K for Kiwanis Logo   Sightings - November 2000

Carol Roberts, TCI Bulliten Editor  By Carol Roberts, Kiwanis Club of Tri-Cities Industry, Richland, Washington, Bulletin Editor

I was extremely bored a few weeks ago, and those of you who know me know I am not easily bored -- there is so much to keep me busy. But this day nothing seemed to keep my interest. One of the things I like to do best is get in my car and drive out to the desert, but this day I decided just to ride around town. 

As I was driving the K for Kiwanis entered by sub-conscious and I was suddenly aware of all the places the Kiwanis Logo appears. Of course, there are the big places like the Tri-City Cancer Center, The Children's Center, and the Washington State Patrol cars with video cameras. 

Then I thought of Family-A-Fair, Safe Harbor Crisis Nursery, they, too have a Kiwanis K. Now I didn't see all this riding around because I didn't drive that far-- but there in Richland I went into Kadlec Medical Center and there was the Kiwanis International Worldwide Service Medal on display that had been given to Dr. Lew Zirkle for his dedication to eliminating Iodine Deficiency Disorder in the World. Our own Tri-Cities Industry Club nominated him for this award. 

As I drove further down the street there was a large sign with a Kiwanis K saying Golden Age Park. Driving into Columbia Park I saw a sign in front of a building and campground saying Camp Kiwanis. The building is maintained by all the Kiwanis Clubs in the Tri-Cities and various youth groups and other volunteer organizations use it for their programs. 

Going toward the blue bridge the Fishing Pond and Playground of Dreams came into view, where Kiwanians gave time and money to build. Swinging back into town going down George Washington Way there was the K sign on the Red Lion Hanford House Marquee announcing Richland and Tri-Cities Industry Kiwanis meeting times. I couldn't forget the fabulous Salmon Bake that took place there in June to raise funds for the Edith House maintenance. The EDITH house is used by the Tri-Cities fire departments to teach elementary school children how to escape a burning building.

At Jefferson Park there is a large gazebo build by Kiwanis Clubs Richland and Atomic City, although Tri-Cities Industry contributed with some sidewalk supervising. This gazebo was built to provide a more convenient place for the Pancake breakfasts to raise funds for Youth Sports especially Little League baseball. 

About this time the Ben Franklin Story Bus passed me. You will remember the Story Bus was created to bring attention to reading to your child and is prominent at Family-A-Fair where children are read to with a different story every twenty minutes. The letter K is painted on the side because Kiwanis was one of the contributors for the Read To Me sign.

It was a beautiful fall day so I drove out to West Richland -- if you have not seen the sports Pavilion recently dedicated there you are missing a truly great monument to Kiwanis Service. 

Speaking of gazebos the Columbia Club recently built a gazebo in front of Kennewick General Hospital for people who are waiting for the bus or rides after visiting the hospital. It makes one wonder how Kiwanis members have the energy and time to build-- but Kiwanis members live up to their motto "WE BUILD". 

Well time ran out so I went home, but the next day I was going to take my dog George for a walk, but first I stopped by the Richland Senior Center and I saw the beautiful piano Tri-Cities Industry and Richland Kiwanis clubs brought with a bequest left to the two clubs by Kiwanian Jean Priest. Jean would have loved the piano -- she was so frustrated with the very ancient one in the Center---it would not stay tuned.

At Howard Amon Park, George, he's a dachshund, started on the run and I had to hustle to keep up with him--he was on a leash but it was debatable as to who was leading who, I was at the end of the leash. We ran into the Kiwanis Bench with its fifty year old fountain built with a rock from each state in the Union --even Hawaii and Alaska are included and they weren't even states when the fountain was built. The fountain is now in its permanent place and the fountain works if you need a drink of water.  

Close by was a bench donated by the Richland Kiwanis in memory of their deceased members. It has their charter date on it, but I have forgotten-- I think it was 1945. After a brisk walk George and I sat on a bench donated to the City of Richland in memory of Harold Liviland, a TCI member. 

