Kiwanis Club Of Omaha Westside

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Kiwanis Pancake Day was a Giant Breakfast for a Cause!

Breakfast was on everyone’s mind at the Kiwanis Pancake Day Sponsored by BucherTech in the Valparaiso High School cafeteria. The Kiwanis Club of Valparaiso is an organization that is dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time, by supporting local charities.

On that sunny Saturday morning, people were lined up to taste the delicious meal prepared by the members of Kiwanis. The whole region gathered to support the wonderful work that Kiwanis does for our community, it was like one big reunion. Families and friends joined together to have a fun morning, but at the same time learn about all of the great clubs, organizations, and businesses that the Region offers.

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With Kiwanis being one of the largest clubs in Indiana, it was easy to see the tremendous support they have in the community and their gratitude for that support. For community members, it was not a surprise for them to bump into old friends or neighbors, since over 2,000 people attended the Kiwanis Pancake Day. One of the committee members of Kiwanis, Tim Bucher, explained how this event brought the community closer together.

“I like to call today the first day of spring, so it is kind of like when everybody comes out of their house and gets together to have a good time,” Bucher said. “I would say it is almost like a reunion.”

From hosting this community reunion, Kiwanis successfully raised about $25,000 last year. A Kiwanis member and chairperson of the membership committee, Candace Shaw, explained why Pancake Day is so important to Kiwanis.

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“Pancake Day is the biggest fundraiser we have each year. Over half of our budget for donations comes from this fundraiser alone,” Shaw acknowledged. “Last year, we were able to give to almost 50 non-profit organizations within the community.”

However, this year’s Pancake Day brought something a little bit different. The Past President of the Kiwanis Club, John Albers, explained how they added the community Expo sponsored by Kelly Law Office.

“The community Expo is our attempt to highlight the five groups that we are already helping through our Valparaiso Kiwanis Club, with the funds we raise from our Pancake Day. The money we raise here goes right back into the community”

Some of the important groups that are supported by Kiwanis include the YMCA, Family Youth & Services Bureau, Amanda’s Forum, USA Cares, and Housing Opportunities. Not only were the organizations, clubs, and sponsors to thank for this event, but also the students. As students volunteered to help, they also learned a very vital lesson according to Bucher.

“Students are learning that they grow and benefit by taking care of themselves and helping others,” Bucher described. “They’re getting paid not in dollars, but in the rewards they receive for helping their community.”

The rewards that one finds in life can be closer to home than some may think. For many of these volunteers, sponsors, and organizations their reward was found in the Valparaiso High School cafeteria. Reaching back to the community and seeing it grow is what inspired so many Kiwanis members to join. Being a member of Kiwanis for many is like being part of a family that gets the opportunity to change the world.

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