Those of us who are members of Kiwanis are often asked just what we do and who we are. The official definition from Kiwanis International is: Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world, one child and one community at a time. However, a more succinct explanation is that Kiwanis is creating tomorrow’s leaders today. The true mission of Kiwanis is to empower communities to improve the world by making lasting differences in the lives of children.
Today, we stand with more than 550,000 members from K-Kids to Key Club to Kiwanis, spanning many age groups in 80 countries and geographic areas. Each community has different needs, and Kiwanis empowers members to pursue creative ways to serve the needs of children, such as fighting hunger, improving literacy and offering guidance.
Local clubs look out for our communities and the international organization takes on large-scale challenges, such as fighting disease and poverty. We are generous with our time. We are creative with our ideas. We are passionate about making a difference. And we have fun along the way.
What makes Kiwanis different from other service clubs? It’s our “SLP” clubs. We are, in short, a family of servant leaders.
To reach more people and have a greater service impact on their communities, clubs sponsor a Kiwanis family club — K-Kids for elementary school children; Builders Clubs for middle school; Key Clubs in our high schools; Circle K (CKI) clubs for university students and Aktion Clubs for adults living with disabilities.
The Kiwanis Club of Aiken sponsors K-Kids at Chukker Creek and Byrd Elementary, Builders Clubs at Jackson-STEM Middle School and Leavelle McCampbell Middle School as well as KEY Clubs at Aiken High School and Silver Bluff High School. We are proud to complete the School-related Kiwanis family by sponsoring our Circle K (CKI) club at USC Aiken. The Kiwanis Club of Aiken also provides scholarships for graduating Key Club Seniors from each high school as well as a CKI student each year at USC Aiken.
While K-Kids and Builders Clubs are student run, there is greater participation with adult supervision. Key Clubs in high schools have both a faculty advisor as well as a Kiwanis member advisor. The clubs are student-led as the students develop leadership skills. Key Club has its own governance and students may serve at the Key Club District and International level as well as attending local and international conventions. The Kiwanis Club of Aiken assists students in chaperoning, transportation, and assisting with the expenses involved in attending these leadership opportunities.
In addition to all of the “SLP” clubs, the Kiwanis Club of Aiken is actively involved in supporting the KEY LEADER program. Key Leader (ages 14-17) teaches service leadership and social-emotional skills essential for students to become value-driven leaders. Based on Robert Greenleaf's "servant leadership" model, and delivered to more than 33,000 students around the world since 2005, Key Leader is an essential program to break down the isolation students face in the era of smartphones.
Many of these high school students go on to join Circle K, the college organization geared to further development of leadership and friendship in the world. This organization is self-governing, elects its own officers, conducts its own meetings and determines its own projects while blending in the opportunity to meet other college students from around the world. This program is mentored by a Kiwanis advisor who provides advice and guidance as needed.
Kiwanis also actively serves the local community in volunteer projects such as aiding the Boys and Girls Clubs, Child Advocacy Center, ACTS, and volunteerism in many other local projects.
Prior to Covid 19 the Aiken Kiwanis club started a new reading mentoring program in conjunction with Leavelle-McCampbell Middle school. This program is designed as an aid to their students to improve their reading skills. The Aiken Kiwanis club provides books for the school and mentors for the struggling students. This enriching and rewarding experience not only serves to enhance readership for the students but will also garner a rich experience for the adult participants. Many volunteers are needed for such projects and Kiwanis proudly steps to the forefront and invites all community members to help make a difference in the lives of children.
Service is at the heart of every Kiwanis club, no matter where in the world it’s located. Members stage approximately 150,000 service projects and raise nearly $100 million every year for communities, families and projects. By working together, members achieve what one person cannot accomplish alone.
Here in Aiken, we have several fundraising efforts. Our major effort is the Aiken’s Bacon & Brews event, held downtown at the Newberry Street Festival Center. Unfortunately the event was canceled in 2021 due to the pandemic but it is currently scheduled for 12 March 2022. Our other fund raiser is a golf tournament usually held the first weekend in May. The funds we raise locally are used to support children here in our local communities.
Hopefully this will give you a better idea of Kiwanis and what we do here in the community. When you give a child the chance to learn, experience, dream, grow, succeed and thrive, great things can happen. When you join Kiwanis, your horizons expand with the rewards of service, fellowship and in time, through the bonds of friendship that are formed, networking happens organically.
