Bloomington-Normal Young Professionals Kiwanis Club serving the children of the world

Why Does Kiwanis Serve Children?

Why Does Kiwanis Serve Children?

I found this post on the Kiwanis International Blog.  Enjoy!

November 01, 2010
by: Chip McComb
Emerging Media Specialist

At its core, Kiwanis is about one thing: serving children. This focus isn’t the result of a crafty mission statement or a comprehensive member survey. And it’s definitely not an offspring of a decades-long marketing campaign.

Almost immediately after the first Kiwanis club was founded in Detroit in 1915, Kiwanis members began to focus passionately on meeting the needs of their community’s children. Many of the first club members joined the club in hopes of growing their businesses—but that didn’t keep them from genuinely recognizing the needs of others.
So they sprung into action. And that inspiration quickly spread:
  • During World War I, the Kiwanis club of Winnipeg, Manitoba, provided Christmas gifts to children who had lost their fathers in combat. Within 10 minutes of the idea’s adoption, over US$1,300 was collected. That’s US$24,000 in 2010 currency.
  • In 1918, the Kiwanis club of Detroit adopted Waldyslaw (Walter) Nalaski, a child who had been kidnapped in Chicago and abandoned on the streets of Detroit. The Kiwanians found him a foster home and provided for his every need for three years.  When Walter’s mother was located, the Kiwanians worked with the Children’s Aid Society through the Illinois Children’s Home to reunite the boy and his mom.
  • In January 1919, the Dallas, Texas, Kiwanis club treated more than 200 “news boys” to Thanksgiving dinner.
  • In July 1919, six Kiwanians from Evansville, Indiana, served as “big brothers” to six at-risk youth.
  • Also in July 1919, the Kiwanis club of Allentown, Pennsylvania, acquired a large house and the services of a housekeeper and nurses, who cared for more than 100 children during the 1918-19 influenza pandemic.
  • By 1922, clubs across the U.S. were purchasing shoes for children who couldn’t attend school because they didn’t have shoes to wear. Kiwanians also created “milk funds” for the undernourished and provided for the needs of hospitalized children.
Kiwanis volunteers still passionately serve children. Programs like Key Club, Builders Club and Kiwanis Kids—along with initiatives like Young Children: Priority One, the global campaign against Iodine Deficiency Disorder, and The Eliminate Project: Kiwanis eliminating maternal/neonatal tetanus—are tangible examples of Kiwanis volunteerism in action.

Time and again, serving the world’s youngest and most underserved children has brought amazing amounts of change across the more
2nd Annual BNYP Garage Sale Fundraiser for Autism Camp

2nd Annual BNYP Garage Sale Fundraiser for Autism Camp

BNYP will be hosting our 2nd annual Autism Society Garage Sale Fundraiser on Saturday, April 2nd, 2011 which is Kiwanis One Day. You can learn more about Kiwanis One day here:

All proceeds from the garage sale will be given to the Autism Society of McLean County for their Autism Camp.  Autism Camp is dedicated to providing a valuable experience for children on the autism spectrum in a natural outdoor setting on Lake Bloomington.  Children have the opportunity to engage in typical camp activities, including, canoeing, swimming, horseback riding, games, and much more in a safe and supportive atmosphere.  The cost for camp last year was $200 a person, but I believe the cost this year will be $225.  So the money raised by our fundraiser will either lower the cost of camp for all kids or pay the way for some kids who could otherwise not afford to attend camp.  You can read more about Autism Camp here:  Pictures from last year’s camp can be found here:

Here are the details:

  • The garage sale will be on Saturday, April 2nd from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
  • The garage sale will be located in a vacant storefront within the Lakewood Plaza (the old K’s Merchandise, Outback, Plato’s Closet).
  • The garage sale itself will be a ‘name your price’ garage sale – no listed prices.  The goal is to sell each and every item.
  • All unsold donated items will be given to the Mission Mart, Home Sweet Home, etc, or thrown away.

Here’s how you can help:

  • We need garage-sale worth items for the garage sale.  If you’re interested in donating in advance of the garage sale please contact Craig Luchtefeld at or 309-319-6006.  We will also be accepting donations at the storefront on Friday, April 1st from 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM and Saturday morning any time.  The more donated items we have, the more money we can raise for the event.
  • We need tables and clothes racks.  If you have long, portable tables, card tables, or anything else garage sale items can be placed on, we can use it.  All tables and racks will be returned to their owners once the garage sale is done.

