Division 17
Vancouver Island

New Kiwanis Club opens in Sidney, BC!

 SIDNEY, BC – September 19, 2015 – Christmas is just around the corner, and a new Kiwanis Club has been built in Sidney to help ensure all families can enjoy it.

On Saturday, September 19, the opening of the Kiwanis Club of Sidney BC was officially recognized.  In attendance were members of the new Sidney club, members from Vancouver Island Clubs as far away as Port Alberni, Governor Robert Munger of Portland OR and Governor-Elect Jackie Sue McFarlin of Tacoma WA.  Governor-Elect McFarlin gave the keynote address and Governor Munger installed the Board, inducted the new members, and presented the club’s Charter.

At the meeting, Lt. Governor Ken Smith announced that the club had been asked to take on the Christmas Toy Drive, a long-running event in the Sidney area.  His announcement was met with enthusiastic applause. 

The new club started with 17 members, led by President Debby Macdougall.  Ken Smith, who spearheaded the opening of the club, will be serving as Vice President.  Laura Macdonald will be serving as Treasurer.

The club has a direct link to the highest levels of the organization, as its Secretary, Patrick Ewing, is serving on the International Board of Kiwanis.  He is just the second British Columbian in the organization’s 100 years to do so.

The Kiwanis Club will be focused on helping children in Sidney and the Saanich Peninsula.  It is open to both men and women 18 years of age and older.  People interested in joining the club can contact Patrick Ewing at patrick.ewing@shaw.ca or at (250) 995-1362. 

This new club arrives during celebrations to mark the start of the second century of Kiwanis service.  Established in 1915, Kiwanis has more than 600,000 adult and youth members in more than 80 countries.  Each year, members devote 18.5 million volunteer hours toward projects in their communities and raise hundreds of millions of dollars to help children thrive, prosper and grow.

“Kiwanis began in Detroit as a club for businessmen but quickly changed its focus to service, and that commitment remains today,” said Dr. John R. Button, Kiwanis International President, of Ridgetown ON. “We are proud of our 100-year legacy and are excited about our future and the opportunities we have to help all the children of the world.” 

The organization will be celebrating another 100 year milestone next year: 100 years of Kiwanis in Canada.  The first Canadian club was built in 1916 in Hamilton ON, and the century of Canadian service will be marked at the 2016 International Convention in Toronto ON. 

While most Kiwanis projects are local in nature, another milestone for the organization is that Kiwanis International has now exceeded $100 million US in its pledge to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) worldwide.  After having a huge impact on Iodine Deficiency Disorders, eliminating MNT is the organization’s second World Service Project.  As Dr. Button says, “We have been working to raise $110 million to eliminate this tragic disease from the world, and to save babies from suffering an excruciating death from tetanus. Our commitment to The Eliminate Project is our 100th anniversary gift to the world.”

Information on Kiwanis clubs, how to join and participate in a global service organization, is available at Kiwanis.org. You can also reach Club Secretary Patrick Ewing at 250-995-1362 or at Patrick.ewing@shaw.ca.