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Milton Peach, Carbonear Club, Eastern Canada and the Caribbean District

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How attending a convention helped my club get involved with youth programs

I'd been in Kiwanis since 2005, but had never attended a Kiwanis International convention before New Orleans. Our club is made up mainly of fairly well-to-do retirees, on an island with few children, and no schools, so nothing had ever been done in thirty years to have Service Leadership Programs involvement. No K-Kids, no Key Clubs, no youth programs at all.

When I went to New Orleans, I met some really great college Kiwanis members, who told me about Circle K International. That inspired me to come back to my home club and advocate starting up a new CKI unit, at New College of Florida (our honors college in Sarasota). Getting involved, I found some really great young people there, including a former Key Club President who graduated from a Florida high school several counties away. She and about two dozen others embraced the idea, and this month they expect to receive their banner and chartering materials. Our club already has benefitted from seeing this group (probably 70% women) already doing projects with the local Aktion Club, and helping provide strong bodies to help our club erect tents and set up for our fundraisers. We've provided money to start up their club, and train their officers - and now MY goal is to get their help in organizing a Key Club in Sarasota, with our funds helping seed that second SLP unit. Public service and civic awareness isn't dead in our youth, it just needs some help to refine it, and Kiwanis makes that possible.

My hope is that a few of these future leaders can find a way to Vancouver, and should I win anything, it's going to be theirs to spend.

John Wild, Longboat Key Kiwanis Club, Florida District