Swartz Creek, Michigan

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Serving the Children of Swartz Creek and the World since 1955

What is Kiwanis?

What is Kiwanis?

About the Swartz Creek Club

Fundraisers

Projects

About Membership

How do I join the club?

Contact Us

 

This article appeared in the June 2013 issue of Swartz Creek Life Magazine

Swartz Creek Kiwanis Club. The Rock Volunteer group of Swartz Creek

“Positively changing Swartz Creek, today and tomorrow, one child at a time.” That mission statement is the foundation of the Swartz Creek Kiwanis Club. They have been improving the lives of the citizens of Swartz Creek since 1955 when they were first chartered by Kiwanis International, with a strong emphasis on our youth. They have done that with thousands of selfless hours in working fundraisers to finance their many community programs. Every penny of the profits they raise from the public is used for their charitable programs.

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What is Kiwanis?

“Basically, we are a group of good hearted people that believe if you want to live in a good community, you have to actively contribute good to it. It won’t be a good community on its own. Furthermore, we think the best investment of 'good' is in the children and youth of our community.”

Kiwanis International was founded in 1915 in Detroit, Michigan, and became an international organization with the creation of the Kiwanis Club of Hamilton, Ontario, the following year. In the early years, members focused on business networking, but in 1919 the organization changed its focus to service. In the 1960s, worldwide expansion was approved and within the decade, Kiwanis International-Europe was formed, representing Kiwanians in 11 European nations. In 1987, women officially were allowed into the membership. The first club in Genesee County was the Flint club, which was chartered in 1917. Currently Kiwanis has over 240,000 members in 7700 clubs in 80 nations. The name “Kiwanis” is a Native American term which loosely means "We have a good time", "We make a noise" or "To Express Oneself".

Click HERE for a fact sheet on Kiwanis International.

Click HERE to visit the Kiwanis International website.

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Tell me more about the Swartz Creek Club

The focus of the Swartz Creek Kiwanis Club is to support projects and activities that build character and leadership skills and encourage community service by the youth of the Swartz Creek area. This is a fun and informal community service club (no secret rooms, hats, or initiation rituals)! They meet weekly at 7:30am. Thursday mornings at the Country Carriage Restaurant, Miller Road, Swartz Creek. Meetings begin with the call to order (bell) the Pledge of Allegiance, a song, and grace. Business is then brought forward by the president, followed by a short presentation from a “guest speaker”. Each member provides 1 or 2 meeting speakers a year. At many meetings the “Sheriff” will collect fines (usually 25 cents) and some members donate “Happy Bucks”. For a buck you can stand up and announce something that is going good in your world. Fines and happy bucks are deposited in the club administrative accounts and are used to pay for breakfasts for speakers and guests. Meetings adjourn at 8:30 am. so folks can get to work.

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How does the Swartz Creek Club raise funds for its projects?

They have a variety fundraisers throughout the year. No mater what your interests you will find at least one to your liking. Here is a list of their current fundraisers:

Art in the Park Summer Art Fair: In late August we sponsor an art fair in Elms Park. This is in conjuction with the Art Guild and the Women's Club. This is our largest fundraiser.

Weenie Wagon/Lunch at the Dump/Hot-dog sales: Members sell hot dogs at Hometown Days (June), Tuesday night Concerts in June/July/August sponsored by the SC Fine Arts Association. Members cook and serve food for those in attendance at this July/August event. Lunch at the Dump is a catered meal for truck drivers and area elected officials at the land fill in Grand Blanc.

If you would like the Weenie Wagon for your event just go to the CONTACT US link and we can discuss the possibilities with you.

Christmas Sales: We sell gift bags to the commuity for Christmas presents.

Scrapbooking: We organize and promote a scrapbooking event at the American Legion Hall in the early Spring.

Euchre Party: We organize and promote a Euchre tournament at the Americah Legion Hall, also in the early Spring.

Croquet: a fun program that teaches competitive croquet play techniques. This competitive activity is a series of game/tournament days that raises funds through playing fees while providing a recreational activity with croquet players from within the club as well as others in the community that enjoy playing the game. There are separate social and a competitive leagues. Click HERE for more information.

