Serving Kamloops for over 50 Years
THE KIWANIS CLUB OF KAMLOOPS
This year, 2013, the Kiwanis Club of Kamloops celebrates 60 years of service and contribution to the Kamloops community.
Over the past 60 years, working quietly behind the scenes, the 20 plus members have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and contributed thousands of hours of “person-power” for non-profit groups throughout this community. Under the sponsorship of Kiwanis International, whose motto is “Serving the Children of the World”, the Kamloops Club has supported many projects to help children and families, as well as contributing to Kiwanis House Alcohol and Drug Treatment Facility and to Glenfair Seniors Housing.
Here are some highlights of the many projects supported over the years by Kiwanis: As its first project, with 40 members, the brand new club was able to raise $30,000 to send the Kamloops High School Band to Holland in 1954 to compete in the World Music Festival ,where they won a major prize. Also in 1954 Kiwanis was instrumental in the founding of the Kamloops Boys and Girls Club.
In 1955 the first of many peanut drives was organized and $1000 was donated to the Glenfair Building Society. Beginning in 1960 the club began its connection with Tranquille School, providing gifts such as an Aquarium.
In 1964, with funds from the first Radio Auction, the club purchased the Kamp Kiwanis campsite of 160 acres on Red Lake Road to provide camping opportunities for the residents of Tranquille. Through the 60’s and 70’s club members worked to develop the camp buildings.
The Kiwanis Radio Auction has since become an annual tradition in Kamloops and has been a major fund-raiser for the club. In 1968 the club assisted at the Ruckell Point Boy Scout Camp as pre-assembled cabins were erected and canoes purchased. Since then the camp has benefited from many hours of Kiwanis work, and thousands of children have enjoyed this camp through both the Boy Scouts and the YM-YWCA.
In 1969 Kiwanians spent 2000 hours in the clean up of an area known as Kiwanis Beach at Mission Flats Park. Weyerhauser later exchanged this property for the land where Pioneer Park now sits. So Kiwanis played a role in the creation of the present Pioneer Park, opened in 1972. In 1977 with the closing of Tranquille School, Kamp Kiwanis was sold. The proceeds went back to the community through the purchase of the Kiwanis Centre for the RIH Psychiatric Outpatient program.
Through the years, as funds were raised by various projects, the club continues to contribute to worthwhile projects such as Special Olympics, the Boys and Girls Club, the Salvation Army, the Food Bank, the Marjorie Snowden Hospice House, People in Motion, the Big Little Science Center, the Firefighters Burn Camp and Christmas Amalgamated ,to name a few.
Membership was opened to women in 1991 and they have become an integral part of Kiwanis. It is interesting to note that a woman will be the next Governor of the Pacific Northwest Region.
A major project in 1991 -92, in partnership with Highland Valley Copper, Kiwanis Club of Kamloops established the present home of the Thompson Nicola Family Resources Centre. Over many weeks members dismantled a building donated by HVC and rebuilt it on the McGill Road site. The building has also become the location of the annual Radio Auction.
Each year in June at Riverside Park Kiwanis hosts a “Picnic in the Park” for adults with special needs. Members serve hamburgers and ice cream to as many as 150 guests and caregivers.
Members also participate annually in Beautify Kamloops, judging and presenting the Best City Block Award.
Along with the pride they have in the club’s many accomplishments, the men and women of Kiwanis enjoy a great sense of teamwork, fellowship and fun. Dinner meetings are held Thursdays at 6:00 pm at the Desert Gardens in an atmosphere of friendship and camaraderie. The short business meeting often includes a speaker from the community. Social events with spouses are held several times during the year. New members are always welcome. For more information email us.