Kiwanis=Kids and Nov. 26, 1919 was the beginning of Kiwanis-New Richmond. We will call it “Year 0” and oh, what a year it must have been. First National Community Bank also opened in 1919 and is sharing their 100th year of service along with Kiwanis-New Richmond, only four years after Kiwanis International even started. Kiwanis will partner with First National Community Bank for our celebrations. We are very proud to have such a long-standing commitment to our community. New Richmond must have really been hopping 100 years ago.

Fifty years ago our entire nation was celebrating landing on the moon. To celebrate the moon landing, Kiwanis-New Richmond’s signature project is StoryWalk. StoryWalk is literally a walk while reading a story at Mary Park. The newest addition is “I Am Neal Armstrong,” which celebrates the 50th anniversary of walking on the moon. Jessica LaPean is a fellow Kiwanian and also coordinates StoryWalk for Friday Memorial Library. We appreciate her hard work and the newest story is a perfect fit.

For our 100th year this year, we were proud to present three separate scholarships at the New Richmond High School Awards Ceremony on May 24. For approximately half our years Kiwanis-New Richmond has offered the Kiwanis Athlete of the Year Awards. This year’s Female Athlete of the Year was Amanda Johnson and the Male Athlete of the Year was Talon Seckora. It was a pleasure to recognize and honor these two outstanding graduates.

Debbie Suennen Rickard was proud to present the Kiwanis Club of New Richmond Scholarship to Abigale Modesette in the amount of $1,000. An additional $500 scholarship was presented to her from Kiwanis in part from the Curt Anderson Memorial donated to Kiwanis-New Richmond. Curt was a very active Kiwanian for more than 30 years and made a huge difference for our community. We are sad he has passed away but his memory lives on and his support continues. Congratulations Abigale Modesette.

A third Kiwanis scholarship was presented by Bev Burnap, Wisconsin-Upper Michigan District Kiwanis Children’s Fund Chair. Grace Burns was awarded a $500 Kiwanis Children’s Fund scholarship. Kiwanis is proud to support our children as they enter the realm of adulthood. Congratulations to all recipients.

Kiwanis members are also active in a new initiative this summer called S.H.I.N.E. which stands for Summer Health Initiative in Nutrition and Engagement. It was conceived when the free student summer lunch program was discontinued in our community. Jill Leahy and Jacob Hunt from Westfields Hospital & Clinics and Bobbie Guyette and Greg Kier from New Richmond Schools teamed up to start S.H.I.N.E. Free meals for all children are offered every Wednesday this summer from noon-1 p.m. at The Deerfield (1127 W. Eighth St.)

School District Administrator Patrick Olson approved S.H.I.N.E. and asked that a proposal be written to support summer academics. The Tom and Patty Doar Foundation approved additional funding for students to meet at locations in New Richmond, work with a New Richmond schools teacher, and earn $5 in “Chamber Bucks” for improving skills in reading, writing and math. The teaching/learning time also includes a healthy snack and a little exercise. Friday Memorial Library has also partnered with S.H.I.N.E. to offer on-site books and book checkouts. Attend a free meal for students on Wednesdays this summer and receive more information.

From 0 to 50 to 100, Kids Need Kiwanis and Kiwanis Needs You! Feel free to check out our website, look us up on Facebook or contact a member of Kiwanis at any time. We are celebrating 100 years this year and Kiwanis is just getting started.