Organization commits to continuing dedication to many causes
The Newfoundland chapter of the Kiwanis club is known provincewide for its involvement and commitment to young musical performers because it has organized music festivals for more than 60 years in Newfoundland and Labrador.
© Photo by Melissa Jenkins
The Carbonear chapter of the Kiwanis Club held its annual induction of officers event held Oct. 3 at Fong's Restaurant and Motel. The new executive and board of directors in attendance were: front (l-r) —Patsy Rodgers (past director), Judy Symonds (secretary), Danny Button (president), Dr. Eileen St. Croix (lieutenant-governor for Newfoundland and Labrador district), and Judy Cameron (director); back — Steve Peddle (director), Frank Parsons (treasurer), Bob Wheadon (vice-president), John Colbourne (president-elect) and John Walsh (past-president).
What is less known about the club and its members is their dedication to fundraising and donations to charities all over the world.
One of those clubs is located in Carbonear, which serves communities from North River to Western Bay.
On Thursday, Oct. 3, the group held its annual installation of officers dinner at Fong’s Restaurant and Motel — an event held to appoint a new executive for the upcoming year.
Outgoing president John Walsh addressed the crowd of some 35 people to describe the past year. He referred to the efforts of the club — which features 33 active members and one potential member — as “another solid year.”
“This year we budgeted for, and donated to, many projects within our service area,” Walsh explained.
Donations were made to organizations such as the Community Handicapped Association, College of the North Atlantic turkey drive, the Kixx Country toy tree, the Special Olympics and the Carbonear public library, among others. The club even purchased a wreath for the Royal Canadian Legion Memorial Day wreath laying ceremony for the first time in Carbonear.
Earlier this month, the group held its annual radio auction with a new twist. The group modernized the auction and expanded to include an online option to place bids.
“This year we formed a committee to look at restructuring the whole project,” Walsh said. “And the results (were) very promising.”
The annual Kiwanis regional music festival has come a long way since its inception in 1970, when the first competition took place at Davis Elementary (now closed). It was originally only open to Carbonear students.
Since it opened in 1998, the Sheila NaGeira Theatre in the Conception Bay Regional Community Centre has hosted the event, and serves students from Trinity, Conception and Placentia bays.
Every year the president-elect takes on the role of president of the festival. This year John Colbourne will organize the show.
Another change this year will be Glenys Walsh — wife to past president John Walsh — taking the role of executive secretary/co-ordinator of the event. She is not a Kiwanis member, but volunteers her time to many causes.
Some big causes
Dr. Eileen St. Croix from Gander is the lieutenant-governor of the Newfoundland division of Kiwanis, and was the event’s guest speaker. She spoke about an international cause the organization is dedicated to — the "Eliminate project." In co-ordination with UNICEF, Kiwanis is looking to end maternal and neonatal tetanus.
Canada and the Caribbean Kiwanis groups have partnered up to collect donations and funds to put towards the project, but is an international fundraising effort for all Kiwanis clubs around the world hoping to obliterate the disease worldwide.
The World Health Organization explains this form of tetanus is caused during childbirth when the environment the delivery is taking place is unhygienic and not sterile. The disease can be lethal when appropriate medical care is unavailable.
The Carbonear club has committed to donating $5,000 over five years. It provided some $1,700 to the cause this year.
The website for the project says almost 60,000 mothers and newborns lose their lives every year due to painful convulsions and extreme sensitivity to light and touch.
The goal of Kiwanis International is $110 million.
Meanwhile, every October, the club honours a new group of people with the opportunity to become part of the board of directors, an officer and part of different committees.
This year, Danny Button — who was last year’s president-elect — accepted the president role from outgoing president John Walsh.
Last year’s vice-president, John Colbourne, has moved into the president-elect post, while Bob Wheadon has taken the role of vice.
Long-serving secretary, Judy Symonds, will retain her post, while the treasurer role has been filled by Frank Parsons.
The board of directors consists of John Dunne, Hayward Blake, Dave Gill, Steve Peddle, Fred Stone and Judy Cameron.
New president Danny Button said the club is looking forward to another successful year.