Southport-Oak Island Kiwanis Club Improves the Lives of Families
“Changing the world, one child and one community at a time,” the Kiwanis motto, is a tall order for any organization.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Barbara Sammons
With a dedicated board of directors and over 85 members, the Southport-Oak Island Kiwanis Club embraces the motto by serving the children of Brunswick County with over 31 leadership and youth programs, educational assistance, community activities and fundraising.
Peg McDonald, Communications and Publicity Chair and past President, sat down with South Brunswick Magazine and outlined many of the Kiwanis programs, fundraising goals and achievements. Their vision and oversight is remarkable and focused.
“One hundred percent of our fundraising dollars are spent for these programs,” McDonald says. “It’s very rewarding to hear from the children affected by these programs. It can be challenging to evaluate a program’s success, but when you hear their story and how the program changed their life, you know you are doing the right thing.”
Community Activities and Fundraising Events
The fundraising goals of the Kiwanis Club are approximately $80-90,000 per year, with $25,000 awarded annually through scholarships to high school students. The goal is achieved through numerous local business donations, individual donations, grants and various events.
Community activities and fundraising events include Meals on Wheels (a delivery meal service to home-bound seniors), a one-day golf tournament, Big Toy Day and the Southport Spring Festival.
Programs and Services
There are many service leadership programs that rely on these fundraising dollars from Kiwanis Club. These popular programs include Builders Clubs (for Middle School students), Key Clubs (for High School students), K-Kids (for Elementary students) and Aktion Club (for developmentally disabled adults). The Kiwanis Club provides educational assistance, too, that includes tutoring, judging senior projects and scholarships.
But the Kiwanis Club also reaches out to support what others have founded and wants to meet the community wherever they are. So they work to help community-based programs such as First Tee, Listening Post, Teen Court, and Peer Court. They also support projects like New Hope Clinic, Matthews’ Ministry, Interfaith Food Pantry and the Boys and Girls Club.
One particular program, called the “Royal Readers,” gives Kiwanis members the opportunity to directly engage with students in the community. Royal Readers challenges first graders to read a set number of books during the school year. To help the student meet the goal, a Kiwanis member is matched to a student who then reads to the volunteer. With this help, more students are meeting their goals. At the end of the school year, an ice cream social is held for those students who achieve their goal.
“The success of these programs relies on Kiwanis members who contribute an average of thirteen hours of service per month, and sometimes more,” states McDonald. “The Southwestern area of Brunswick County has programs that need our help; therefore, we are actively seeking individuals to start a new chapter.”
It takes fifteen individuals to start a new chapter. If a new chapter is formed, the Southport-Oak Island chapter is ready and willing to help them get started. McDonald looks forward to more Kiwanis Club activity throughout the County.
If you are interested in learning more about the Kiwanis Club, meeting times, programs, etc., please visit their website at southport-oakisland-kiwanis.org
Southport Spring Festival
If you are in the Southport area during Easter weekend, be sure to stop by the Southport Spring Festival, sponsored by Downtown Southport, Inc. and the Southport-Oak Island Kiwanis Club. A tradition for more than 25 years, the festival takes place April 14 and 15, 2017 at Franklin Square Park in Southport. Check out the musical entertainment, food vendors, handmade arts and crafts, and children’s activities. The Southport-Oak Island Kiwanis Club will be onsite selling a variety of Encore Azaleas, spring flowers and herbs for your garden. Their hot dogs are sure to be a tasty treat for your lunch, too!
For more information on the Southport Spring Festival, click on this link:
Our youth are our future. Be a part and help guide our youth on their road to success, both personally and professionally: be a part of the Kiwanis Club!