Current News & Activities
***Kiwanis Cozy Comforts Backpacks Donated to Shelter for Help in Emergency (SHE)
December 23, 2021 –Another piece of very good news just in time for Christmas is that Committee Chairman PLG Barb Ritter and PLG Eric Lamb met with Kayla Ferguson of the Shelter for Help in Emergency (SHE) and presented fifteen Cozy Comforts backpacks on Tuesday, December 21. PLG Barb explained that “Kiwanis Cozy Comforts is a gift of love and support for children and families in transitional and/or difficult situations.The goal is to show these families and children they are warm, safe, and cared for and to inspire them to have fun together as well. Items in each backpack will vary based on need but most certainly will include hand-made blankets to surround children with warmth.” The SHE Shelter, as it is familiarly known, is “the only agency in the city of Charlottesville and the surrounding counties that provides comprehensive services to women and children who are victims of domestic violence. Each year the Shelter responds to over 1,000 hotline calls, provides over 5,000 nights of safe shelter to more than 200 women and children, and assists many other victims of domestic violence through outreach services.” Over the past four years, Charlottesville Kiwanians have packed more than 200 of these gifts of love and warmth and distributed them to six agencies who keep these treasures on hand, ready to be given to children immediately as they find themselves suddenly thrust into the most difficult circumstances in the coming months.
***Kiwanis Answers the Challenge and Establishes Virtual Red Kettle for the Salvation Army
December 22, 2021 — Answering the challenge from our friends at the Blue Ridge Mountains Rotary Club and conceding that many Kiwanians are hesitant or unable to come out in public during the pandemic’s latest surge, the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville established a virtual Red Kettle and issued its own challenge to Kiwanians and Kiwanis Family members to donate in support of the local Salvation Army‘s good work here and around the world. To date, more than $1,200 has been raised towards meeting our $1,500 goal. This amount included a whopping $170 that was collected in Happy Dollars at the Kiwanis Christmas Party held Tuesday evening, December 21, at Carmello’s Italian Restaurant. It is hoped that friends will consider donating as part of their end-of-year giving and thereby help us meet the goal and endorse the efforts of the Salvation Army all year long.
***Kiwanis Aktion Club Organizes Successful Gift-Card Fundraiser to Help Welcome Afghan Refugees to our Community
December 18, 2021 — “Think Globally, Act Locally” is a motto that the Kiwanis Aktion Club members at Innisfree Village takes literally. Having gotten word of the dynamic collaboration that is developing between Kiwanis Charlottesville and the Blue Mountains Rotary Club to help welcome the hundreds of Afghan refugees who are being settled in Central Virginia by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Aktion Club leaders sprung into, well, action. They designed and created hand-made signs to post throughout the Village and utilized the occasion of the Village’s annual holiday party to publicize the cause and solicit gift-cards that IRC will hand directly to the families being settled in our community so they can meet their needs. When all was said and done, $500 worth of generic Master Card and Visa gift cards was collected and sent to IRC headquarters in Charlottesville. The Aktion Club gesture will likely be accepted as a challenge when the Kiwanis/Rotary Joint Fundraiser gets organized shortly after the new year, all for the benefit of our new neighbors setting down new roots in our community.
***Five Kiwanians Volunteer to Assemble Christmas Gift Bags for Inmates and Staff at Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail
December 16, 2021 — “This small gift has created the opportunity for countless conversations with those who feel as though they’ve been forgotten” — such is the way Richard Van Arsdale, Chaplain at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail (and prospective Kiwanis member) described the impact of a collaborative effort to assemble five hundred Christmas Gift Bags to be donated next week to the inmates and staff at the local jail. Three hundred of the bags were put together by 25 volunteers (including five Kiwanians) in a “bucket brigade” session at Christ Community Church on December 13. Another two hundred bags were completed at a separate event by the students at Covenant School. The entire packing process took about 35 – 40 minutes and concluded with Chaplain Van’s blessing of the bags and an informative Q&A session with staff of the jail alongside Chaplain Van and Senior Chaplain Joseph. Kiwanian Charlie Krizek expressed his amazement of how much good could be accomplished in such a short time through the collaborative efforts of volunteers who just had a heart. Kiwanis President Jim Hart agreed and endorsed this project as a good example,of our club’s intention to fulfill Kiwanis Object #1: to give primacy to the human and spiritual rather than to the material values of life.
***Kiwanis Aktion Club Sends Holiday Greetings to Children-in-Need at Agnor-Hurt Elementary School
December 15, 2021 — The Kiwanis Aktion Club at Innisfree Village met on Friday afternoon to make Holiday Greeting Cards to go to fifty children at Agnor-Hurt Elementary School. These children receive a weekend meal package year-round from a special outreach project (Grab A Bag) at the Church of Our Saviour. These are the same kids that the Kiwanis Family has helped out for the last several years, following Aktion Club’s lead, for our school supply drive in July and August (again in collaboration with Church of Our Saviour’s outreach program.) Another aspect of community collaboration for a good cause is the fact that members of the entire Innisfree community participated in the card-making party, which was organized by Aktion Club leaders to take place after lunch in the Community Building at Innisfree Village.
***CKI at UVA Hosts 12th Annual “Breakfast with Santa”
December 12, 2021 — Returning after a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Circle K International (CKI) at the University of Virginia organized the 12th iteration of “Breakfast with Santa” on Saturday, December 11. Six enthusiastic volunteers, led by CKI President Kate Dudley, decorated Ern Commons in the McCormick Road area of UVA Grounds. They then prepared and served an expansive breakfast/brunch buffet for upwards of thirty community children and their families who came out to play games, do arts and crafts, and, of course, welcome Santa. Three members of the Western Albemarle High School Key Club joined CKI in guiding the kids in their games and helping with arts and crafts. Smiles abounded, especially when Santa made his entrance and invited them to a socially-distanced meet and greet.
***Holiday Greenery Fundraiser–Local Delivery and Direct Delivery Orders Have Arrived–Patrons Report Satisfaction
December 9, 2021 –The Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville did its holiday fundraiser slightly differently this year. As far as anyone knows, this was the first time in more than 85 years that we did not sell Christmas trees. But through the month of October, we took orders for beautiful wreaths, garlands, centerpieces, and swags provided by Sherwood Forest Farms in Seattle, Washington. This company had provided greenery for the Albemarle High School Key Club’s annual holiday fundraiser for many years before the club decided to stop doing this just a few years back. Our order was placed by Past President Teresa Tyler on November 1. Club board member Sean Horn was cited for having sold, by far, the most greenery. Those members who were not able to sell greenery were encouraged to make a financial donation in support of this project.
The greenery items ordered for local delivery arrived at Club Secretary Bob Ribando‘s garage in the week before Thanksgiving, a bit earlier than we had expected. Bob and Teresa coordinated the delivery of the greenery by about 15 Kiwanians to customers (friends, relatives, neighbors, local businesses) in time for Thanksgiving. Since we had to order in case lots, about 30 items were “left over” and available for sale. Again, Bob and Teresa coordinated the sale of all but 10 or 12 of these items over the next three weeks. The remaining items were cheerfully donated to non-profit agencies and other special friends of Kiwanis.
In the meantime, word came that the direct delivery items started arriving at the homes and businesses of customers (friends, relatives, business associates and patrons) located in places as far apart as Louisiana, Florida, and Massachusetts, as well as in Charlottesville and the surrounding counties. And the reports were nearly unanimous in their positive assessment of the beauty and freshness of the greenery. These reports were especially gratifying in that the Kiwanis Christmas Trees had a well-deserved reputation among generations of Charlottesvillians for being the freshest and most beautiful in town. As is always the case, 100% of the proceeds from this fundraiser go towards the support of the children and youth of our community. Especially designated are funds to support scholarships for outstanding graduating Key Clubbers. There is also money budgeted for general support of all of our Service Leadership Programs (four Key Clubs, the CKI at UVA, and the Aktion Club at Innisfree Village and VA Institute of Autism’s Adult Academy.) The holiday fundraiser also maintains our long-time sponsorship of a baseball team in the Central Little League and a Holiday Party for Persons with Disabilities at WorkSource Enterprises. To be sure, the club learned a lot from our experience this year and we are already planning a bigger and better fundraiser for next year–one that we hope will reach out to many of the loyal customers whom we served at the tree lot for decades and decades. All of this moves us forward to the fulfillment of our mission: “Serving the Children of the World.”
Kiwanis Garland Donated to Piedmont CASA on Public Display on Their Front Door
***Good News! A Second Chaplain has been Assigned to Help the Inmates and Staff at ACRJ
December 7, 2021 — The program for the Monday evening Kiwanis dinner meeting at Shadwell’s on December 6 was presented by Chaplain Van (Richard) Van Arsdale of the Good News Jail & Prison Ministry who recently joined Senior Chaplain Joseph Varaksa serving at the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail. Chaplain Van, a native of northern Illinois, shared an inspiring personal story about how he came to a career in Jail Ministry. He also explained how the Good News Ministry, which has been here at ACRJ since 1983, continues to come into the lives of the inmates and staff by providing spiritual support, inspiration, and motivational materials to those in desperate need, especially now during this time of pandemic and also during what for many people in a most festive time of the year. Chaplain Van invited Kiwanians to volunteer in a Christmas bag packing event next Monday at Christ Community Church. Several Kiwanians in attendance immediately stepped forward to sign up. We should all welcome Chaplain Van and his family to Charlottesville, and let him show us how we each might put into practice Kiwanis Object #1: To give primacy to the human and spiritual rather than to the material values of life.
