Kiwanis Club representatives Linda Ann Heldt and Larry Memmer check out the local area, including The Clarkston News, during their three-day tour last week. Photo by Phil Custodio
BY PHIL CUSTODIO
Clarkston News Editor
The Kiwanis are coming to Clarkston, hoping to set up shop this summer.
Representatives of the community service club visited the area last week, meeting with community, government, and school leaders to explain what they’re about and how they can help.
“We’ve had a pretty good response,” said Larry Memmer, Michigan Formula coordinator. “We have a nucleus of members in the new club, and want to give everyone the opportunity to join. Kiwanis is about service to the community and the youth of Clarkston.”
They need at least 15 members to charter a new Clarkston Kiwanis Club. They had about 7-8 folks interested as of last week.
Kiwanis is a non-profit organization founded in 1915, dedicated to helping children in local communities.
“We focus on the community with a special emphasis on youth, infant through college,” Memmer said.
They’re not in competition with other service groups, and frequently collaborate on projects to help the community, he said.
They have several options for service, including Key Club for high school students; AKTION, a Kiwanis program for adults with disabilities; 321 club especially for young professionals, with three hours of service and two hours social at one meeting a month; as well as a traditional club meeting once a week.
Kiwanis has more than 600,000 members in 80 countries, with 4,500 members in 161 clubs in Michigan. Their membership drive has netted seven new clubs in Michigan in the last two years, Memmer said.
The Kiwanis Club of Utica-Shelby is sponsoring the Kiwanis Club of Clarkston. Linda Ann Heldt, secretary of the Utica-Shelby club, was part of the three-day Clarkston visit.
“I’ve volunteered all my life,” said Heldt, who has been a club member since 2011 and organizes her club’s shoe-donation drives. “It’s a great fit, supporting kids in the community.”
Memmer, who joined Kiwanis in 1980 in Grand Rapids and for the last 10 years has been with the Chelsea Kiwanis, has a daughter who lives in Clarkston. Heldt is also familiar with the community from when she worked at craft shows at Clarkston High School.
The Kiwanis are hosting an informational meeting on May 31 at 6:30 p.m. at Buck Shots Bar and Grill, 7048 Gateway Park Drive, to provide more information about Kiwanis.
For more information, check www.kiwanis.org, www.mikiwanis.org, or Facebook at “Michigan district of Kiwanis.”