Non-profit Spotlight: Kiwanis Club of Winter Haven
Kiwanis International was founded in 1915 and is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time. Kiwanis clubs provide excellent networking and teamwork opportunities for professionals through service projects, fundraising, and attending district and international conventions. The Winter Haven club meets every Tuesday at 12 noon at Rick’s BBQ on Hwy. 17 in Winter Haven for informational programs. Guests are always welcome.
Founded in 1935, The Kiwanis Club of Winter Haven and its foundation have been working to improve the surrounding community for nearly 80 years and has been recognized a number of times as Best Club of the Year in the Florida District of Kiwanis. In addition to philanthropic support of local charities, the club continues to provide many beneficial programs in the area. From October to April of each year, members participate in Reading Is Fundamental, reading to children in local Head Start programs once a month and providing each child with a book to take home, sparking a passion for reading, which is important to academic success.
Every Child A Swimmer offers free swimming lessons to young children twice each year at the Chain of Lakes complex in Winter Haven. The next session is being planned for September 2013. Service Leadership Programs include K-Kids for elementary schools, Builders Club for middle schools, CKI for college students, and Aktion Club for mentally challenged young people. The Kiwanis Club of Winter Haven currently sponsors two Key Clubs (Lake Region and Winter Haven high schools) to which they award two $2,000 college scholarships each year for graduating members.
For more than 10 years the club has provided much needed supplies to students in local elementary schools and Head Start programs with ‘Stuff the Bus,’ and is expanding to include donations of uniforms. Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in Winter Haven will host a fundraiser on August 8th. Donations can be dropped off August 3rd at Staples (Citi Centre) and Wal-Mart (across from State Farm) in Winter Haven. All monetary donations will be used to purchase supplies, which will be shipped directly to local schools.
Help support the club and its ongoing programs by participating in the major fundraising events. Enjoy $5 all-you-can-eat pancake annually each February. The “Serving the Children” charity golf tournament is held on the first Saturday of May each year.