***Kiwanis Aktion Club Members from Innisfree Village Volunteer at Annual Toy Lift
December 4, 2021 — The Kiwanis Aktion Club from Innisfree Village once again this year helped out with Toy Lift at the Fashion Square Mall. The “Mighty Five” volunteers, including their Innisfree counselor, Carol Evans, and their Kiwanis adviser, Dana Douglas, met at the old Sears store, which had been transformed into Toyland, and they helped sort toys from 11 until 1 on Friday, December 3.. Kiwanis President Jim Hart was there as the “6th Wheel” to greet and cheer on everybody (with name tags) and, of course, to take some photos . We heard that some 3,600 children (1,600 families) benefited from this annual toy drive extravaganza. Congratulations to our Aktion Club for helping out in this way!
***Kiwanis Service Work Night Helps Piedmont CASA Launch Important Holiday Mailing
November 30, 2021 — Six faithful Kiwanians joined the President and the Director of Philanthropy at Piedmont CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates) on Monday evening, November 29, and put a big dent in a 1,200 piece mailing that was slated to go out in time for the holidays. PLG Eric Lamb took the remaining envelopes and address lists to the Ben Hair Foundation office and promised to recruit Kiwanians to finish the task by the end of this week. Way to go, Eric! Also, we decided to present Piedmont CASA with two of our 10′ garlands left over from the Greenery Sale. When you drive by the intersection of 9th Street and High you can admire how the garlands grace their beautiful front double doors on their HQ building.
Kiwanis President Jim Hart with Piedmont CASA President Kate Duvall
***Kiwanis and Rotary Propose Collaboration to Help IRC Settle Afghan Refugees in our Community
November 16, 2021 — “It all starts by getting acquainted.” This was the idea for the program presented at the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville Monday dinner meeting at Shadwells on November 15. Kiwanis had invited Ronda Puryear from Blue Ridge Mountains Rotary Club to be our guest , get acquainted, and listen to brief presentations by two community leaders who have accepted the challenge of welcoming and helping to settle hundreds of recently evacuated Afghan residents in our community. Russ Linden, Task Force Chair of Welcoming Greater Charlottesville, and Harriet Kuhr, executive director of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Charlottesville, explained that just since October 1, some 200 Afghans have arrived in Charlottesville and are being housed in hotels while the IRC staff works with volunteer community members to find adequate housing for these recent arrivals. More than half the arrivals are children, many of whose needs include establishment as soon as possible in a school situation. Almost all the new arrivals have serious medical concerns related to the traumatic circumstances of their very recent evacuation from Kabul to safety in several countries in the Middle East and Europe and eventually to one of a dozen military bases across the United States. IRC has been officially designated by the US State Department to lead the effort of resettling these recent arrivals in Central Virginia (Richmond-Lynchburg-Charlottesville-Waynesboro-Staunton). IRC has been in Charlottesville since 1998 and has settled more than 6,000 refugees coming from all over the world. But never have they received such a sudden large influx of people in desperate need of assistance. Thus came the call to neighborhood groups, church congregations, civic groups, and the like to work together to meet this unusual challenge in the most humanitarian way possible. For Kiwanis and for Rotary, “this type of challenge is right in our wheelhouse,” said Jim Hart, current President of the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville. “Both of our International Presidents have been encouraging local clubs to collaborate on the various humanitarian challenges of the day, especially those that impact children and youth,” Hart continued. A follow-up meeting is scheduled for January 5, when Kiwanis members will get acquainted with Rotarians at their breakfast meeting at Farmington. In the meantime, individuals from both clubs are encouraged to step forth and volunteer with offerings of time, talent, and financial assistance where appropriate in support of this effort. Watch for information about how you too might become involved for the good of all concerned.
***“Key Club Week” Celebrated at Monday Evening Kiwanis Meeting
November 2,, 2021 — The Kiwanis Key Club is the largest and oldest youth service leadership program in the world, with chapters on more than 5,000 high school campuses in the United States alone. The Charlottesville club sponsors four Key Clubs in this area (Albemarle, Western Albemarle, Monticello, and Charlottesville), engaging more than 300 students in energetic community service and thoughtful leadership development. On Monday evening, November 1, the president and vice president of the Albemarle High School Key Club, along with their faculty adviser, Mr. Ian Lyons, gave an inspiring report to the Kiwanians assembled for dinner at Shadwell’s Restaurant on Pantops. The Key Clubbers each had their own reasons for coming to Key Club and explained how they actually feel driven to share their experience with as many of their classmates as possible, especially with the younger students just making their way through the high school challenges. And both graduating seniors pledged to look for opportunities for service and leadership with Circle K International (CKI) when they get to college. Mr. Lyons was presented with the coveted replica Kiwanis bell, which he promised to bring to the next Key Club meeting on Friday.
During the meeting, Club President Jim Hart announced the news that the Capital District Kiwanis Key Club board, representing more than 14,000 Key Clubbers across Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia, has recognized the Albemarle High School Key Club as Key Club of the Month of October. The citation reads that the AHS Key Club went “above and beyond” by completing 200 service hours as a club during the month of October, and noted that the Officers are “incredibly communicative and involved.” Hart remembered that the Western Albemarle Key Club was similarly saluted as Key Club of the Month for May of 2021. Past President Teresa Tyler, a former faculty adviser at AHS, was praised for her role over the past many years as Capital District Key Club Zone Administrator for Division 9A and 9B, leading more than a dozen Key Clubs on this side of the Mountain and in the Valley. And long-time SLP Committee chair and founder of and faculty adviser to the Albemarle Key Club for some thirty-five years, Past President Don Foss, received an especially loud round of applause from all in attendance.
*** Holiday Greenery Fundraiser–Order Placed!
November 2, 2021 — The Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville is doing our Holiday fundraiser slightly differently this year. We are not selling trees, but we are selling wreaths, garlands, centerpieces and swags. Your purchase helps us support the youth of our community. Won’t you help? The order has been placed. Items will be coming for local delivery in the days before Thanksgiving. Orders being directly shipped to customers will arrive in the two weeks after Thanksgiving. We will have a limited number of items available for sale or donation once the local delivery arrives. If you did not have a chance to order, please consider making a donation to this project. (Please make checks payable to the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville.) All proceeds are returned to the community in support of our children and youth. Thank you!
***AHS Key Clubbers Join Kiwanians Making Blankets for the Cozy Comforts Project on Kiwanis One Day
October 26, 2021 — Following upon the successful “In-Meeting Service Project” at last Tuesday’s CKI meeting at UVA, PLG Barb Ritter provided the raw materials and the instructions for another K-Family effort in support of the Cozy Comforts Back Pack Project. The weather was absolutely horrible, scuttling plans to work outdoors at the Ben Hair Just Swim for Life Foundation office on a variety of tasks related to Kiwanis One Day. The art director at Hospice of the Piedmont called to cancel her participation, and several Kiwanians begged off because of the drenching rain, lightning and thunder. But six intrepid Albemarle High School Key Clubbers and ten hardy Kiwanians braved the elements to make our monthly Dick Fowler Memorial Service Work Night a big success. While Jeanne Masloff and Club Secretary Bob Ribando joined Barb and the Key Clubbers making blankets around the large board room table, the seven other Kiwanians went to work in the shed sorting the most recent delivery of in-kind donations from Walmart. Club President Jim Hart selected toys to taken over to the Boys & Girls Club later in the week by Bob Ribando. Club Past President Teresa Tyler gave a report on the progress being made in our Holiday Greenery Fundraiser and collected orders and payments from sellers. The deadline for this project in support of our SLPs is next Monday evening, November 1, when we will meet to celebrate Key Club Week at Shadwells.
***CKI at UVA Makes Blankets for Cozy Comforts Project During In-Meeting Service Effort
October 20, 2021 — “If you can tie your shoes and handle a pair of scissors, you can make a fleece blanket.” So read the instructions handed out by PLG Barb Ritter during the CKI general meeting at Newcomb Hall on the University of Virginia Central Grounds on Tuesday evening, October 19. Twenty CKI members, ranging from UVA 1st through 4th years, led by CKI President Kate Dudley, gathered around the large board room table and pitched in to complete between a half dozen and ten beautiful, colorful, soft, and cozy fleece blankets, while listening to music and enjoying collegial fellowship. PLG Barb, who founded this project and chairs the committee, explained that “Kiwanis Cozy Comforts is a gift of love and support for children and families in transitional and/or difficult situations.The goal is to show these families and children they are warm, safe, and cared for and to inspire them to have fun together as well. Items in each backpack will vary based on need but most certainly will include hand-made blankets to surround children with warmth.” On the previous Monday afternoon, PLG Barb and PLG Eric Lamb handed over fifteen Cozy Comforts Back Packs to representatives from People Places, one of Charlottesville’s premier foster care agencies. Over the past four years, Charlottesville Kiwanians have packed more than 200 of these gifts of love and warmth and distributed them to six agencies who keep these treasures on hand, ready to be given to children immediately as they enter the foster care system in the coming months. Another set of back packs are ready for donation to the Shelter for Help in Emergency (SHE) who will present them to children who are victims of domestic violence and who are currently being cared for by this agency. And a third set is prepared for Ready Kids, an agency with which Kiwanis has worked closely over the past hundred years for the good of the children and families in need in our community.