Scrip: A fund raiser that allows them to make money as they make their routine purchases. The club sells gift cards for restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, drugstores, lumber yards...Pr-paid gift cards are available from about 200 major retailers. The club receives between 2 and 20% of the face amount as commission for selling the card. Cards are paid for when the order is placed at any Thursday meeting and are delivered at the meeting the following week. Cards are redeemed like cash at the retail outlet for the full face amount of the card/purchase price. For more information please visit the Great Lakes Scrip Center website by clicking HERE.

 

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What does the Club do with these funds?

All funds collected from the public goes towards funding their charitable projects. Administrative costs comes out of the club dues that the members pay. Here is a list of their current community projects:

Center Stage: A community/Youth theater program in which live performances are held at Mary Crapo School several times a year.

SC Area Food Bank: Supplies food and basic toiletry items for area residents in need. The club regularly contributes to this activity housed at the Methodist church. Food provided is purchased from the Eastern Michigan Food Bank and donations from area gardens and farms. Donations from area churches are also part of the food banks support.

Camp 911 and Cops in the Park: Cosponsored by the SC Police Department teaching elementary students how to be safe and how to react in emergency situations, as well as infuseing sports, arts and crafts, roll modeling, good behavior, friendships and camaraderie. Click HERE for more details on these two great programs.

DDA Movie Night: Free Friday night movies at the Pijtas Pavilion on Civic Drive

Terrific Kids: Kiwanians spend an hour with selected third grade students from Elms elementary. These kids are some that their teacher has identified who might benifit from some additional attention from an outside adult mentor. The mentor discusses a report made by his/her teacher and then does a small activity together.

Scholarships: At the SC High School graduation/awards ceremonies, the club makes a contribution to 3-4 deserving good citizen/students attending college each fall.

Law Enforcement Career Program: They pay student tuition for this career exploration program.

Young Children Priority One: Providing books/supplies to the Head Start preschool classroom in the Syring Elementary School.

Tall Pine Council: Providing funding to cub scouts and boy scouts in the area.

Kiwanis House: This is a house for teenage boys who are wards of the county because of disastrous home life situations. Swartz Creek Kiwanis, along with other Kiwanis Clubs in the county, purchased the house years ago and continue to support, repair, and maintain of the house, sponsor events and provide birthday gifts for residents. Kiwanis house is a part of the Whaley Childrens Center in Flint.

People to people: This is an international student exchange program. Over the past few years the club has contributed funds to help meet the tuition for area youth to attend/participate in this program...

Blue Lake: This is a regionally recognized music camp. Over the past few years the club has contributed to tuition for students from this area to attend this program.

Two Key Clubs: These are a Kiwanis sponsored community service organizations for high school students at SCHS and the Learning Hub at Mary Crapo. It is a sub set of the national program for Kiwanis youth/leadership development.

Prayer Breakfast: is held on Maundy Thursday (the Thursday before Easter) 7:30 am. at the SC Methodist Church bringing together community members and Kiwanians from across Genesee County generally featuring a speaker with an uplifting spiritual message. Members sell tickets for this event to cover costs only. It is not a fundraiser. It's just an event the club provides for the community.

Kiwanis International Foundation: Providing financial support for children's causes locally and worldwide.

Special Projects: For example, they recently provided funds and labor to repair the main pavilion and refurbish the play-scape in Elms Park.

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What are the qualifications to join Kiwanis?

Simply put, Kiwanis is open to anyone with a high moral standard who wants to be involved with a high profile group dedicated to improving his/her community. You must be sponsored by a member. Once your application is approved by the Board of Directors then you are a member with all the rights and privileges thereof.

What are the obligations of membership?

The dues are $120 per year, due in October of each year. You are expected to attend as many of the weekly meetings as possible, as well as to participate in as many fundraisers and projects that you can. The more you put into the club the more satisfaction you will receive from it.

“How does one enjoy—have fun—while doing something good for our community and children? Easy—they join the Swartz Creek Kiwanis. Most of us have busy lives but the hours we spend with our Kiwanis family are generally fun filled hours. Please consider this your invite to come and see what the Kiwanis club is all about. We'll even buy your first breakfast.”

How do I join the club?

Start by contacting any Kiwanian that you know for more information. If you don't know any click HERE to find a contact person. You can also download an application for membership by clicking HERE. If you prefer you can just drop in at one of our meetings on Thursday mornings at 7:30 AM at the Country Carriage Resturant.

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How do I contact Kiwanis?

Click HERE to find information on how to contact us.

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