Chartered in April, 1968, the Kiwanis Club of Lehigh Acres is one of our community’s oldest civic organizations. No other club in our community has contributed more money, time and volunteer hours to youth, elderly, or those in need than the Kiwanis. That is a record our members are proud of and one that requires our organization to reach out and continually enlist others to energize our ranks. Our charitable funds are raised exclusively through the generous donations to and by our customers’ patronage of the KIWANIS THRIFT STORE.
Each year over $100,000 has been budgeted by our club to make “our world” a better place to live.
The Kiwanis of Lehigh Acres gets together at Hope Hospice in the community room. Hope Hospice is located at 1201 Wings Way, Lehigh Acres, Lee, Florida 33936 Breakfast is at 7 a.m. meeting starts at 7:30 a.m. Kiwanis meets every Wednesday morning thought out the year.
Special to the Lehigh Acres Gazette
This year, the Kiwanis Club of Lehigh Acres gave away over 50 scholarships to students in Lehigh Acres.
Service To Youth Award: Teresa Baker, Eric Cioffoletti, Kim Conrad, Jessica Flanders-Holhan, Bree Hamsher, Tea Gimps-Smith, Adrianna McDowell, Irma Parajon, Michelle Smith, Sheila Shepard, Greg Stancel, Claire Turpin and Dana Walker
Growable Scholarship Award: Taelor Allen, Aryana Appadoo, Ariah Esquivel, Silvia Fortanel, Victor Georges, Pearla Gonzalez, Schadna Loius, Hiram Marrero, Christian Ramos, Yasmine Sahadeo, Jonathan Semple and Dale Stephens
College Scholarship Award: Kelvin Agosto, Kadan Allwood, Lisy Antunez, Juan Cabrara, Dallas Campbell, Aik Man Cheung, Amani Desamours, Rocio Flores, Chad Skyes, Jasmine Garrido, Daniella Gomez, Deliilah Gonzalez, Katelynn Heinkle, Stephanie Lopez, Amanda McDowell, Geroge Pericifield, Samantha Percifield, Eliety Perez, Madison Rayburn, Nathen Garcia, Alexis Simpson, Alina Rodriguez, Barbara Rodriguez, Patricia Rodriuez and Tyrik Pitts
College Renewal Scholarship Award: Nashari Carter, Seo Dieng, Luis Jara, Uriah Mcglone, Taylor Nalewaik, Elisa Nonlall, Ciara Pedraza, Melvin Rivera, Smon Tam, John Trujilio and Emily Vance
By Nancy Bartlett Lehigh Acres Kiwanis Club Edited for content by Lehigh Acres Gazette
The Kiwanis Club hosted its Annual Community Scholarship and Awards Banquet at Christ United Methodist Church. Each spring, the organization names Hometown Heroes based off of nominations submitted from the public; this year, two people shared one award.
The Lehigh Acres Kiwanis Club 2017 Hometown Heroes are:
- Mel Toadvine: Recently retired, Mel Toadvine was the editor of Lehigh Acres Citizen for many years and an integral part of the community.
- Feroza Yassen Appadoo and Ayme Pappas: Feroza Yassen Pappadoo and Ayme Pappas coached Sunshine Elementary School’s Odyssey of the Mind Team, taking the students from local champs to the state championship, then on to the World Odyssey of the Mind Competition in Michigan, where they placed 13th against 894 other teams. They stirred the confidence in the students to a skill level beyond most elementary students.
- Mary Meador: Mary Meador, a math teacher at Lehigh Middle School, is a voluntary income tax assistant coordinator at Lehigh Community Services, which offers a program sponsored by the United Way and IRS. This is an example of another super teacher, giving her extra time to others. In the past three years, Meador and her team have had over $1 million returned to Lehigh residents.
