MONTE VISTA — On Halloween day, the Monte Vista Kiwanis club celebrated 90 years of serving their community. The celebration was held at Rain Brews Tavern and many people stopped by to join the social gathering. There was wonderful live piano music by John Wilder, a cake, displays of the club’s projects, and great conversations.
The Monte Vista Kiwanis club was founded Oct. 31, 1929. Kiwanis is a service club, and from its start, the organization’s goal has been to serve the community in various ways with an emphasis on children and youth. Some of their past projects have included helping to provide children with dental and eye care, providing milk to school children, and donating playground equipment to various schools and local parks. The local Kiwanis club has also built many of the city’s parks, including Chapman and Montez.
They also have a long list of yearly community projects and fundraisers including a coat drive to benefit the food bank, Salvation Army Bell ringing, a Christmas party for seniors, after prom donations, providing dictionaries and school supplies for elementary schools, Operation Christmas Child, cemetery cleanup and much more! The Monte Vista Kiwanis club also awards a few scholarships each year through their Key Club Seniors program. This year they also hosted an ice cream social fundraiser to raise money to purchase more equipment for the ambulance. Club members also delivered dictionaries donated by the club to the third grade classes at Bill Metz Elementary School and the St. Peter’s Lutheran School. Dictionary delivery is an annual project of the club.
Kiwanis helps kids around the world. Local clubs look out for our communities and the international organization takes on large-scale challenges, such as fighting disease and poverty.
A current international project Kiwanis International is working on is called the “Eliminate Project.” The goal of this project is to help 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.
Kiwanis is a global community with clubs all around the world. Four of those clubs are in the San Luis Valley. According to the Kiwanis website https://www.kiwanis.org/about the organization has more than 550,000 members scattered throughout 80 different countries and geographical areas. The Kiwanis clubs host about 150,000 service projects a year.
Many of the Monte Vista Club members have been a part of the organization for many years as they faithfully serve their community. Don Noland is one of their longest serving members. He joined Kiwanis in the 1970s and said he got involved when the club was working on a project to build a helipad for flight for life. The former helipad was located at Chapman park.
The Monte Vista Kiwanis club meets regularly the first and third Wednesdays of every month from noon to 1 p.m. at the First Christian Church located at 200 Washington Street in Monte Vista.
They are currently looking for new members to join them. The Club welcomes those people interested in joining and individuals or groups who wish to become guest speakers. They have a variety of committees that members can serve on including program, membership/education, community service and spiritual values, youth services, spiritual aims and fundraising. Kiwanis membership begins with an invitation from a member and they welcome both men and women who support Kiwanis objectives and desire to serve their community. They invite people interested in becoming a member to join them in continuing the club’s 90-year-legacy of serving the local community and the Kiwanis International motto of “Serving the children of the world.” For more information contact Janet and Don Noland at 852-5789.
Rebecca Copley is a San Luis Valley native who covers news stories in the Monte Vista, Colorado area. She can be reached by email at [email protected]