***Kiwanis Volunteers Help Out at Kids ISO Excellence Golf Tournament at the Club at Glenmore
October 6, 2021–Our friends at the Club at Glenmore pulled out all the stops to honor world-renowned sports psychologist, Dr. Bob Rotella, by raising money to support scholarships to his Junior Golf Academy. With the solid backing of Dairy Market, Virginia National Bank, and Premium Service Brands/Kids Lift Foundation, Glenmore hosted the first annual Kids ISO Excellence Golf Event. More than one hundred golfers braved the slight threat of rain to answer the challenge of one of the area’s premier courses, while keeping in mind “young people who possess the drive and passion to chase excellence in golf but lack the financial resources.” A dozen Kiwanians and potential Kiwanians led by Past Lt Gov Eric Lamb followed the detailed instructions of the golf pro and helped greet the golfers, assist in registration and other pre-tournament preparations, and then helped monitor several of the challenging “best shot” holes along the course. Many comments were received from golfers and Glenmore staff alike about how wonderful it was to have so many friendly and enthusiastic Kiwanians on the course actively helping to make things run smoothly for the good of the kids.
***Leadership Transition for Kiwanis as it enters 100th year in Charlottesville
September 28, 2021 — As the saying goes, “the third time’s the charm.” Having served twice already as Club President, Jim Hart was handed the gavel for a third time in an elegant installation of officers ceremony at The Club at Glenmore on Monday evening, September 27. Teresa Tyler was recognized by Capital District Governor Dennis Baugh for not only guiding the club through the onset and progress of the pandemic in her year as president, but also for taking back the gavel in mid-year when President Jackie Waymire had to leave office and the club due to her husband’s job transfer overseas. Teresa is now happy to serve as our Immediate Past President. Governor Baugh thanked outgoing board members Charlie Krizek and Karen Dowell and welcomed new board members Dana Douglas and Philip Day. He installed Krister Briehl continuing as treasurer and Bob Ribando carrying on as secretary. In his closing remarks, Jim Hart reminded the audience of how the club in this centennial year will look towards our second century of service while “standing on the shoulders” of our distinguished predecessors who were civic leaders of great stature in their own right.
Besides a fabulous dinner and the raucous fellowship in the company of all our special guests, including five members of the newly chartered Jackson River Area Club, the evening saw the presentation of numerous awards to our Kiwanis servant leaders. Immediate Past Lt Gov Eric Lamb handed the Home Club banner to new Division 9 Lt Gov Pam Warren of the Jackson River Area Club. Lt Gov Pam awarded Legion of Honor certificates to PLG Bill Jones (35 yrs), Gordon Merrick, Philip Day, and Jim Hart (25 yrs each). Teresa Tyler awarded special gifts to Eric Lamb and Jim Hart for their outstanding assistance during her year and a half as president. Teresa graciously accepted a specially engraved pewter Virginia Cup recognizing her efforts in support of the children and youth of our community. A unique presentation of Wheaties boxes bearing the images of three “Kiwanis champions” — Charlie Krizek, Dana Douglas, and Martha Sites — entertained the crowd. Last but certainly not least, Jeanne Williams Masloff was awarded the prestigious George F. Hixson Award for her dedication to the mission of Kiwanis– “Serving the Children of the World.”
***Aktion Club Sends Tasty Autumn Greeting to Ronald McDonald House
September 13, 2021– The Kiwanis Aktion Club gathered for their September meeting at the Community Center at Innisfree Village on a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon. The club decided it was time to turn their thoughts to the families who are staying at Charlottesville’s Ronald McDonald House while their children are undergoing treatment at the great UVA Children’s Hospital. Aktion Club Staff Counselor Carol Evans guided the Aktion Clubbers in baking no fewer than six dozen chocolate chip and cranberry chip cookies. Other Aktion Clubbers worked with Kiwanis adviser Jim Hart to create handmade greeting cards to be delivered to the families later that afternoon. The Aktion Club also gathered four dozen eggs from the Innisfree Village farm and several loaves of gluten-free sourdough bread produced by the Innisfree bakery and placed them in specially decorated packages. Club members and advisers were encouraged in their selfless efforts by a message received from RMHC executive director, Rita Ralston, who stated that Aktion Club’s generosity “helps families feel special and cared for regardless of the difficulties of their situations.”
***Boys & Girls Club Receives Large Donation of Toys and School Supplies from Kiwanis Charlottesville
August 26, 2021 — Following a substantial re-organization of the Kiwanis shed at Monday evening’s service work night, the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville was able to deliver a car load of toys, school supplies, and other items to the Cherry Avenue Unit of the Boys & Girls Club of Central Virginia. Club Unit Director David Cook expressed his great appreciation to what he called the long-standing relationship Kiwanis has had with the Boys & Girls Club. Pictured are Kiwanians Jim Hart (l) and Bob Ribando flanking David Cook as they presented hundreds of kites, t–shirts, packs of colored pencils, mini-bottles of spray sanitizer, and six nifty razor kick scooters for the use of the kids who participate in the after-school programs at the Cherry Avenue location.
Almost all of these gifts-in-kind came to Kiwanis through the Walmart Good 360 Program with the intention that they be distributed to community agencies in need. David Cook took Ribando and Hart on a tour of the facility, specifically describing a unique program they have where kids are encouraged to excel in various character-building and extra-curricular educational activities in order to qualify for rewards available to them through these Kiwanis donations. For example, the kids are taught basic financial literacy skills while becoming gratified with toys or other items they desire. Charlottesville Kiwanians ought to take pride in the partnership that we are building with this excellent and expanding local agency which serves hundreds of children and youth in Central Virginia. Before the pandemic, the Cherry Avenue unit alone was serving on average more than 200 children and youth every day in its after-school program.
***Lamb and Hart Represent Charlottesville at Capital District Kiwanis Education Leadership Conference (ELC) in Roanoke
August 23, 2021 — Division 9 Lt Gov Eric Lamb and Charlottesville President-elect Jim Hart constituted what might be called a “half an interclub” by their participation in the second annual Education Leadership Conference of the Capital District Kiwanis, held at the luxurious Hotel Roanoke from August 21 until August 22. Lt. Gov. Eric played a prominent role in the line up of speakers by presenting a unique, interactive speech entitled “Kiwanis is a Conjunction” wherein thousands of Lego pieces were distributed to the 130 Kiwanians in attendance who brought out their inner child and constructed cube-like structures which Eric explained represented how each Kiwanis club has a variety of diverse shapes, colors, and other attributes–all functioning together in conjunction to provide service to the children of the world. Lt. Gov. Eric’s talk was a more than fitting follow-up to a dynamic speech given by Past International President Jane Erickson, who gave a rousing talk about what is means when we say “Kiwanis is a Verb.” The host club of Roanoke provided excellent hospitality and ran a very enjoyable conference, which included a Friday evening informal get-together, and featured excellent keynote speakers at Saturday’s breakfast and lunch, as well as at Sunday’s breakfast. The Governor’s banquet Saturday evening was hosted by Harrisonburg’s Gov. Dennis Baugh. It was a gala affairs where recognition of the accomplishments of the Capital District Kiwanis Family in the past year were recognized with much enjoyment.
Lt Gov Eric was named “Distinguished Lt Gov” for Division 9 from 2019-2020, Charlottesville was saluted for membership recruitment (including our success in sponsoring the new Jackson River Club) . The Saturday afternoon business section saw the election of Jen Wolff as our Governor-Elect and confirmed Elana Gardner as Governor for 2021-2022. The business session also finalized the inclusion of the West Virginia District into the Capital District starting on October 1, 2021. The annual Ducky Derby Raffle smashed through its goal and raised more than $12,000 for the Capital District Foundation’s support of the nine Children’s Trauma Hospitals (including the great Children’s Hospital at UVA). On Sunday morning, the Capital District’s leadership team for 2021-2022 was announced along with details about upcoming District-wide and International conventions and get-togethers. For more information about al things Capital District see the Capital District Kiwanis website by clicking the hyperlink. You will find that the entire weekend was recorded by Capital District Executive Secretary Jeffrey Wolff. Attending ELC (either in person or virtually) was almost as much fun as attending DCON. Try it, you’ll like it!