Special to the Lehigh Acres Gazette
The Lehigh Kiwanis Club hosted a Holiday Breakfast for the Key Clubs, Builders Clubs and K-Kids on Dec. 14, 2016, at Lehigh Senior High School. The Meeting was called to order by LSHS Key Club President, Alina Rodriguez. The pledge to the American Flag was led by the K-Kids Clubs, with the singing of “God Bless America” led by the Builders’ Clubs. Lehigh Kiwanis President, Richard St. Dennis introduced LSHS Principal, Jackie Corey, who welcomed everyone and then, was presented a check for LSHS Athletics from Lehigh Kiwanis Club. Lehigh Kiwanis Club also presented checks to Larry Hammond for East Lee H.S. Athletics, and to the LSHS Drama, Dance, Band, and Chorus.
Entertainment for this event was presented by the Lehigh Senior H.S. Dancers, Drama Class, and Chorus. Beautifully costumed ballet dancers floated across the stage, accompanied by singers; the drama class staged a comical spelling bee, and the LSHS Chorus sang songs of the season.
After this rousing program, breakfast was served to the students from Sunshine, Tortuga, Mirror Lakes, G.Weaver Hips, Lehigh Elementary and Middle, East Lee H.S. and Lehigh S.H.S., provided by Lehigh Kiwanis Club. As everyone got in line for breakfast, the Lehigh S.H.S. Band played songs of the Holiday Season.
The students who are members of the Key Clubs, Builders and K-Kids Clubs sponsored by Lehigh Kiwanis Club, learn parliamentary procedure, public speaking, goal-setting, community service, fundraising and many other life lessons for their bright futures. Their teacher/advisors mentor these children to the utmost, for the students’ successes. We thank these teachers for the great support they give daily, for their students!
Special to the Lehigh Acres Gazette
The Lehigh Kiwanis Club hosted a Holiday Party Dec. 14, 2016, for special-needs students from Tortuga, Lehigh and Mirror Lakes Elementary Schools. All the children received headpieces of either antlers, Santa or snowmen as they departed their buses. They were then greeted by the Calendar Girls Dance Troupe, young violinist, Alex Cameron, and Kiwanis Club Members on their way into the Fellowship Hall of Christ United Methodist Church in Lehigh Acres.
Kiwanian, Jim Kreger, played Christmas Carols on the piano as the guests entered. The party began with each child receiving a stocking filled with toys and was personally greeted by Santa and Mrs. Claus!
MC/organizer for the event, Lehigh Kiwanis President Elect, Tina Pegler, introduced 10-year old superb violinist, Alex Cameron, who played several holiday medleys throughout the morning. The Calendar Girls Dance Troupe danced for us with many lively Christmas tunes, followed by a round of Hanukah tunes led by Tina Pegler.
The party concluded with lunch of pizza and drinks served to all the guests.
The Lee County and Labelle area Kiwanis clubs attended the 99th Annual Florida District Convention in Orlando. The Florida District of Kiwanis, which covers the entire State of Florida and the Cayman Islands, is composed of over 7,400 members in 242 active clubs. Thirty-one Kiwanis members attended convention to represent the 14 clubs in the area. Two local Kiwanians were recognized for their achievements at the convention- Patrice Cunningham and Harris Segel. Stewart Ross was inducted as the 2016-2017 Division 19 Lt. Governor and Bruce Boyd as the Florida Kiwanis Foundation Trustee for Division 19. Lehigh Senior High School Key Club graduate Julie Bernard did a singing performance at the convention.
Patrice Cunningham, a member of the Fort Myers Metro-McGregor Kiwanis club, was recognized for her work as Florida District Chair for Social Media. Harris Segel of the Fort Myers Metro-McGregor Kiwanis club was recognized for his new club building efforts in the division as Lt. Governor.
Stewart Ross of the Fort Myers Metro-McGregor Kiwanis club was installed to serve as the 2016-2017 Division 19 Lt. Governor on the statewide board of the Florida District of Kiwanis. Lt. Governor Ross will serve as the liaison between the 14 Kiwanis Clubs of Division 19 which covers Lee County and Labelle, and will serve on the 34-member governing Board of Kiwanis which oversees all branches of the Kiwanis Family. There are 27 Lt. Governors which represent the different divisions of Kiwanis throughout the state of Florida and Cayman Islands.
