St. Anthony Kiwanis: Service to others is value well spent

The St. Anthony Kiwanis Chapter of Kiwanis International began in 1962 and is now 41 members strong.  

Adhering to the mission of Kiwanis International, the group “empowers communities to improve the world by making lasting differences in the lives of children,” with its vision that “all children will wake up in communities that believe in them, nurture them, and provide the support they need to thrive.”  

Following the International model, the St. Anthony Chapter exists to serve the children of St. Anthony and surrounding communities through passion, time and support.  

Service is at the heart of the organization and together its 41 men and women work to improve the lives of children. As stated by Dr.  Martin Luther King, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” 

Typical projects for the group include packing meals at Feed My Starving Children, serving meals to families at the Ronald McDonald House, ringing bells for the Salvation Army, volunteering at Crisis Nursery, assembling dressers at Bridging and reading with students at Wilshire Park.  

Near and dear to all members’ hearts are the children of the St. Anthony-New Brighton School District, with whom they partner to sponsor three youth service clubs: a K-Kids Club (52 members) with the fifth graders at Wilshire Park Elementary School; a Builders Club (35 members) at St. Anthony Village Middle School; and a Key Club (30 members) at St. Anthony Village High School.  

Also integral to the chapter’s mission is the support of an Aktion Club (14 members), which offers activities and projects for adults living with disabilities.  

Together with these clubs, the Chapter can work to accomplish additional service to the community, including visits and activities with residents at the St. Anthony Health Care Facility, creating blankets for RPAW (Rescue Pets Are Wonderful), assisting families at the December trolley rides, packing meals at Sheridan Story and collecting food for local food shelves.  

In working with St. Anthony-New Brighton Schools students, members empower them to learn the value of service to others, aiming for students to think of others as they grow and learn, continually asking themselves, “What am I doing for someone else?”

The Kiwanis organization also serves to raise funds to support various organizations that assist children. Those members you see in the fall handing out peanuts, or at Villagefest serving you that tasty hot dog or bratwurst, or selling you that ticket for the Villagefest tennis ball roll-off, are just a couple of the many ways the group raises funds.  

The funds are used to support local food shelves, scholarships for St. Anthony Village High School graduating seniors, preschool scholarships, Nourish 282, the local police and fire departments, as well as many others needing assistance and support.

St. Anthony Kiwanis welcomes your support, whether it be financial or your participation. The Chapter welcomes new members to join and assist it in serving the needs of children in the community.  

Check out the group and attend one of its monthly meetings from 12 to 1 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, in the community room at the Culver’s Restaurant on Silver Lake Road in St. Anthony — yes, folks eat lunch, too.  Additionally, a 6 p.m. meeting is held the third Wednesday of the month at the same Culver’s. A short program on various areas of interest is presented at each meeting.

For information regarding the Kiwanis organization, please contact its current president, Derek Theis, at derektheis@outlook.com, or check out the Chapter’s website at www.stanthonykiwanis.org. Remember — service to others is value well spent!    

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