***“Big Check” Delivered by Charlottesville Kiwanis to Piedmont CASA to Encourage their Efforts in Support of Foster Children
August 17, 2021 — In place of their annual Dogwood Pancake Breakfast, the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville was proud to support Piedmont CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates) and The Foster Care and Adoption Awareness Coalition–FCAAC–in their annual project to raise awareness and to benefit the foster children of our community: The Bluebird Parade. For the second year, due to the pandemic, the parade (art show) of unique art work creations was held on-line. The Kiwanis Club sponsored the creation of a special web site for this project so that the community could submit and view their art, vote for their favorites, and participate in a fund-raising auction. Folks from all across the community created a flock of amazing bluebirds who are like our foster kids, each one unique.
Kiwanis Charlottesville is so very proud of the selfless efforts of the members of its Aktion Club at Innisfree Village in support of the children and families in most desperate need in our community and around the world. Pictured at the top of the photo collage below is the Aktion Club’s multi-media creation entitled “It Takes a Bluebird Village.” Our Aktion Club’s submission was selected for an Honorable Mention Award by the community voting in the Bluebird Parade. Kiwanis support for Piedmont CASA also extends to special efforts for their unique “Bridges to Success” program for teens aging out of foster care, a most-vulnerable youth population in our community.
***Aktion Club Comes Through Again for the Kids in Need at Agnor-Hurt Elementary
August 17, 2021 — Once again The Jefferson Area Aktion Club members at Innisfree Village took the lead in organizing a school supply drive for the children in need at Agnor-Hurt Elementary School. The call was put out in early July by the Outreach Commission at the Church of Our Saviour, where before the pandemic the Aktion Club had been holding its monthly meetings. “Back-to-school time will be expensive for families struggling to deal with COVID-19 impacts in addition to their normally limited resources,” said Diane and Bruce Dotson, co-chairs of the Outreach Commission. “We will collect pens, glue sticks, notebook paper (wide ruled) small boxes of crayons, magic markers, composition books, loose leaf notebooks and three hole punched zippered pencil pouches. We already have plenty of pencils.” But how do you conduct a drive, go shopping, collect items, sort them into boxes, and deliver them to the church while living in “a bubble” at Innisfree Village in remote western Albemarle County?
Not to worry, at their meeting on July 20, the Aktion Clubbers led by their Innisfree counselor, Carol Evans, met with Kiwanis advisers, Dana Douglas and Jim Hart, and put together decorated collection boxes and colorful posters to set up at prominent locations in the Village. They also voted to use the Amazon gift card prize that they received for their submission to the Bluebird Parade art project to purchase supplies and get the collection started. Finally, they called on members of the Kiwanis Family in Charlottesville to match what they could collect and deliver it to Church of Our Saviour before the deadline of August 16. Kiwanis Div. 9 Lt Gov Eric Lamb was able to locate two large boxes of school supplies in the Kiwanis shed (donations from the Walmart Good 360 project), and then several other generous donations came in from Kiwanians in time for the deadline. Jim Hart made sure they were delivered to the church who sorted them and delivered them to the school. The Dotsons expressed their great thanks for the selfless efforts of the K-Family once again this year in support of the children in need at Agnor-Hurt Elementary.
***Kiwanians Engage in Lively Discussion on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
August 17, 2021 — “Racism of any type is intolerable, and we will not allow it in the Capital District.” So reads the opening line of the Joint Official Statement published on June 7, 2020 by Capital District Kiwanis, Capital District Key Club, and Capital District CKI. To enable Charlottesville Kiwanians to embrace this charge in their daily lives as well as in the execution of the Mission and Vision of Kiwanis International, President Teresa Tyler organized two free-wheeling, interactive workshops, held during the Monday evening club meetings on May 17 and August 16 at the AHS Pod Classroom. Participants were encouraged to reflect on the Mission and Vision of Kiwanis and, to the extent they felt comfortable, assess the level of their individual feelings about racial identity and diversity. President Teresa and her colleague, Albert Toole, the educational technology director, at Western Albemarle High School, shared their own personal experiences and guided the participants in a discussion that many felt was eye-opening though fairly uncomfortable. Participants agreed, no matter what, to 1) stay engaged; 2) expect to experience discomfort; 3) speak their own truth; and 4) expect to accept a lack of closure on these issues. Thank you President Teresa and Mr. Toole for moving the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville “with urgency and determination in the direction of living up to the Objects of our various Kiwanis Family branches.”
***Kiwanians Team Up with AHS Key Clubbers for Service Night at Central Library’s Children’s Department
July 27, 2021 — “Many hands make light work” and tonight we had many, many hands. A dozen Charlottesville Kiwanians were joined by sixteen Key Clubbers from Albemarle High School for a most successful service night at the Central Library’s Children Department on Monday evening, July 26. The Library’s Summer Reading Program for children is going strong, despite the pandemic, and staff provided the masked eager beaver K-Family members with hundreds and hundreds of books that needed to be labeled with stickers and made ready for lending. Other Kiwanis volunteers were tasked with assembling hundreds of “Make & Take” craft bags for the August take home programs. After about an hour and a half, books and bags were boxed up and the hungry volunteers retreated to a welcome pizza party upstairs in the historic Swanson Case Court Room. Central Library Branch Manager, Krista Farrell, congratulated the Kiwanis Club on its return to the library for another very successful service work night.
***Local Major League Baseball Phenom Shares Memories of Playing for Kiwanis Central Little League Team 60 Years Ago
July 27, 2021 — “We were the champs of Charlottesville back then and there was no doubt about it!” That’s how Mike Cubbage described his fond memories of playing Little League baseball in Charlottesville. President-elect Jim Hart met with the affable former major leaguer at his home and was very glad to share these memories and more. Mike opened a scrapbook his mother kept for him to the page with an article from the Daily Progress in the summer of 1962. The headline reads: “Kiwanis Tops Barracks Road” The Barracks Road Shopping Center team won the championship of the Dixie Little League while Kiwanis won the championship of the Central Little League, and the two teams faced off in an exhibition match in McIntire Park. Kiwanis came out on top, 5 – 2, with Cubbage knocking in four runs, including a solo home run. The winning pitcher for Kiwanis was Lindsay Sadler, who held the Barracks Road team to two runs. Among his many other souvenirs, Mike showed Jim his Kiwanis uniform from back in the day. Mike presented this to the Kiwanis Club to keep as a memento of the club’s many decades of support of the Central Little League. Jim was thrilled to accept the uniform (and several other precious items) and assured Mike that it will have a prominent place among other keepsakes being collected for the centennial celebration of the club’s founding in 1922. Mike stated that he can still remember how it felt to get all dressed up in a suit to attend the Kiwanis Club dinner meeting at the Monticello Hotel. He said the president even let him “ring the Kiwanis bell!” Jim explained that that same bell has been used by Kiwanis since 1934 and will be rung with pride in service to the children of the world as long as the club survives.
***Kiwanis/Walmart “Good 360” Partnership Keeps Rolling Along
July 10, 2021 — The Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville Foundation agreed to extend for at least one more year Kiwanis participation in the “Good 360” Project acting as the donation arm for Walmart Store #1780 in Charlottesville. Non-perishable items like clothing, small electronics, toys, school supplies, sports equipment, household items of all types, lawn and garden items, and more are made available to Kiwanis on a weekly basis for distribution to community agencies in need of gifts-in-kind. The Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville in turn has reached out to more than a dozen community agencies since this partnership began in November, 2018. And more than $250,000 worth of gifts-in-kind has been distributed to agencies such as: The Salvation Army, The Haven, the Boys & Girls Club of Central Virginia, Boy Scouts of America, Ready Kids, International Rescue Committee (IRC), Shelter for Help in Emergency, SARA, Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry, Ronald McDonald House Charities, People Places, Love in the Name of Christ, Ben Hair Just Swim for Life Foundation, FBC Soup Kitchen, Region Ten CSB. Pictured are Kiwanians Eric Lamb and Tom Lowe with a couple of recently donated bikes ready to go to a worthy community agency serving kids in need.
***38th Annual Kiwanis Independence Day 5K Run/Walk Benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Blue Ridge
July 5, 2021 — More than a hundred runners came out to Lakeside Middle School in the Hollymead Subdivision on the most beautiful and refreshing day of the summer to make the 38th Annual Kiwanis Independence Day 5K Run/Walk a big success.
Twenty Kiwanians and Kiwanis Family volunteers, led by race directors Sean Horn and Matt Haas, followed the directions of the Charlottesville Track Club and Blue Ridge Timing to present a most delightful and proficient morning workout through Forest Lakes North and South on Saturday, July 3. Major sponsor Better Living Inc. and more than a dozen other businesses (such as Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital Fdn., Jefferson Asset Management, MIncer’s, Crutchfield, Ragged Mountain Running Shop, and Pepsi Cola CVA made generous financial and in-kind contributions so that Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Blue Ridge will get a significant boost from our efforts. NBC29 ran stories both before and after the race to keep the Central Virginia community informed about this Charlottesville summer holiday tradition. The Daily Progress and CvlleCalendar.com listed the race on their Holiday Event Pages.
***The Tom Sox Show Their Appreciation to Kiwanis and the Kiwanis Family
Play Ball! It was time once again to come out to Crutchfield Park at Charlottesville High School to enjoy a night with the Charlottesville Tom Sox. On Thursday evening, June 10, a dozen Kiwanians and their guests gathered under our own big white tent to enjoy a picnic-style meal and marvel at the finest players in college baseball this side of UVA as the Tom Sox took on the Staunton Braves in a Valley League contest.