Bruce Boyd, a member of the Lehigh Acres Kiwanis Club, was installed as Division 19 Florida Kiwanis Foundation Trustee. This will be his third year in this role. He will serve alongside 26 other trustees throughout the Florida District. The Florida Kiwanis Foundation is the fundraising entity of the Florida District of Kiwanis International with the objective to provide an endowment fund to which clubs and individual Kiwanis members can contribute gifts and bequests.
Lehigh Senior High School Key Club graduate Julie Bernard sang for the convention attendees at the Sunday breakfast. Bernard was winner of the Florida District of Key Club Talent Show. Florida District of Key Club has over 22,300 members.
Kiwanis Club Welcomed Taylor Marini, Development Coordinator, Make-A-Wish Foundation Southern Florida to Meeting
Kiwanis handed out 17 Service to youth Awards, 11 Growable Scholarships, 15 New College Scholarships and 38 College Renewal Scholarships. (click here to seepPhotos of the event)
Hometown Hero’s 2016 Connor Blais, Andy Reisinger and Deputy “Rocky” Snott
Click on photo to enlarge
Connor Blias – Connor was not to be there because he was in England. His Father Doug Blais picked up the award for him. The Lehigh Acres Gazette got ahold of Conner by Facebook and he said, “It’s a great honor to be recognized for this award. A lot of hard work and dedication went into my project but to really pull it off it was the local community that made it possible. Without there’s support my project probably would not have been as successful. I have done what others wish they could. The ability to pull a community together for the better to help those less fortunate. 1,500 backpacks full of school supplies were collected over a 5 month period. 1,500 students from 4 local schools received backpacks.”
Also the Kiwanis Club of Lehigh Acres gave FGCU $10,000 for their scholarship programs
Dan Shoemaker, President of Reciprocal Ministries International, spoke to the Lehigh Acre Kiwanis Club Breakfast Meeting recently, of his lifelong desire to see the Haitian peoples’ lives
improved spiritually, economically, physically and socially. He has been involved in partnering churches through Reciprocal Ministries International Partnerships with churches in Haiti for his entire life. He says that “Bridging Cultures-Transforming Lives” has been a way of life for him for 33 years
Reciprocal Ministries International’s Five Impact Points: Evangelism, Discipleship, Social Compassion, Education and Poverty Alleviation through a five-phase implementation pathway,
provide a trans formative strategy for mission’s involvement with the Haitian people. “Hope for Kids” is their program in Haiti that feeds about 5,000 children a hot meal each day. He stated that 60% of Haitian schools are church-sponsored and for $28.00 per month, they can educate and feed a child a hot meal daily.
The “Goat Program” provides a young person with a goat, whereby they are taught how to care for the goat and start a herd, providing the family with goat meat and milk. “Eventually, this program much improves their economic status”, Mr. Shoemaker explained. The first kid born to that first goat is passed on to another young person, to spread the nutritional, educational and economic benefits. Goat meat and chickens are the main sources of protein for the Haitian people. Cholera has been another serious problem there and Mr. Shoemaker stated that his ‘organization’s ministry has been able to resolve this with water filtration programs as part of the training of the Haitian people to improve their lives.
Kathy Houser, director of community outreach of Lutheran services of SW Florida, spoke at the weekly Lehigh Acres Kiwanis club breakfast concerning “safe place shelter” for children. This shelter in Fort Myers provides children ages 10-17, a safe environment needed so often for those who are truant, ungovernable, abused and/or homeless. She stated, “it is an unusual place, in that a child who has run from unbearable conditions, can admit themselves for help and that her organization addresses the problems of children and families in crisis.”
Lehigh Acres Kiwanis club hosts weekly breakfast meetings Wednesday mornings at 7:00 a.m., at hope hospice community room, 1201 wings way off Beth Stacey Blvd., Lehigh Acres. You are invited to attend these informative meetings as a guest, and see how this Kiwanis club does so much for children in our Lehigh Acres community!