Opinion & Editorial

Coast Fork Kiwanis seeking public’s ideas on service projects

By Don Ehrich
The Coast Fork Kiwanis Club is refocusing its efforts and seeking community input on where our modest resources of volunteer time and limited funding should be employed in the South Lane area.
How else can Kiwanis help in the South Lane community? What youth targeted services or projects could the club assist with? If you have a long-term effort in mind, joining the Kiwanis just might be a great way to get local help with your project.
The Coast Fork club is having an informal social gathering at the Round-Up Saloon in Creswell on Thursday, Dec. 19 at 6 p.m. Join in to meet some members and share your ideas.
Every community has different needs, and Kiwanis empowers clubs and their members to pursue creative ways to serve the needs of children such as fighting hunger, improving literacy and offering guidance.
Local Kiwanis Clubs are always seeking new members. Its members help where they can and when they have time, in accordance to individual interests.
Annually, the club sponsors a benefit golf tournament, a trick-or-treat event, a chili cookoff and car show, and a kids Christmas event in Cottage Grove. In Creswell, Kiwanis helps with the Kids Day in the Park, they have conducted a Breakfast with Santa event, sponsor youth in Courageous Kids and sell See’s Candy.
Additionally, The Coast Fork Club awards around seven scholarships for vocational/technical training each year to graduating seniors of Cottage Grove and Creswell area high schools.
The club meets on the first and third Wednesdays of the month for lunch at noon, with the first meeting being held in the Cottage Grove area and the third at Los Cabos Restaurant in Creswell.
Meetings often include a guest program of local interest and visitors are welcome.
Here’s how Kiwanis works:
Every Kiwanis Club establishes its own bylaws and policies within the framework provided by Kiwanis International (KI). Each club is a non-profit. It conducts its business autonomously on a local basis, and are also part of KI with 600,000 members worldwide, including thousands of youth-organized in junior high through college-age clubs. Creswell and Cottage Grove High Schools both have an active youth (Key) club.
KI also aims to help children around the world, notablably with two programs, including the Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) initiative and the ELIMINATE program.
IDD is the leading preventable cause of mental and developmental disabilities in the world. KI has raised more than $105 million toward the elimination of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) and UNICEF has said this initiative is the most successful such effort in history.
The ELIMINATE program aims to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus worldwide. KI has nearly reached its goal of raising $110 million and saving 55 million lives.
Locally, since its merger last year, the Cottage Grove and Creswell clubs have combined resources in order to increase service to the youth in the South Lane area.
Over the past 50 years, our two Kiwanis clubs collectively has raised over a half million dollars for the South Lane area.
Cottage Grove has been the home of two Kiwanis clubs for several decades; The Kiwanis Club of Cottage Grove was formed in 1970 and operated for nearly 50 years, and Bohemia Sunrisers, which meet Wednesday mornings.
The Kiwanis Club of Creswell was organized in 1992 as the newest of nine clubs within Kiwanis Division 74 in Lane and Douglas counties.
Now composed of eight clubs, Division 74 is within one of the earliest elements of KI, the Pacific NW (PNW) District. The PNW District has a long term regional partnership with Doernbecher Children’s Hospital called Kiwanis-Doernbecher Children’s Cancer Program (KDCCP). Over 20,000 children from Lane and Douglas counties are treated at Doernbecher each year.
Coast Fork Kiwanis actively contributes to KDCCP by selling tickets in the PNW District raffle for a new Ford Mustang each year. BiMart was recognized by the PNW District this fall for its strong support of KDCCP and our Mustang raffle. This summer our club sold the winning ticket to a Pleasant Hill family.
Through the Mustang raffle and several other Portland area efforts our PNW District raises over $250,000 each year.
Participation in Kiwanis is totally dependent upon each member’s desire, time available, and personal interests and dues amount to about $125 per year.
How else can you contribute a few hours here and there to your local community while helping to save millions of lives worldwide?

Don Ehrich, of Creswell, is the Coast Fork Kiwanis president and Division 74 lieutenant governor. He can be reached at [email protected] or mail to Post Office Box 1047 in Creswell.



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