Free admission was granted to all Kiwanians, K-Family members, and their guests. Kiwanis was honored throughout the game by the PA announcer for the club’s contributions to the community. The “Serving the Children of the World” banner was strung on the fence along the third base line and Kiwanians proudly wore their Kiwanis gear and invited fans to meet us and learn about Kiwanis. On the following Thursday evening, June 17, the Tom Sox showed their appreciation for our friends at the great Ronald McDonald House of Charlottesville. Our Kiwanis Aktion Club at Innisfree Village came out in force and not only enjoyed the game but took the opportunity to present executive director, Rita Ralston, with a collection of hand-painted rocks to be donated to the RMHC rock garden. Rita praised our selfless Kiwanians for their efforts.
***Kiwanis Key Clubbers Recognized for Excellence
June 5, 2021–The Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville recognized the accomplishments of two graduating seniors from Key Clubs at local high schools with $500 scholarships in memory of long-time community leader and Kiwanian, J. T. Graves. The following students were selected by school officials for outstanding academic achievement and for inspiring leadership among their peers in community service: Serena Shepard, Albemarle County High School, and Karen Raphael, Western Albemarle High School;
The Kiwanis Key Club is the largest and oldest youth service leadership program in the world, with chapters on more than 5,000 high school campuses in the United States alone. The Charlottesville club sponsors four Key Clubs in this area (Albemarle, Western Albemarle, Monticello, and Charlottesville), engaging more than 300 students in energetic community service and thoughtful leadership development. The Capital District Kiwanis Key Club board recognized the Western Albemarle High School Key Club as Key Club of the Month of May. The citation read that the WAHS Key Club went “above and beyond” by raising money for the Eliminate Project partnering with the local Chipotle and for maintaining an on-going “Pen Pal Project” with the seniors at English Meadows in Crozet. Other service leadership programs sponsored by Charlottesville Kiwanis are a Circle K International (CKI) Club at the University of Virginia and the Jefferson Area Aktion Club at Innisfree Village and VIA’s Adult Academy, Funds to support these programs are raised mainly through our Christmas Tree and Wreath Sales.
***Aktion Club Participates in Bluebird Parade to Raise Awareness about the Needs of Foster Children in Our Community
June 1, 2021 — UPDATE** Our Aktion Club’s submission (pictured below) has been selected for an Honorable Mention Award by the community voting in the Bluebird Parade–they will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. Congratulations to our creative and selfless Aktion Clubbers at Innisfree Village!
May 15, 2021 — Folks from all across the community created a flock of amazing bluebirds who are like our foster kids, each one unique. Enjoy the “5th Annual Bluebird Parade for Children in Foster Care” sponsored this year by the amazing Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville. Kiwanis Charlottesville is so very proud of the selfless efforts of the members of its Aktion Club at Innisfree Village in support of the children and families in most desperate need in our community and around the world. Pictured at the top of the photo collage below is the Aktion Club’s creation entitled “It Takes a Bluebird Village.” You can watch the entire parade and vote for your favorites by following this link : https://bit.ly/3f8tOqP And please take the time to learn more about Piedmont CASA and the good work of the other members of the Foster Care and Adoption Awareness Coalition by following this link http://thebluebirdproject.org/ Remember #KidsNeedKiwanis
***Second Service Work Night helps Ronald McDonald House
April 27, 2021 — “We are so honored to have great partners like the Kiwanis Club. Thank you so much to the Kiwanis for coming to plant flowers, blow leaves, and paint rocks for our new rock garden. We LOVE our volunteers! (Thank you to Everyday Café’s yummy barbeque for providing them with the fuel to get it done!)” that’s how Rita Ralston, Executive Director, feels about the steadfast support provided over the decades to Ronald McDonald House by Kiwanis Charlottesville and indeed by the entire K-Family. We were thrilled to find memorial bricks donated by the Albemarle HIgh School and Western Albemarle High School Key Clubs in 1995 among the many still beautifully maintained on the terrace.
***Kiwanis Central Little League Team Off to Hot Start
**April 14, 2021–With the most exciting play in baseball, the Kiwanis Central League team stole home in the bottom of the 6th inning to trip up the Boylan Heights team 5-4 in a game last night at Geer Family Field in Pen Park. This win brought their record up to 2-0, having beaten the same Boylan Heights team 6 to 1 in their season opener on March 30. Team Manager, Jason Ness, is preparing his team to meet the challenge of a strong Falcon Club team in their next tilt on April 15. The Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville is sponsoring a “Majors” team this Spring. This is the most competitive of the divisions in Central Little League, composed of player ages 9 – 12 who are drafted up from the Upper Minors and who compete for the League Championship and then represent the Central Little League in the City Championship. All-Star players are eligible to be elected to play in the Virginia District 14 Tournament. More than 200 youngsters play in Central Little League across all four divisions: Tee Ball, Coach Pitch, Upper Minors, and Majors. Follow this link to see the schedule and standings and get more info about Central Little League, where Kiwanis Charlottesville has sponsored a team for many decades. Come out to the ballpark and cheer on Kiwanis! Wear your Kiwanis gear, as do the players, coaches, and their families and fans. #KidsNeedKiwanis
***Service Work Night Helps Ronald McDonald House
On Monday evening, March 29, 6 – 7:30 p.m. we put together a 1,400-piece mailing for our friends at the Ronald McDonald House . Eight Kiwanians and guests gathered (masked and socially distanced) at the Ben Hair Swim for Life Foundation offices. Before the pandemic, for some twenty years, Kiwanis Charlottesville had traditionally reserved the fourth Monday evening of each month to perform a service work night at a local non-profit in memory of the great Kiwanian PLG Dick Fowler . This is the first such work night the club has attempted now that some of the restrictions are being lifted. If all goes well, we plan to gather at the Ronald McDonald House itself on the fourth Monday evening in April to do some outdoor yard maintenance and possibly some cleaning and scrubbing in the downstairs family game and activity room. See the calendar page for the latest information.
***Kiwanis Donates $3,000 in School Supplies to Three Albemarle County Schools
March 20, 2021 The answer was a “no-brainer,” according to Kiwanis Past President and current Division 9 Lieutenant Governor Eric Lamb. “It was a case of do we wait until we have a school supply drive next summer, or are we in a position to help the kids RIGHT NOW?” Faced with the on-going but necessary task of having to sort and account for an abundance of school supplies accumulating in the Kiwanis shed as a result of the weekly donation of overstock through the local Walmart Good 360 Program, Lamb reached out to his friends at Greer Elementary School, where Lamb once served as principal. “Yes, we do have kids who deserve a boost, and especially a gift that will certainly help them succeed in their studies,” was the response from Dorothy Spencer and Darla Ullery, Greer front office staff members who are pictured below Lamb inquired about whether they knew of other schools in particular need, and a contact was given for Walton Middle School, who was more than happy to send a staff member over from the southern end of the county to select supplies for donation. At the same time, Lamb’s fellow Kiwanian, Charlie Krizek,learned of a special need at Broadus Wood Elementary from his daughter who teaches at the Earlysville school. As a result, a third donation was prepared for Broadus Wood. The estimated value of the school supplies donated by Walmart for this distribution to the community by Kiwanis was $3,000. Earlier this year, Kiwanis made a similar donation of Walmart-sourced school supplies valued at $1,500 to Buford Middle School. The Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville Foundation matched that in-kind donation with a grant in the amount of $2,000. Lamb commented “It’s who we are:”
Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers, both men and women, dedicated to improving the world, one child and one community at a time.
***Our Special 2021 Dogwood Season Project: “May is National Foster Care Awareness Month.”
In place of the annual Dogwood Pancake Breakfast, the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville is proud to support Piedmont CASA and The Foster Care and Adoption Awareness Coalition–FCAAC–in this project to raise awareness and to benefit the foster children of our community. Please join us! Click here for details https://conta.cc/3qfwMxh or email email@example.com or better yet visit the new website http://thebluebirdproject.org/ Join The Bluebird Parade and vote for your favorites! https://bit.ly/3f8tOqP
|Our goal is to have one original bluebird artwork to represent each unique child in foster care in our community. Right now, that number is over 200. The Bluebird Parade will be held online in May for National Foster Care Month.|
Your bluebird can be a painting, sculpture, wood, fabric, glass – any medium you like. You can compose a bluebird song – or create a video – or show us your bluebird in a poem or prose. Just get it to us by May 7 and we’ll post it on our Bluebird Project website.
On May 10, when all the bluebird art is posted, the community will be invited to vote for their favorites. So spread the word! Share your bluebird with friends and family because the three bluebirds with the most votes will win prizes!
