Kiwanis looking to restart in Douglas - Douglas Daily Dispatch

A group of people are looking into starting up the Douglas Kiwanis Club once again.
The Kiwanis had been an active club in Douglas for many years starting in 1923 before disbanding in 2006.
An informational/interest meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 16 at the Gadsden Hotel for anyone interested in helping restart the Kiwanis Club in Douglas.
Anyone interested in learning more about Kiwanis is invited to be at the meeting.
The Kiwanis are a global volunteer organization that annually raises millions and dedicates more than 18.5 million service hours to strengthen communities and help children.
“We focus on children in the community from birth through college,” said Edwin Verburg, Kiwanis Governor for 2017-18. “What we do is … the kids that join us that we help we try to get them involved and give them leadership skills. And we try to get them involved in community service, helping other youth. … Often times we will partner with Rotary and Lions and we do projects with them.”
The Kiwanis club offers opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to serve and club members sponsor more than 150,000 community service projects each year.
Schools, hospitals, governments and other nonprofit organizations have all reaped the benefits of collaborating with Kiwanis clubs over the years.
Verburg along with Lt. Governor for Division 8 Don Townsend, Crystal Madden, president elect for 2017-18 as well as Candie Drouin and Nilda Townsend, president of the San Pedro Kiwanis, were all in Douglas recently trying to drum up support for the Douglas Kiwanis.
The Key Club at Douglas High School, is an extended branch of the Kiwanis. Townsend is the Kiwanis advisor to the DHS Key Club.
“When the Kiwanis Club went away the Key Club stayed,” Townsend said.
Currently there are 2,400 Kiwanis registered in the Kiwanis Southwest District which includes Arizona, New Mexico and El Paso County. Arizona has an estimated 1,600 of those members in 96 statewide clubs. There are two clubs in Sierra Vista and one in Bisbee and Nogales and hopefully Douglas.
The San Pedro Club out of Sierra Vista will be sponsoring the Douglas club.
Madden said it’s the children and the service projects the Kiwanis do for the youth that entices her to be a part of this organization.
“All the fundraising that we do goes right back into our community,” she said adding that this is something she is passionate about and believes strongly in. “You see the results. You see the smiles on their faces and the changes that it makes in them.”
The Kiwanis has youth clubs all the way up to the adult club. They all in turn work together for a common cause and that’s to help the youth in the community in which they live.
Droun added she has been involved in Kiwanis for 10 years and says if she is not working she is doing something for the Kiwanis. She added she has twice been named the Kiwanian of the Year in her local club.
“I love being involved with the kids,” said. “One of our signature projects in our local club is called Beads of Courage. … What we do is each week we package beads for chronically ill children who have been suffering from things like cancer, heart disease, any kind of chronic disease. … We have been packaging beads weekly for the past five years. We just recently sent out our 10,000th order. The impact on my life, with that program, has been astounding. It’s something I will keep with me forever.”
Droun says Kiwanis have also helped in getting playgrounds brought into communities that need them plus they give out scholarships every year.
“Anything that has to do with kids is involved,” she said.
“When we come into a community we are aware each community has its own needs,” Madden said. “So we ask the community if there is a specific need. … We’re looking to support each communities needs based on what those needs are. We just want to make sure we are supporting the needs of that community.”
“We don’t want 15 members we want 20-25,” Verburg said. “Our goal here as a team, is to make this happen.”
Anyone wanting more information about Kiwanis may email Verburg at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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