Please feel free to join us at a Thursday meeting to find out more about the organization. Feel free to contact me at the following email address for more information.
Kiwanis Club of Aiken
The Kiwanis Club of Aiken's Annual Officer's Installation Banquet was held on October 9, 2014 at USC Aiken's Ruth Patric Science and Education Center Lobby. Close to thirty Kiwanis and Key Club members and guest were in attendance.
District 23's outing Lieutenant Governor John Hethcox was on hand to install all new officers and retire outgoing club president, John Palmer. John addressed the club for a final time stating that he enjoyed his two years as club President and would continue his dedication to the club while enjoying some time to miss Thursday meetings from time-to-time. John was later awarded a plaque in recognition of his servcie and dedication to the club as president for two years by fellow member, Bill Tyler. At the conclusion of his speech, he passed the gavel to the incoming President, Tammy Davis.
The club was happy to install new members John Heffley and Rosemary English. John Heffley was pinned by his sponsor Lisa Tindal. Rosemary English was pinned by her sponsor, Micheal Anaclario. Each member was presented with a Certificate of Membership and a genuine Kiwanis Pin that they would receive at a later date.
The club was happy to welcome thie sponsor clubs, Silver Bluff and Midland Valley High School Key Clubs and USC Aiken's Circle K International. Each club presented thier goals for the year and shared their current and future service projects. In addition, Silver Bluff High School's member and Carolinas District Lieutenant Governor for Key Club, Lydia Hicks, gave a heart warming speech of her experience as a lieutenant governor. She also shared a poem she created about Kiwanis and service to others.
In the final minutes of the banquet, the 2014-2015 Aiken Kiwanis Officers were installed by Hethcox. The new officers are:
--Kathryn Fowler, Secretary
--Dana Hall, Treasurer
--Shane Bagby, 2nd Vice President
--William "Bill" Tyler, 1rst Vice President
--Tammy Davis, President
The remarks and closing was given by newly elected and installed President Tammy Davis. Tammy thanked all the special guests for thier attendance and welcomed Dr. Gary Senn to share some information on the Ruth Patrick Science and Education Center. She closed with a speech outlining the goals for the year and the Club's theme, "For the Children." Before being dismissed, the club closed with the Kiwanis pledge.
August 22-23, 2014, Aiken Kiwanis members, Tammy Davis and William "Bill" Tyler, traveled to Charlotte, NC to serve as club delegate for the Carolinas District Convention.
Both Tammy and Bill enjoyed a fun filled weekend in fellowship with other Kiwanians around the Carolinas. On Friday, August 22, both member attended the Club Leadership Orientation, a five-hour training aimed at preparing club presidents and other leadership positions for their upcoming responsibilities.
Saturday, August 23, was filled with training sessions for the 167 registered delegates and numerous Kiwanians from 91 clubs in the Carolinas District. Both Tammy and Bill reported that among their favorite sessions was a presentation on THE FORMULA. The delegates learned of the Kiwanis initiative aimed at recruiting more members, with a special focus on retaining members and clubs in their district and world-wide. The motto of Live It, Love It, Share It, resonated all weekend.
On Saturday night the members enjoyed a semi-formal installation banquet for new district leadership. New District Governor, Gary Cooper of the Fayetteville, NC club, gave a great inaugural speech. A few others elected and honored that night were Dawn Hodges of the Greenwood, SC Kiwanis Club and the Aiken Kiwanis, Division 23 Lieutenant Governor Alex Fournil of the Columbia, SC Palmetto Club.
In attendance as well were the district leadership for the Carolinas college chapters of Circle K International and High School Key Clubs. Both newly elected Circle K and Key Club Governors, Ashley Synger (CKI) and Cullen Tyndall (Key), addressed the members. Aiken Kiwanis were proud as they cheered on their sponsored Key Club, Silver Bluff High School's Lydia Hicks, who will serve as Carolinas Lieutenant Governor for the year.
Overall, the convention was a great experience for both members. They were able to learn many new aspects of the club and world-wide Kiwanis initiative and program and upon return, shared and enrich their fellow club members. Most importantly, both members returned rejuvenated and ready to continue motivating fellow members to continue their efforts in serving the children locally and world-wide.
On June 26, 2014, nine Aiken Kiwanis members travelled to Columbia, SC to visit the Columbia Kiwanis Club. The club welcomed not only Aiken, but several Kiwanis clubs from around the midlands and upstate areas of South Carolina. The distinguished speaker for the noon lunch meeting was Gov. Nikki Haley. Club members were able to snap a photo with the Governor as a highlight of the day.