FOSTER CARE ADOPTION AWARENESS COALITION
The Bluebird Project is a creation of the Foster Care Adoption and Awareness Coalition of these local nonprofits: Community Attention Foster Families (CAFF), the Departments of Social Services in Albemarle and Charlottesville, DePaul Community Resources, Great Expectations, PeoplePlaces, Piedmont CASA, and UMFS.
|PRIZES: FIRST – $200 Amazon Gift Card. SECOND – $100 Amazon Gift Card. THIRD – $50 Amazon Gift Card|
PLUS RAFFLE PRIZES: Everyone who submits a bluebird will have a chance to win one of many raffle prizes. These prizes are possible thanks to our generous sponsor, the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville…
|…plus supporters like MarieBette and Gearharts,|
Click here to see the wonderful bluebirds from last year’s Bluebird Parade:
***Special Speaker for March Tells Kiwanis About the Burley HS Bears
Our special speaker on Monday evening, March 15, at 6 p.m. via ZOOM was James Hollins, president of the Burley Varsity Club. He spoke to us about the Burley Bears football team.
In 1956 if you wanted to watch winning football you went to see the Bears, at Burley, the Black High School. UVA had a disastrous season and Lane High School football wasn’t much better. The Burley Bears won the state championship and did not give up a single point.
Mr. Hollins told us about the Bears and what was lost when Burley High became Burley Middle School in 1973. There is an excellent 45-minute film about the Bears made by Lorenzo Dickerson. You can watch Color Line of Scrimmage here: https://vimeo.com/175644113
***Capital District Kiwanis Holds Virtual Mid-Year Conference
Thank you for all of our speakers and attendees at the 2021 Midyear Conference. Click here to view a recording of the event. Passcode: WGK8.sw3
A session you did not want to miss: Cavanaugh Bell is the 8-year-old Chief Positivity Creator of the bullying prevention nonprofit, Cool & Dope. With a mission to end all bullying worldwide by 2030, Cool & Dope creates family volunteer and activism opportunities to empower youth to speak up and to speak out. For the pandemic, Cavanaugh used his life savings to make care packs for senior citizens and was able to quickly mobilize global donations to create the Love is Greater Than COVID-19 Community Pantry that has served 12,000+ people since April 2020, including sending $32k of critical COVID supplies and food to the poorest community in the Nation, the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Cavanaugh has been awarded a Congressional Certificate of Recognition by House of Representative David Trone, been named a 2020 CNN Young Wonder and the National Action Network’s 2020 MLK Award Recipient as well as has had his work acknowledged by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, President Trump, and Vice President Kamala Harris.This guy can inspire us all to be the best that we can be!
***Special Speaker for February Tells Kiwanis about Ready Kids
Our special speaker on February 15 was Allison Henderson, Director of Philanthropy for over nine years at ReadyKids. In her role, Allison oversees all fundraising, communications and marketing for the organization. Kiwanis is for Kids!–first and foremost, for kids in schools and pre-schools; but also for kids with special needs and for kids in transitional and/or difficult situations. Our club is proud of our partnership with ReadyKids for more than nine decades.
The coronavirus pandemic has made some teenagers feel isolated and lonely. That’s why ReadyKids is stepping up to help those who may be feeling alone during this time. See story on NBC29:https://www.nbc29.com/2021/02/05/readykids-offering-free-virtual-support-group-teenagers/?fbclid=IwAR3VyevF9LeiP_fGshcxILAJaupCilE9KQ8HA5mXLYYJP5N5OKpIh92UVXM
Another agency achievement we learned about is how even during the pandemic the STAR Kids educators from Ready Kids are able to engage kids at MACAA Headstart and Barrett Early Learning Center classrooms in social-emotional learning with the help of puppets Al, Keisha and Ty.
***Kiwanis Service Leadership Clubs Reach Out for Valentine’s Day
Feb. 15, 2021 — On the Tuesday before Valentine’s Day, members of two of the six Service Leader Programs sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville devoted time, energy, and creativity to reach out to those in our community undergoing medical challenges or perhaps those just needing a friendly “pick-me-up.” In the afternoon of Feb. 9, members of the Jefferson Area Aktion Club at Innisfree Village met to bake goodies and make colorful Valentine’s greeting cards for the children, youth, and their parents who stay at the Ronald McDonald House while their loved ones are receiving treatment from the great UVA Children’s Hospital. Kiwanis Adviser Jim Hart met with the group through video messaging and applauded the group for its selfless activity. In the evening of the same day, the CKI Club @ UVA held it first meeting of the spring semester via zoom and together created Valentine’s cards for the residents of the Senior Living Community called Martha Jefferson House. Members were also encouraged to participate in a project sending e-cards to the famous St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Participants chose card designs based on patient art and added their own personal message. We salute the members and advisers of all six of our Service Leadership Programs for continuing to meet during the pandemic and remaining active in performing meaningful service to the community.
*** “Cozy Comforts Backpack Kits” Given to People Places by Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville
Feb. 4, 2021– “Thank you SO MUCH Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville for the generous donation of Cozy Comfort Backpacks! Youth coming into care appreciate them so much!” That’s how the staff of People Places in Charlottesville expressed their feelings on Facebook. Kiwanis Cozy Comforts is a gift of love and support for children and families in transitional and/or difficult situations. The goal is to show these families and children they are warm, safe, and cared for and to inspire them to have fun together as well. Cozy Comforts Project Director, Past Lt Gov Barb Ritter, explained that our Cozy Comforts project gives a backpack with a handmade fleece blanket, books, personal care items, and toys and games to children entering foster care. These treasures will be kept on hand, ready to be given to children immediately as they enter the foster care system in the coming months. In the past three years our club has presented more than 200 backpack kits to 6 local agencies working with children in transitional and/or difficult situations.
***Kiwanian Retires Wreath-Making Machine and Converts it into a Planting Bench
January 15, 2021. When 35-year Kiwanian, Bob Ribando, took the wreath-making equipment and supplies back to WorkSource Enterprises, he got the idea of decommissioning the oldest of the three stands the club has been storing in Chuck’s closet. It is easily 40 years old and probably hadn’t been used in 20 years. Bob’s initial plan was to recycle the metal and use the wood as kindling, but then he realized it was much too valuable for such a fate. So Bob got the idea of making it into a planting bench. Here is what it looks like now after reducing its width by 6″ and replacing some of the rotten wood.
Bob didn’t spend a dime on anything. “The tile on top is from our kitchen back splash; the vertical elements in front are recycled shower curtain rods. the decorative ‘filigree’ on the front is the stuff used to keep leaves out of the gutters.” All fasteners, glue, mortar, grout, paint, etc. was stuff Bob already had in his shop. “Now I think it is too nice for a planting bench and am looking for a church or other non-profit that needs a new pulpit or lectern.” Kiwanis thinking green; recycling Christmas!!
***Buford Middle School Receives $3,500 School Supplies Donation from Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville Foundation
January 11, 2021. What can Charlottesville Kiwanians do right now to show their love for the kids of Charlottesville? This question came from a teacher at Buford Middle School who observed that many Buford students lacked the necessary supplies to help to them be successful in their studies. Teacher Elaine Sites brought this question in November, 2020 to her mother, Kiwanian Martha Sites, who raised it with her colleagues on the board of the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville Foundation. Past Kiwanis President Eric Lamb, current Division 9 Lt Gov., learned of the need and got involved. He coordinates the “Kiwanis/Walmart Good 360 Project”, which on a weekly basis distributes on average two pallets of a variety of overstock and returned items (such as clothing, small electronics, toys, household items of all types, and more) from Walmart as “gifts-in-kind ” to more than a dozen local community organizations. He noted the overstock included school supplies such as pencils and notebooks that were on the list of needs for the Buford students. As a result, those items (and others) valued at more than $1,500 were donated to the Buford project, along with an initial cash donation of $250 from the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville Foundation. With this donation, Kiwanis filled an important gap for a planned first round distribution of school supply kits to Buford’s 575 students that took place in December 2020. The assembled kits are pictured below.
Also, the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville Foundation treasurer Barb Ritter is pictured presenting a check in the amount of $1,806.08 to Elaine Sites which will allow a second distribution to be made to students on January 22, 2021. NBC29 did a story on this event, highlighting the club’s partnership with the local Walmart. The video was not archived, but here is the story https://www.nbc29.com/2021/01/22/buford-middle-school-holds-school-supply-distribution-event/ Hats off to the Kiwanis Club for this splendid effort and for its pledge of continued support for the children and youth of our community.
***Kiwanis Aktion Club at Innisfree Village Makes Holiday Cards for Children at Agnor-Hurt Elementary School.
December 16, 2020. Members of the Kiwanis-sponsored Jefferson Area Aktion Club at Innisfree Village, once again working in cooperation with the Western Albemarle High School Key Club, created colorful holiday greeting cards at their regular meeting on December 15 while thinking of the children at Agnor-Hurt Elementary School who participate in the Grab-A-Bag program of Church of Our Saviour. Aktion Club is a unique service leadership program for adults with disabilities sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville. Their regular meeting place is “The Mission” at Church of Our Saviour, where the church’s food pantry is also located. The church operates a “Grab-a-Bag” program where 45 children in need at Agnor-Hurt receive foods for the weekend every Friday during the school year and even during the period of the pandemic when the children are not able to be in school. Church of Our Saviour volunteers were able to share these cards with the children with the “Kiwanis Family’s” best wishes of JOY and PEACE to all in this wonderful season.