So, please, help us get the word out for this fundraising event!… read more

Service Opportunity at Western Avenue Community Center

Service Opportunity at Western Avenue Community Center

Come and spend a few hours with the kids at the Western Avenue Community Center!  We will be going on Monday, February 28th, from 6:30 to 8:30.

We will be providing these Jr. High kids with a few different options for the evening, such as: play Wii, play a game (like kickball), or working on homework.… read more

Taking Steps to End Child Abuse – 5k Fun Run/1 Mile Walk

Taking Steps to End Child Abuse – 5k Fun Run/1 Mile Walk

In memory of Duncan and Jack Leichtenberg, and in honor of Jack’s golden birthday, you are invited to attend a 5K Run/1 Mile Walk to support the Family Visitation Center (FVC) of The Children’s Foundation of Children’s Home + Aid.

The FVC offers a safe, neutral site for visitation between the non-custodial parent and child(ren). The FVC provides safety protocols that keep parents separated during visitation or exchange drop-off and therefore in compliance with orders of protection and no contact orders. The FVC also provides supervised non-custodial parental visitations and exchanges to clients experiencing a high conflict divorce, domestic violence, child abuse and stalking. The FVC offers a safe place for you and your children. Our primary concern is safety!

The race will take place on Sunday, April 17, 2011 at 1:00pm at Tipton Park (see map of race route). Cost to participate is as follows:

  • $25 for single participant
  • $40 for two participants
  • $50 for a family/team of 3 to 5 participants
  • participants 10 years of age and under-free

Due to reduced funding of this program by the State of Illinois, proceeds of this race will be used to increase the level of critical support to clients of the Family Visitation Center.

All participants must register. The First 100 participants that register will receive a T-Shirt.

Register by mail (mail-in form) or at by April 14, 2011.

Please join us as we honor Jack’s golden birthday. Families, friends, co-workers, relatives are invited. Don’t forget about our four legged friends. This is a great opportunity for a run/walk for them too!

For more information, please call Erin Ales or Harry Johnson at 309-827-0374.… read more

Volunteers Needed – Miller Park Zoo Stampede

Volunteers Needed – Miller Park Zoo Stampede

Miller Park Zoo Stampede (MPZS), now in its 14th year, is one of Miller Park Zoological Society’s major annual fundraisers.  MPZS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the rich history of Miller Park Zoo through fundraising, education, and community outreach.  All funds raised go to the Society to help support the exhibits and programs of Miller Park Zoo.

Volunteer Course Flaggers (keep the race route safe and direct race participants so they know where to go) are needed 8am to 12pm on Race Day.  Volunteers will meet at Miller Park Pavilion.  This is an outdoor assignment, so dress accordingly.

Please contact Liz Barnhart at or more

The Traveling Gavel

The Traveling Gavel

Our friends from the Tuscola Kiwanis Club state it best:

“Each October, the Illinois-Eastern Iowa District Governor presents each new Division Lt. Governor with a handsome, personalized gavel.  The Lt. Governor sets up a schedule for the clubs in his or her division to pass the gavel from club to club within twelve months.  The purpose is to generate Interclub visits.  The gavel must be delivered in some unique way, and finally returns to the lieutenant governor before the end of his or her term.

Great creativity or culinary expertise is appreciated when presenting the traveling gavel. Clubs have presented the gavel with customized chocolate and caramel gavels, built into a bird house packed with birdseed, frozen in a block of ice, suspended in a pan of lime Jell-O, dropped from an airplane in a bag of flour, and buried in a basket of Easter eggs.   Clubs enjoy this tradition both for the creative ideas and the opportunity to enjoy the delivery!”

Here’s what we received from our friends at the Kiwanis Club of the Olympia Area.  Stay tuned for what we give to the Normal Club.

read more

Anthony Gomes Benefit Concert

Anthony Gomes Benefit Concert

Anthony Gomes

On Saturday, February 19th, Billboard recording artist Anthony Gomes will bring his scorching style of Blues to the Castle Theater in Bloomington for one night only.
All proceeds from the show will benefit the Autism Place (ISU Foundation) and Music is the Medicine (a 501c).
Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online by clicking here.

Questions or inquiries about sponsorship opportunities? Email friends.of.tap@gmail.comread more