Prior to meeting Jim Balkman, the new President of Kirkland Kiwanis, I had heard of Kiwanis but never really knew what it was. So I wanted to let you in on my solved mystery. This is a club that has 95 local members, raises $30K a year and gives all the money back to kids so that they can become community leaders. Most of their income is from the Christmas tree sales on Lake St during the holidays (ah-ha, that's where you recognize the name!). Revenue goes towards scholarships, leadership grants, Key Club, and KITH to name a few.
Kiwanis is always looking for new members. Jim lived in Southern Cal for 30 years and raised four boys (in the house where Ferris Bueller's Day Off was filmed. How cool is that??). So when he moved to this area he didn't know anyone, but he knew he wanted to find a way to give back. Jim calls Kiwanis the "best kept secret for helping kids." If you or someone you know is looking to connect with others in the community that have a passion for helping children, you should consider attending a meeting or emailing Jim w/questions. Meetings are every Wednesday at noon at the Crab Cracker. About 40-60 people are typically there (most are retired) and they like to have fun and often have different presenters. Whether you come every week, just occasionally or maybe help sell some Christmas trees in December, Kiwanis is glad to have you join in their mission to help kids. ~j