***Virtual Salvation Army Kettle
January 11, 2021 UPDATE:
FUNDRAISING GOAL REACHED
Thanks to all who participated in this year’s drive, the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville met its goal and raised $1,500 for the Salvation Army.
December 11, 2020.
Calling all Kiwanis Family members and Friends! Join us in helping fill the Salvation Army kettle virtually this year. Help us to support the great work The Salvation Army does all year long. #KidsNeedKiwanis
The Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville has been ringing the bell for the Salvation Army probably as long as we have been selling Christmas trees and wreaths–possibly longer! Because of the health and safety precautions taken by many of our members due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to raise money this year with “a virtual kettle” in order to support the good work The Salvation Army does all year long. See my facebook post (https://www.facebook.com/jim.hart.336).
Please check out the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville’s virtual fundraising page at the link below and consider making a donation!: You can also share my post, if you like, to all our K-Family friends (such as our Key Clubbers and other SLPs) so that they can help contribute to the cause. Thank you.
***Tree Lot Opened Black Friday; Sales are Brisk; Sold Out by Dec. 12.
The First Day of Christmas Tree Sales (our 88th year): Black Friday, the Day After Thanksgiving , November 27, 2020–10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Seminole Square Shopping Center in front of Marshalls. Look for the Capitol Shed! 100% of proceeds go to support our Service Leadership Programs (Key Club, CKI, Aktion Club), Little League Baseball, and the annual Holiday Party for Persons with Disabilities. Both NBC29 and CBS19 have featured our sale in news stories: see: https://www.nbc29.com/2020/11/28/patrons-support-kiwanis-christmas-tree-sale/ and https://www.nbc29.com/2020/11/27/kiwanis-tree-sale-begins-charlottesville/ and https://www.cbs19news.com/story/42990104/christmas-tree-stands-give-back-during-holiday-season
We will have only 100 trees to sell this year, so we expect to sell out fast. Kiwanians will staff the lot in three-hour shifts: 10-1; 1-4; 4-7. Saturday-Sunday hours are 10 – 7; Monday-Friday, 4 – 7. Members can sign up to serve using the google spreadsheet sent out by Past President Teresa. Or simply call or email Teresa or President Jackie to claim a shift. Wreath-Making is set for Monday and Tuesday Nov. 30-Dec. 1, at 5:30 at a location TBA. During all activities, strict COVID-19 safety precautions will be observed Please cooperate.
***Charlottesville “Kiwanis One Day” Project Delivers Books to Ronald McDonald House Family Library
November 19–Kiwanis One Day! This year Kiwanis Charlottesville collected books (scores of books) for the children, youth, and their parents who stay at the Ronald McDonald House while their loved ones are receiving treatment from the great UVA Children’s Hospital.
On the morning of November 19 President Jackie delivered exactly 165 books to this remarkable community resource, where staff and volunteers will sort them and make them available in the library of the family room of the facility located adjacent to UVA Hospital.
All books have been discreetly labeled with a friendly Kiwanis sticker expressing our long-term and on-going support for the Ronald McDonald House. At the same time, the Jefferson Area Aktion Club members at Innisfree Village met on Tuesday, November 17, and as a service project baked two dozen gluten-free muffins to be delivered soon to Ronald McDonald House Charlottesville. #KiwanisOneDay #KidsNeedKiwanis
***Kiwanis Aktion Club at Innisfree Village Raises Funds for Save the Children
October 17, 2020–Members of the Jefferson Area Aktion Club teamed up with the Western Albemarle High School Key Club on a beautiful fall Saturday afternoon to conduct a bake sale fund-raiser during the annual Innisfree Village community hay ride event. Amidst all the smiles and laughs and socially-distanced fun and fellowship, $241 was collected in support of Save the Children, a very well-known and respected international organization dedicated to improving the lives of children through better education, health care, and economic opportunities. Founded in London in 1919, Save the Children also provides emergency aid in natural disasters, war, and other conflicts and is at work in 120 countries around the world. (See https://www.savethechildren.org/) Aktion Club counselor, Carol Evans, commented that it is fitting that the local Kiwanis family take on such a project as this in order to confirm our commitment to making a difference in global issues of importance while at the same time acting locally.
***Kiwanian Honored by Salvation Army During Annual Telethon
September 29, 2020–The Charlottesville Salvation Army, in partnership with CBS19, hosted the Eighth Annual Charlottesville Salvation Army Telethon Presented by Better Living, Inc. on Tuesday, September 29, 2020, from 7 p.m. until 8 p.m. The social distancing hosts included Dan Schutte (CBS19 News Anchor) and Joe Thomas (Joe Thomas in the Morning on talk radio WCHV). The community’s support is vital to the programs and services of The Salvation Army. This year’s goal was to raise $175,000 during the Telethon to support the soup kitchen and social service programs, and thanks to the receipt of two major challenge matching grants, one for $50.000 and another for $25,000, the community responded by donating $183,000. Other major supporting sponsors were Cathcart Properties and Neighborhood Properties.
Thirty-five year Kiwanian Bob Pflugfelder issued his annual Kiwanis Club Challenge to all service clubs in the area during the TV broadcast. Bob also posted a fundraising appeal for this event on his Facebook page. More than $2,000 came in through this challenge! Bob is a Life Member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board and was presented at the telethon with a special award for his efforts over many decades. This rare salute called the “Others” award from The Salvation Army recognizes Bob for 34 years of service and his dedication to helping “Others” in need in the Charlottesville area. Congratulations, Bob, for an honor well-deserved.
***Refreshed Leadership Team Installed and Accomplishments Recognized at 99th Annual Kiwanis New Year Shindig
September 21, 2020–“Out with the old and in with the new” is a commonly heard shout at New Year’s celebrations. So let’s recognize and thank Teresa Tyler who is now our Immediate Past President, Don Foss, past treasurer, and outgoing board members Gordon Hair, and Christina Horton. Let us welcome new board members Sean Horn and Sandy Glennie, new treasurer Krister Briehl, and new president of the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville, Jackie Waymire. Hail, Jackie! The position of president-elect remains open. We should all be thinking about asking the right person to fill this position in 2020-2021 so that he or she can assist Jackie in her work this year and can contemplate leading the club as it enters its centennial year in 2021-2022. For more information about preparations for 2022, please follow the Task Force 100 page which can be found on the About Us tab. For the full slate of directors and board members for 2020-2021, also see the About Us tab.
President Teresa presented the following awards: for Excellence in Service to Jeanne Williams Masloff, who received a monogrammed (J–her favorite letter) travel case with elastics to hold essential oils; for Excellence in Leadership to Christina Horton, who received a monogrammed Yeti tumbler; for being “Mr. Kiwanis–The Nice One” — Jim Hart, who received a Kiwanis sweater quarter zip pullover; for being “The Shining Light” — Lt Gov Eric Lamb, who received a vintage Halloween blow mold for his collection; and for being “The Lifesavers” — Bob Ribando, Charlie Krizek, and Don Foss, who each received a #KidsNeedKiwanis cloth face mask –potentially life-saving accoutrements.
***Three Long-time Kiwanians Join Legion of Honor
September 21, 2020–How is it possible for the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville to have become the great organization that it is today? Look no further than to the strong and active service provided by its long-standing members. Three such selfless veterans were singled out for recognition at the 99th Annual Charlottesville Kiwanis Installation of Officers and Awards Gala on Monday evening, September 21. Hats off to Ray Hogan (40 years), Bob Pflugfelder (35 years), and Bob Ribando (35 years). Each has served the club in many capacities, including in the club’s top leadership position as president. All members of the club, including especially our most recent members, should look to these leaders for inspiration as well as for encouragement as the club approaches its centennial year in 2022. #KidsNeedKiwanis
***Tom Lowe Awarded the Walter Zeller Fellowship
September 21, 2020–In recognition of his many years of outstanding service to the children of the world while a member of the Kiwanis Club of Middlesex and now the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville, Tom Lowe was presented with the prestigious Walter Zeller Fellowship at the 99th Annual Charlottesville Kiwanis Installation of Officers and Awards Gala on the evening of September 21. Past President Bob Pflugfelder commented: “Tom Lowe is most deserving of a Zeller, as he is the hardest working man that I have been fortunate to know through our Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville, and our KCOC Foundation. Tom is the consummate professional, ready to get going on a project for a non profit, lead us in a patriotic song, and reach out to help those in need. Thanks Tom Terrific .” The Zeller Fellowship represents a $1,250 contribution from Kiwanis Charlottesville and from Capital District Kiwanis to the Kiwanis Children’s Fund in support of the Eliminate Project. Through the Eliminate Project, Kiwanis International and UNICEF have joined forces to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus—a deadly disease that steals the lives of nearly 31,000 innocent babies and a significant number of women each year. This Kiwanis Worldwide Service Project launched in 2010 has thus far resulted in the elimination of MNT in 46 out of 58 targeted countries around the world. The money raised through Kiwanis ($110 million) since 2010 has helped UNICEF and its partners combat maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) across the globe through education, outreach, and mass immunization drives. Tom’s award means that 694 women have been vaccinated, protecting them and their children forever from the scourge of neonatal and maternal tetanus. Since 2010, the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville, together with its various Service Leadership Programs, has donated more than $34,000 to the Eliminate Project. Congratulations, Tom, and thank you for your enduring service!