On May 8, 2014, Candace Craig was awarded the Aiken Kiwanis Scholarship. Candace is a Senior Key Club member at Silver Bluff High School. Candace was awarded the scholarship based on her leadership, character and overall dedication to the Silver Bluff Hight School Key Club.
Candace has volunteered over 300 hours of service as a member and served as vice president for the club for 2011-2012 and President for 2012-2013. The Key Club Advisor, Meridith Dandridge had this to say about Candace:
“She is always eager to help, is diligent in serving others and her club, and is one of the most kind-hearted teenagers I know. She is the model Key Club member.”
Candace will be attending the University of South Carolina in the fall.
The Kiwanis Club would like to thank all of our sponsors and participants for the success of our 39th Annual Tricycle Races!
Congratulation to the following WINNERS:
• 3-year-olds, first heat - Emerson Swift, Brynn Turner, Norah Dunning.
• 3-year-olds, second heat - Nicholas Powers, Alie Rice, Grace Evenson, Brianna Weeks
• 4-year-olds - Ryland Crenshaw, Knox Young, Katie Slack, Sarah Weeks.
• 5-year-olds - Andru Masterson, Kingsley Rice, Abbie Valera, Isaiah Evensen.
• 6-year-olds, first heat - Hayden Green, Finley Patterson, Resa Slack, Kaitlyn Columb
• 6-year-olds, second heat - Karisa Weeks, Connor McKinney, Ryan Anaclerio, DaKota Daniels.
• 7-year-olds - Luke Jones, Logan Kirkpatrick, Granger Young.
• 8-year-olds - Gracie Patterson, Joey Webster
To read more about the 2014 event, click http://www.aikenstandard.com/article/20140508/AIK0101/140509455/1004/kids-race-to-help-kiwanis-support-community-efforts
By Rob Novit
April 21, 2014
The Aiken Kiwanis Club will host its benefit Tricycle Races at the H. Odell Weeks Activities Center on Wednesday, May 7, but some people may not be fully aware where the donations go.
The sponsorships from businesses and individuals support Kiwanis programs that bring young people together for community outreach.
The Circle K club is a national college-level program that has been an entrenched part of the USC Aiken campus since 1995. Dr. Deidre Martin heads that program and coordinates others for younger students.
Silver Bluff High School and Midland Valley High School have Key Club chapters – just one of the Kiwanis family of service organizations in addition to Circle K – while Leavelle McCampbell Middle School offers a Builders chapter.
Circle K remains a strong club on campus, Martin said.
“Our students work with ACTS on Saturday mornings,” she said. “They are involved with Helping Hands and Christ Central, and also hold blood drives on campus. Circle K is one of the great joys of my life.”
Diamond Herbert, the current president, was looking for something to do, and after attending a Circle K meeting as a freshman, she never left. Club members visit Leavelle McCampbell to encourage students there, she said.
Tammy Davis served as a Circle K member about 10 years ago. A native of Hampton, she was introduced to community service when she started Junior Missions at her church.
When Davis arrived at USCA, “I found a group of college kids with the same interests,” she said. “It was a group that I can be a part of. We had a network of friends who cared about the community and fellowship.”
She is still giving back through her full-time work as the Project Vision director with the United Way of Aiken County.
“I still keep contact with the Circle K club, going to their meetings,” Davis said.
Silver Bluff’s Key Club members volunteer each year to help the Kiwanis Club at the Tricycle Races, said advisor Meredith Dandridge. She and club members feel they should help their “K-Family” in any way they can.
Senior writer Rob Novit is the Aiken Standard’s education reporter and has been with the newspaper since September 2001. He is a native of Walterboro and majored in journalism at the University of Georgia.
• Event: The Aiken Kiwanis Club’s Tricycle Races benefit
• Times and location: The races will take place at the H. Odell Weeks Activities Center on Wednesday, May 7. Registration is at 3:30 p.m., followed by the races at 4 p.m.
• Businesses or individuals (including parents) can sponsor children, ages 3-8. Business sponsorships range from $50 to $500. Individuals can sponsor a child for a $30 donation. For more information, contact Deidre Martin at 641-3448.
Read more: Kiwanis Club’s tricycle event benefits its youth programs | Aiken Standard