With more than 80 years in service to Sedalia and the surrounding area, the Sedalia Kiwanis Club is still going strong, but now they are asking for help from the community that they serve.
With a membership of only 12 individuals, it is difficult for the members to accomplish all they would like to do, which is primarily to serve the needs of children.
“We’d really like to see our organization grow,” President Bob Milner said at the group’s Thursday luncheon meeting at Best Western State Fair Inn. “We do so many great things for the community but it is hard to do without help.
“We’re not just looking for members though,” Milner added. “If anyone has an idea to help kids we’d like to talk to them too because we’re always willing to pair up with other organizations to help the kids throughout the community.”
At the peak of their membership, Milner recalls having more than 50 members involved and commented that, as with many other clubs, he fears the time commitment is what may prevent others from becoming involved.
“Our membership goes up and down but one of the good things about our organization is that we are open to everyone and we understand if you can’t be at every meeting or event,” Milner said. “One thing we would really like to see is more businesses becoming involved.
“It would be great if one or two individuals from some of the local businesses could volunteer or become members,” he added. “We’re always very appreciative of any donations some that businesses are willing to make as well.”
It was through the support of both some local businesses and another civic group, the Open Door, that the Kiwanis Club members have decided to volunteer July 6 at the Community Café.
“We saw an article in the Democrat about the Community Café’s need for volunteers and we thought it was something we could do,” Milner said. “One of our members contacted the Open Door and they were willing to donate some hot dogs and chips.”
Milner commented that some of the remaining items will need to be purchased but the club is willing to do so to serve others.
“We have a number of fundraisers each year that help us to do many of the events we host and to make the donations we do,” Milner said. “What we would really like to do is get back to helping out and volunteer at more community events and service projects.”
Locally the chapter has supported a number of organizations including Paul Klover Soccer Association, American Legion Baseball, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Melita Day Nursery, Pettis County Early Childhood Development Center Co-op, Child Safe of West Central Missouri Inc. and the Show Me Christian Youth Home.
During the upcoming school year, they have a number of projects planned in both the Sedalia School District 200 and at Sacred Heart.
“We’re planning to re-start a program that we had at Skyline (Elementary) and hopefully we’ll start at Parkview (Elementary) called the Bringing Up Grades Program,” Milner said. “It a program designed to reward students who have lower grades who work to bring them up.
“At the awards assemblies at the end of each semester we would like to recognize those students who have worked hard to achieve this,” he added. “The Key Club is going to be at Sacred Heart, it’s a program designed to develop and promote student leaders in the school by allowing them to develop service projects and fundraisers that they participate in.”
The organization has another upcoming service project that is devoted to kids having a day of fun activities at the start of school. The group will host its third annual Kids Day at the Park on Aug. 27.
“Last year we had more than 70 kids attend,” Milner said. “It a day that we spend time at the park where we have a lot of games for the kids to play and a scavenger hunt and Zumba.
“We grilled hot dogs and just had a fun day with the kids,” he added. “Our organization really is all about the kids here in Sedalia and the area and helping them grow.”
For more information on the Kiwanis Club of Sedalia or to suggest service projects for the group, contact Milner at [email protected]
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484