The Christiansburg Kiwanis Club had a record year in membership growth by adding 19 new members for a net gain of 14 members.
The Club currently has 78 members and is the largest club in Division 16 of the Capital District.
In addition to the financial support, the club members provided 4,660 hours of volunteer service to our local community, supporting the activities described below and some others not listed.
A major accomplishment was re-establishing the Key Club at Christiansburg High School, which had been inactive for several years.
A much-needed upgrade took place at Kiwanis Field where new scoreboards were purchased and installed on the ball fields by the club.
Twenty-six Kiwanis members had perfect meeting attendance for the year.
One of the club members, Steve Simmons, is currently serving as Lt. governor of Division 16 of the Capital District. Another member, Bob Lewit, is currently serving as Trustee of the Southwest Virginia Region of the Capital District.
Alicia Glynn was selected by the Club as the Kiwanian of the year.
Most of this year’s programs are recurring and geared to support children in the local community.
During this year, funds raised for the Service Account totaled over $79,000, and disbursements this year included:
- The Head Start Backpack Program. Each Thursday, just before the club’s weekly meeting, Kiwanis members meet at the Head Start building and pack 57 backpacks for the Head Start children. The school’s meals program provides food for the children on weekdays, and the Kiwanis Backpack Program provides food on weekends. In support of this program, members procure, inventory, and store the food plus pack the bags.
- Two Walmart gift cards, in the amount of $550 ($500 from the Kiwanis Club and $50 from Walmart), are provided to each of the seven schools in Christiansburg. These cards are used to buy needed clothing and school supplies for children who cannot afford to buy their own. Once the cards begin to reach a low balance, the club replaces them upon request from the schools. Before this program was introduced, often teachers and other staff members would personally pay for these needed items.
- Three $1,500 college scholarships were awarded to Christiansburg High School students who needed support for their continuing education.
- A Christmas party for approximately 60 children is held annually. Normally the club and its members provide toys and clothing with Santa distributing both at the party. Food and drinks are provided for the children and their chaperones. The pandemic affected the Christmas Party in 2022, rather than a party, the gifts were picked up by the children at the Christiansburg Recreation Center. The names of the children who participate in the party are based on need and are selected by the teachers from Christiansburg’s schools. Using input from the children’s parents, as to the needs and sizes of the clothing, each club member takes a child’s name and buys clothing. The Club funds toys from a want list supplied by the children’s parents. This past year the total cost to the members and club exceeded $12,000.
- For children who cannot afford the entry fees to participate in sports at the Christiansburg Recreation Center and the Aquatic Center, Kiwanis pays the cost.
- The club provides annual support in the form of financing and volunteer assistance to Kiwanis Park where an approximately five-acre expansion is currently underway.
- Other cash contributions, not mentioned above, were made to: Agency on Aging ($2,000); Intellectual Disabilities Agency of NRV ($2,000), Sleep in Heavenly Peace ($1,000), Montgomery County Department of Social Services ($614), CHS Cheerleaders ($1,500) and several more.
- As a part of the club’s outreach program to provide support to the youth of the local community, a partnership was formed with the Montgomery County Social Services to provide supplies needed to support the youth and elders served by the agency.
9.. Provided football programs for CHS and financial support to the CHS cheerleading squad.
- Co-sponsored by supplying labor and purchasing prizes for the Town of Christiansburg’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt.
- Provided labor to the Montgomery Museum’s Heritage Day event, Sleep in Heavenly Peace, and others.
Kiwanis is the promoter of the Wilderness Trail Festival, which is not only the club’s largest fund-raising project, but the largest downtown event in Christiansburg drawing an estimated crowd of 8,000 to 10,000 attendees. This year’s event had the largest number of attendees ever.
During 2024, the Kiwanis Club is expecting another banner year while celebrating its 75th anniversary.
Sources of club income are derived from community fundraisers, donations, and grants. All such income goes into the service account and 100% is funneled back into the local community, with most going to support youth activities. All administrative costs, including meeting meals, are paid for by the members’ dues.
Kiwanis is a global organization of members. clubs and partners who are dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time. The Kiwanis Club of Christiansburg has provided service to our local community since its charter was granted in 1949.
Submitted by the Kiwanis Club of Christiansburg