***99th Annual Charlottesville Kiwanis Installation of Officers and Awards Night
September 21, 2020– About twenty-five Kiwanians and guests gathered on Monday evening, September 21, in the beautifully decorated backyard of the home of PLG Barb Ritter for the 99th edition of the Charlottesville Kiwanis Installation of Officers and Awards Gala. All COVID-19 health and safety precautions were observed throughout the event which featured a scrumptious four-course meal catered by The Local, remarks of greetings and congratulations by Capital District Governor-Designee Dennis Baugh, a welcome and presentation of awards by outgoing President Teresa Tyler, and finally the installation of officers by Division 9 Lt Gov Eric Lamb who presented the gavel to our President for 2020-2021, Jackie Waymire, who addressed the group and adjourned the meeting by striking the historic Kiwanis bell. For details about all the many awards and citations, please see the stories that appear on this page.
***Kiwanis Family School Supply Drive Succeeds Amidst the Pandemic
August 24, 2020–The Jefferson Area Aktion Club members at Innisfree Village took the lead this year in spurring the Charlottesville Kiwanis family to respond to the call for school supplies for the children at Agnor-Hurt Elementary School. The call was put out by the Outreach Commission at the Church of Our Savior, where the Aktion Club holds its monthly meetings. “Back-to-school time will be expensive for families struggling to deal with COVID-19 impacts in addition to their normally limited resources,” said Diane and Bruce Dotson, co-chairs of the Outreach Commission. The most-needed items: pencils, pens, glue sticks, notebook paper (wide-ruled), small boxes of crayons, magic markers, composition books, loose leaf notebooks, and three-hole punched zippered pencil pouches. But how do you conduct a drive, go shopping, collect items, sort them into boxes, and deliver them to the church while living in “a bubble” at Innisfree Village in remote western Albemarle County? Not to worry, at their meeting in early August the Aktion Clubbers decided to purchase $100 worth of the needed school supplies and then set up a “store” in the Innisfree Village, where community members could come and purchase items for donation. Aktion Club staff advisor, Carol Evans, then arranged her schedule to make sure the items would be brought to the church on East Rio Road on the designated Saturday, between 11 a.m. and 12 noon, for the “contactless drive-up drop off.”
Inspired by the selfless effort made by the members of our very special service leadership program, Kiwanis Aktion Club advisor Jim Hart appealed to the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville to come up with a way to match this effort. Almost immediately, PLG Barb Ritter and Division Nine LTG Eric Lamb put their heads together and searched the Kiwanis shed where weekly donations from Walmart are kept for distribution to local agencies as in-kind gifts. They found a plethora of school supplies that had been placed in reserve for the Cozy Comforts backpack program. A decision was made to make use of these supplies now to match the support given Agnor-Hurt by the Aktion Club. Eric boxed up the materials and brought them to Pen Park where the Kiwanis Club was having its regular Monday evening open-air meeting. Barb placed them in her vehicle and arranged her schedule to make sure they could be delivered to the church on the upcoming Saturday morning or to the school directly. Other Kiwanis members were encouraged to bring supplies to Pen Park to add to Barb’s collection. And, in addition, Kiwanians were invited to make cash donations directly to the church’s outreach seasonal ministry in support of their efforts helping Agnor-Hurt Elementary School. The church’s food pantry operates a “Grab-a-Bag” program where 45 children in need at Agnor-Hurt receive foods for the weekend every Friday during the school year and even now through the summer and during the period of the pandemic when the children are not able to be in school.
On behalf of the Agnor-Hurt families, the Dotsons applauded the efforts of the Kiwanis Aktion Club in showing innovation and leadership amidst these challenging times to meet the needs of children and families in need. For Charlottesville Kiwanis, it was just another example of how we realize: “Life is short. Do stuff that matters.”
***Charlottesville Kiwanians Play Big Role At 101st Annual Capital District Convention
August 23, 2020–The 101st Annual Capital District Convention had been scheduled for August 21-23, 2020, in Richmond, VA. As Convention Chair, past Charlottesville Kiwanis President and present District Nine Lt Gov Eric Lamb had been working tirelessly for more than a year to make this the best DCON ever. Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the District board needed to convene an “emergency” House of Delegates meeting. It was held via video conference at 7 p.m. on Friday, August 21. The District conducted the business of the typical House of Delegates with District Delegates-at-Large only. These included the District Officers, District Board Members, and Past District Governors. Congratulations to Dennis Baugh on his election as Governor designate and Elana Gardner on her election as Governor Elect designate for the 2020-2021 year. Amendments to District Bylaws were approved and the State of the District address took place
Lt Gov Lamb had organized a splendid program for what the District has called A Kiwanis Education Day scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 22, from 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thanks to the cooperation of many leaders throughout the Capital District, (including Charlottesville Kiwanians Teresa Tyler, Jim Hart, Christina Horton, Don Foss, and of course Eric Lamb, the “Education Day” Program took place virtually and went on right on schedule without a hitch. All of the on–line presentations were recorded by Past Gov Jeff Wolf and published to the District website and are available now for all to view at any time. For a PDF of the program called “Vision for the Future” click here https://drive.google.com/file/d/128KXluySYuJdI7bjJ2kQwZILpFBnsbUv/view
***Cozy Comforts Backpacks Donated to Three Local Agencies
July 30, 2020– Kiwanis Cozy Comforts is a gift of love and support for children and families in transitional and/or difficult situations.The goal is to show these families and children they are warm, safe, and cared for and to inspire them to have fun together as well. In the past two weeks forty-five backpacks were distributed to representatives of Ready Kids, Elk Hill, and Shelter for Help in Emergency (SHE), who will make sure children in their care receive them in their time of desperate need. Each back pack includes a hand-made fleece blanket to surround a child with warmth; books and puzzles to share together as a family; nightlights for security and safety; and various personal care items to ensure health and well-being. Our hope is that this small gesture and thought will bring a sense of security and comfort to these children and their families as they navigate the challenges of transition and ensure them that they are happy, healthy, safe and loved. More than 170 backpacks have been donated by the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville over the past several years to a half-dozen local agencies serving children and youth who are in transitional and/or difficult situations.
***Kiwanis Charlottesville Awards $1,500 in Three J.T. Graves Key Club Scholarships
July 20, 2020–The Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville recognized the accomplishments of three graduating seniors from Key Clubs at local high schools with $500 scholarships in memory of long-time community leader and Kiwanian, J. T. Graves. The following students were selected by school officials for outstanding academic achievement and for inspiring leadership among their peers in community service: Jonathan Swap, Albemarle County High School; Chloe Kienzle, Western Albemarle High School; and Hannah Alther, Monticello High School.The Kiwanis Key Club is the largest and oldest youth service leadership program in the world, with chapters on more than 5,000 high school campuses in the United States alone. The Charlottesville club sponsors four Key Clubs in this area, engaging more than 300 students in energetic community service and thoughtful leadership development. Other service leadership programs sponsored by Charlottesville Kiwanis are a Circle K International (CKI) Club at the University of Virginia and the Jefferson Area Aktion Club at Innisfree Village and VIA’s Adult Academy, Funding to support these programs comes mainly from the annual Kiwanis Christmas Tree and Wreath sales project, looking forward to its 88th year.
***Kiwanians Craft Necklaces and Bracelets Showing Care for Kids
July 13, 2020– Charlottesville Kiwanians met at Pen Park Shelter #1 for a board meeting at 5:30, followed by a general club meeting. Dinner prepared by Tropical Smoothie was served picnic-style to attendees who maintained proper physical distance while socializing. Following dinner, members engaged in a service project where they crafted colorful bracelets and necklaces composed of exactly 206 beads. Why? I’d bet you did not know that each Kiwanian impacts an average of 206 kids per year? 1 bead =1 child impacted. That means this year sixty Charlottesville Kiwanians have the potential to impact 12,360 kids. Do the math! #KidsNeedKiwanis.
***Kiwanians Provide Support for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Blue Ridge through the 37th Annual Kiwanis Independence Day 5K Race
July 1, 2020–All Kiwanians and K-Family members are encouraged to participate in the 37th Annual Kiwanis Independence Day 5K race, taking place VIRTUALLY on July 3-4-5. We are all invited to participate in support of BBBS even though we will not gather as a group as we have done for the past 36 years. First, visit the Charlottesville Track Club site http://www.cvilletrackclub.org/july-4.html There you will find all the information you need regarding the format for this year’s virtual event. We are raising money for a great kid nonprofit, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Blue Ridge and we’ve received a generous head start with outstanding contributions from Better Living Inc. and Magellan Health. You too can contribute to the cause–simply go on-line as if to register and find the “donate” button. You will see that a goal has been set of $1,000. You can donate right there and help us reach and exceed the goal. You can also register to run or walk–it’s good for your health; consider participating in that way. I hope to see the names of many Kiwanians and K-Family members registering and donating for the 37th Annual Kiwanis Independence Day 5K.