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.
Make plans now to attend the Fall 2018 Designer Purse Bingo which will be held October 14th at the Quail Club. Tickets will be $30 in advance and go on sale September 1st. Groups of 8 or more may reserve tables when all tickets are purchased together and a group name is provided.
We are expecting to be sold out prior to the event so don’t delay if you want to play. Proceeds benefit some really great programs for kids in the Greater Belleville area.
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.
The Belleville Kiwanis Club served a BBQ Pork Steak meal including potato salad and baked beans near the Sky View Drive-In on Saturday. The Kiwanians had no shortage of summer fun as they smoked the pork smothered in BBQ sauce, chilled the potato salad, and baked the beans over laughs and banter as they served those hungry for lunch. The food was so good that many came back for more.
They were joined by the Bellville Firefighters who were on hand to show the kids and parents the tools of their trade. These professionals were all smiles and energy as they interacted with the Kiwanians and those who stopped by.
All the benefits of this BBQ go to the Downtown Belleville YMCA Summer Learning Program, which helps prevent learning loss during summer break. Lively activities and creative study keeps participants engaged in continued learning that support cognitive and educational development, along with physical and social-emotional growth. They do all this in the spirit of summer fun.
The Belleville Kiwanis meets every Tuesday at 6:30pm at Crehan’s Irish Pub, 5500 N. Belt West, Belleville.
Dan Wolford hosted the 2018 Annual Kiwanis/Key Club outing that celebrates all the work the Key Clubbers did throughout the year as they prepare for the summer.
The Clubbers were fishing and everyone reeled in a catch. The most impressive catch for the evening was a 96 pound Bass. It was almost 6 feet long. After they finally pulled the catch to shore, five Clubbers were holding it proudly for a photo.