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Tis Almost the Season

Sadly 2019 has gone by in the blink of an eye. But our spirits are boosted by the knowledge that so many friends old and new will soon be visiting us at the Belleville Kiwanis annual Christmas tree lot which will open for the season on Black Friday after we participate in the Optimist’s Santa Parade.
Come out a find the perfect tree, wreath, grave blanket or pine roping.
Bring your camera and make some family memories.
See you all soon!

Go Baby Go – Success!

On Saturday, October 19th we built cars for local young people with spina bifida. The cars were custom modified for both safety and access. A great time was had by all, including the new car owners who raced around an impromptu track in the Belleville West cafeteria.

Go Baby Go – Belleville 2019

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 belleville.il.kiwanis@gmail.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.

JIM MASSEY by BELLEVILLE KIWANIS SCHOLARSHIP AWARD presented to SWIC Art Student

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.

eCycle a Success

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.

Belleville West Key Club Banquet

2018-2019 Belleville West Key Clubbers

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.

2018-2019 Belleville West Key Club President Erica Gruenewald

2019-2020 Belleville West Key Club President Isabella Hoolihan

“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.

Abbey Haas (L) receives the Dan Wolford Scholarship Award presented by Patti Thomas (R), President of the Belleville Kiwanis Club

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.

Continue reading “Robotics Team 931 Destination: Deep Space”

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. Continue reading “Belleville Kiwanis Celebrates Long Time Member’s 90th Birthday”