club via the contact us button on our webpage, via email@example.com, or follow us on our Facebook page Belleville, Illinois Kiwanis Club. We will be sharing pics from the event and plans for similar future events.
The Southwestern Illinois College held the SWIC Student Art & Design Show from April 25-May 9. Each year, the Belleville Kiwanis awards a cash prize to a promising young artist.
Mr. Joshua Fischer won this year’s JIM MASSEY by BELLEVILLE KIWANIS SCHOLARSHIP for his work entitled “Universal Auditorium”. The work is a silver wire and copper jewelry piece.
“Joshua’s work has an astronomy feel to it. It usually has planetary imagery,” said Paula Haniszewski, SWIC Art Department Chair. One can certainly see that in his winning piece.
The Belleville Kiwanis is a strong supporter of student art. In addition to the SWIC Student Art & Design 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.
The Belleville Kiwanis Club held it’s annual eCycle collection between Crehan’s Irish Pub and the Skyview Drive-In on May 4, 2019. Partnering with Power Recycling, the Club collected over 10,000 pounds of recyclables that would have otherwise made its way to the landfill.
“This illustrates the impact that a small organization can have when they partner with the community. This is all stuff that will stay out of the landfill,” said Patti Thomas, President of the Kiwanis Club of Belleville.
The Kiwanis volunteers had little time to rest during the three hours collecting appliances, old TVs, lawn mowers, grills, computers, bicycles, and a variety of other home and office materials. The proceeds will go toward helping children in the Belleville community.
The Belleville West Key Club held its end of year banquet on April 30 saying good-bye to award-winning Seniors. The Key Club also thanked its 2018-2019 officers for all their hard work and accomplishments and welcomed new leadership for 2019-2020.
“This year’s Key Club was engaged in service projects that touched children world-wide and people here at home. They experienced what it takes to become a service leader. I am proud of them,” said Jennifer Stauffer, Belleville West Faculty Advisor.
Patti Thomas, President of the Kiwanis Club of Belleville, presented the Dan Wolford Scholarship Award to Abbey Haas, a Key Club Distinguished Senior. The Dan Wolford Scholarship Award is provided by the Kiwanis Club of Belleville to the winner of its annual essay contest. The Belleville Kiwanis is the sponsoring club for the Belleville West Key Club.
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.
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.
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.
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.