Terry Cunefare, Kiwanis Governor-Elect of Illinois-Eastern Iowa District, is spearheading an effort to revive the Kiwanis Club in Washington. The previous Kiwanis club there disbanded several years ago.

“The previous club disbanded for a number of reasons,” said Cunefare. “A couple of members transferred to new jobs and left the area. Others had job commitments that wouldn’t let them participate because meeting times conflicted with their work schedules.”

The previous Washington Kiwanis Club met twice a month at noon, which Cunefare believes created the schedule conflicts that contributed to the organization’s break up. The new club will have a more flexible meeting schedule.

“Once we have enough members, we will have an organizational meeting, and the members will vote on when they want to meet, where they want to meet and how often they want to meet,” Cunefare said.

The Washington Kiwanis Club needs at least 15 members to obtain a charter from the Kiwanis International organization. Cunefare is hoping to recruit between 20 and 25 members. Three teams of two Kiwanians began efforts to drum up membership by meeting with Washington city officials last week including Mayor Gary Manier, Washington Park District Director Brian Tibbs, Chief of Police Ted Miller, and Fire Chief

Randy Hurd, as well as various local businesses and representatives from the Washington Park District.

“The meetings went pretty well. The mayor and the Executive Director of the Park District signed up. We typically like to let the mayor of the city know we’re looking to start up a new Kiwanis clubs, and we like to let the chief of police know we’re out recruiting potential members,” said Cunefare. “City officials are typically in favor of having a new Kiwanis Club in town. I belong to the East Peoria club, and over the years, we’ve had the mayor and a number of city officials as members. We’re not in competition with other civic organizations. In fact, we can work together with whatever civic organizations are in place. Each organization has its own niche, and ours is working with youth.”

So far, the Kiwanians have been able to recruit nine members for the new club, Cunefare added. Recruiting efforts will continue until enough members have joined to acquire a charter.

Kiwanis sponsored youth programs are divided into various age groups. Circle K Clubs are open to college students, Key Clubs are available to high school students, Builders Clubs are geared toward middle school students, and K Kids Clubs focus on elementary school students. 

“I used to be a construction manager for Habitat for Humanity, and Washington High School had a really strong Key Club,” said Cunefare. “They sponsored and built two Habitat houses. Now there’s no Key Club, and I want to start a new Kiwanis Club in Washington so we can get the Key Club started up again.”

Kiwanis International is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world, one child at a time and one community at a time, through a variety of service projects. Each year, members stage nearly 150,000 service projects around the world and raise almost $100 million for communities, families and projects.

“The response we often hear when we ask people to join a Kiwanis Club is ‘I’m too busy with my family or with my job, and I don’t want to join something unless I can give 100 percent,’” said Cunefare. “The key is, we don’t need 100 percent. If you join and participate in one or two service projects a year, and attend the meeting they can attend, that’s all we really need. We let members of the local clubs decide what projects they want to do, and we’ll announce projects and meetings on our Facebook page and in our newsletter.”

As a recent local service project, Kiwanis Division 20, which consists of Kiwanis Clubs in Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford and Fulton counties, raised about $6,000 to purchase 129 child safety car seats from Walmart in East Peoria. Fifteen Kiwanis volunteers unpacked the seats, loaded them into vehicles, and delivered them to health departments and local hospitals.







 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Randy Hurd, as well as various local businesses and representatives from the Washington Park District.

“The meetings went pretty well. The mayor and the Executive Director of the Park District signed up. We typically like to let the mayor of the city know we’re looking to start up a new Kiwanis clubs, and we like to let the chief of police know we’re out recruiting potential members,” said Cunefare. “City officials are typically in favor of having a new Kiwanis Club in town. I belong to the East Peoria club, and over the years, we’ve had the mayor and a number of city officials as members. We’re not in competition with other civic organizations. In fact, we can work together with whatever civic organizations are in place. Each organization has its own niche, and ours is working with youth.”

So far, the Kiwanians have been able to recruit nine members for the new club, Cunefare added. Recruiting efforts will continue until enough members have joined to acquire a charter.

Kiwanis sponsored youth programs are divided into various age groups. Circle K Clubs are open to college students, Key Clubs are available to high school students, Builders Clubs are geared toward middle school students, and K Kids Clubs focus on elementary school students. 

“I used to be a construction manager for Habitat for Humanity, and Washington High School had a really strong Key Club,” said Cunefare. “They sponsored and built two Habitat houses. Now there’s no Key Club, and I want to start a new Kiwanis Club in Washington so we can get the Key Club started up again.”

Kiwanis International is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world, one child at a time and one community at a time, through a variety of service projects. Each year, members stage nearly 150,000 service projects around the world and raise almost $100 million for communities, families and projects.

“The response we often hear when we ask people to join a Kiwanis Club is ‘I’m too busy with my family or with my job, and I don’t want to join something unless I can give 100 percent,’” said Cunefare. “The key is, we don’t need 100 percent. If you join and participate in one or two service projects a year, and attend the meeting they can attend, that’s all we really need. We let members of the local clubs decide what projects they want to do, and we’ll announce projects and meetings on our Facebook page and in our newsletter.”

As a recent local service project, Kiwanis Division 20, which consists of Kiwanis Clubs in Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford and Fulton counties, raised about $6,000 to purchase 129 child safety car seats from Walmart in East Peoria. Fifteen Kiwanis volunteers unpacked the seats, loaded them into vehicles, and delivered them to health departments and local hospitals.