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Kiwanis: Strength in numbers

Members of the Alexandria Noon Kiwanis organization and their families served ice cream at the 2010 Art in the Park.

Kiwanis International is a global organization of members of every age who are dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time.

Kiwanis provides service beyond the capability of an individual, based on the Kiwanis theme: Serving the Children of the World.

Our local clubs provide a practical means to form enduring friendships, to render altruistic service and to build better communities.

Two of the local members shared the following about what being a member of Kiwanis has meant to them:

I joined Kiwanis because I believe that having a positive impact on the life of just one child can change that child's future for the better, which changes the world for the better.

I have seen the positive changes in children who have had Kiwanians involved in their lives through the reading program, mentoring and a multitude of service projects.

For example, I got involved in the lunch buddy program because of a program at one of the noon Kiwanis meetings. I started with my first lunch buddy in 2001. After five years of us being lunch buddies she moved to another state to live with her mother.

She just contacted me a few weeks ago to tell me about her accomplishments and what a positive impact I had on her life. Her email emphasized for me the influence that one person can have on one child and the positive ripple effect of that contact.

If not for Kiwanis and the noon programs I might not have been a lunch buddy. - Michelle Clark, Tillitt McCarten Johnson & Haseman Ltd.

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Kiwanis has been a rewarding experience. It's a great opportunity for networking with others who share a passion for community service.

The focus of "Serving the Children of the World" is something that's easy to rally around. Through Kiwanis and the weekly programs, I've learned about many other organizations and non-profits and the work that is done so unselfishly by so many.

In a way, being in the Kiwanis has been a humbling experience, as it's opened my eyes to a whole world of volunteers that make my contributions seem pretty insignificant by comparison. - Mark Grandgenett, Bremer.

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Noontime Kiwanis meets each Monday at noon at the Broadway Ballroom in Alexandria.

We encourage anyone that is interested in more information about Kiwanis to attend one of our meetings. Come share in the friendship and the laughter! For more information, contact Diann Drew at (320) 763-1214 or e-mail

Community projects

The local Kiwanis Club is proud to support many projects in our community, including:

• Jefferson High School Key Club.

• Jefferson High School choir, band and orchestra.

• Random Acts of Kindness.

• Central Lakes Concert Association.

• Week of the Young Child.

• Dollars for Scholars.

• 4-H.

• Someplace Safe.

• Junior Achievement.

• District 206 Books for Elementary Schools.

• Lakes Area Recreation youth programs.

• School District 206 science fair.

• Special Olympics.

• Mercy Orphanage.

• Lincoln School Reading Buddies.

• Aktion Service Club for Adults with Disabilities.

• The Bicycle Safety Rodeo held in conjunction with the Alexandria Police Department.