George and I finally made it to Leslie Groves park-- I am told that it is four miles from one end of Howard Amon Park to the other end of Leslie Groves. I guess I am bragging a little here. As we rounded a small curve in the path a slight breeze ruffled the Flag of the USA that was raised on a pole given by the Atomic City Kiwanis. As I returned to my car I saw Crest Museum on top of the hill, and I knew Kiwanis had been there too, building dioramas, and helping to set up displays. 

There are many other things Kiwanias Clubs do to "build" that are not visible to the eye, like building a community such as scholarships, sending a sophomore to the Hugh 0'Brien* leadership seminars, Food Bank donations, Salvation Army Bell Ringing, Saving Old spectacles for the Northwest Medical team to take to third world countries and Mexico, stocking holiday baskets, and giving picnics for retirement communities.

We have placed emergency information stickers on Children's car seats and have checked the car seats to be sure they were installed properly. We have taken education to a serious level by participating in the RSVP Seniors helping all Kids Education or SHAKE. We have helped the Reading Foundation collect  children's books, we have participated in the March of Dimes Walk A thon to raise funds to educate mothers to have healthy babies. We have even recognized special people as Every Day Heroes.

After I returned home I began to think that if this is what we as Kiwanians in the Tri Cities have done, and I hadn't recognized the Pasco and Kennewick projects, what we have done elsewhere has even a larger K stamp. We sponsor Circle K, Key, Builders, and K-Kids Clubs; We participate in Kiwanis sponsored prayer breakfasts.

The 1999/2000 Gov. of the Pacific Northwest District, Bobbe Godwin, said there were thousands of service efforts in the more than 400 Kiwanis clubs in the district, which covers 1.8 million square miles, and Kiwanians donated 600,000 hours of service I think-if my math is right this amounts to about 19 years of  8 hour days of service accomplished in just one year? More than 3 million dollars was given in support of worthy causes.

Now how did all this Kiwanis service start? After all Kiwanis was first organized to be fraternal club of business and professional men--a few members believed it was merely a knife and fork group, but if the club was to be a success it had to offer- the city of Detroit a program of community service of a philanthropic nature.

One of the clubs earliest services was probably the most unusual ever done by a Kiwanis Club or any other organization as well. The Detroit adopted a five-year-old boy legally. The club learned of the boy's plight that lived with his mother in the poverty-stricken area of Detroit. The boy's mother had divorced his alcoholic father who could not support his family. When the club heard of the mother's deep financial trouble with the mother's permission and a thorough check of all the facts a home was found with an elderly couple. All of the boys needs were taken care of and the club legally adopted the boy whose first name was Walter and gave him the last name of Kiwanis. Walter's mother kept in close contact with the boy and some years later she remarried and asked if she and her husband could have custody of Walter. The club investigated and found the stepfather to be capable with a good job. He was sincere in wanting Walter and he paid all the money back that the Kiwanis club had spent. History does not tell us what happened to Walter through the years but I like to think he became a Kiwanian and was well- respected where ever he was. The Kiwanis Club felt whatever debt Walter owed the club, the club owed him much more. He had helped set the pattern for Kiwanis work among underprivileged children. One Kiwanian was even called God by a little boy he was taking to the hospital for surgery, but that story has been told here before.

There are many unusual service projects accomplished by Kiwanis clubs through out the years and some have had worldwide impact. The best known today is the worldwide service project to eliminate iodine deficiency disorders in the world. Tri-City Industry Foundation gives John Yegge scholarships to young people who are going into third world countries to help these people to understand the necessity for iodine in their diets especially pregnant women and young children. Over 80 million children have been saved to date from the ravages of mental retardation.

Tri-City Industry is the highest contributor to the IDD service project in the Pacific Northwest district and the third highest contributor in Kiwanis International. Yes, we as Kiwanians live up to the Objects of Primacy and to our motto WE BUILD and we live up to our name Kiwanis--loosely translated from the Otchipew Indian language WE MAKE A NOISE no matter how quiet that noise is we do make it.

Am I proud to be a Kiwnian? You bet I am. I know you are proud to be one too.   

We have more K for Kiwanis Logo   Sightings In the area. Please call, or e-mail me with your location and history of the sighting.

Carol B. Roberts

Nov. 2000