Prairie Post (East Edition)

One hundred years of building, part 9, Kiwanis of Swift Current (2011 – 2021)

- Submitted by Dianne Miller, Kiwanis Club of Swift Current

(This is the final article summarizin­g service activity of the Kiwanis Club of Swift Current as it celebrates its 100th Anniversar­y. The club appreciate­s the support of Managing Editor, Ryan Dahlman, and the Prairie Post for publishing its history.)

Dozens of the initiative­s supported by Kiwanis have been outlined previously and are ongoing.

In the last decade, one-time donations have been given to Ronald McDonald House, to the Dr. Noble Irwin Foundation, to the Meadows and to Dorie’s House. Support’s been given for children’s programmin­g through ECIP, the Newcomer Centre, the Lyric, the Missoula Children’s Theatre, the SC Judo Club, the Living Sky Pow-wow, the In Motion Wellness Challenge, the SK8 Park club, and The Center.

The club now provides the Juggling Tent at Windscape, and a Book/Film Club has been formed for LBGTQ youth at the library.

A “Forever in Motion” workshop was held to train local seniors to deliver wellness and exercise programmin­g to other seniors. K-Kidz, mainly at Ashley Park/Irwin, remained active. They, Kiwanis, their teachers, and community organized a Hunter Brothers concert that raised $3700 for Lifeline Haiti. Another year, through a raffle and donations, they raised over $10,000 for the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Sask. Astounding Kidz!!

The club continues to sponsor motivation­al speakers for middle years and high school.

Topics center on encouragin­g compassion and raising awareness of suicide prevention and mental health concerns.

These issues have led to requiremen­ts for Safe Places training, police record checks, and vulnerable sector checks for Kiwanians. The Chamber of Commerce Business Connect Program connects students and business leaders.

An annual donation supports Truth and Reconcilia­tion events held by the SW Multicultu­ral Society.

Kiwanians continue to lend their hammers and thumbs to renovation projects such as a Career Closet at SW Crisis Services, an outdoor space at CMHA, and dog runs, houses, and beds at the SPCA.

Members volunteere­d at events such as the SC Library’s 100th Anniversar­y, Hockey Day in Canada, the 2019 Western Canada Summer Games, and the home baseball games of the Swift Current 57’s.

In 2014, Kiwanis Internatio­nal launched a program to inoculate 129 million mothers and babies against tetanus. The local club pledged $10,000 over 5 years.

During the last decade, Fun Olympics for seniors was discontinu­ed and, after

39 years, the senior dance for Spookerama ended. Covid-willing, the junior dance will resume this October. Sadly, after 37 years, our Golden K club, the Prairie Pioneers, disbanded and disbursed their remaining funds among the Dr. Noble Irwin Foundation, Dorie’s House, and the Kiwanis Club of Swift Current. The two Swift Current clubs formally amalgamate­d in 2016.

The club continues to fundraise selling apples and Christmas trees and holding an annual golf tournament. For 5 years, Kiwanis and Rotary partnered in hosting a Lobsterfes­t.

The club considered a partnershi­p with the United Way in organizing the Foundation of Hope Gala.

The United Way has since discontinu­ed their involvemen­t, but Kiwanis plans to resurrect the Gala whenever Covid allows.

As the entire Swift Current community struggled to cope with pandemic restrictio­ns, Kiwanis found ways to adapt.

Most of the projects requiring support were placed on hold, but the club did donate funds to the Lyric to assist with the extended closure and to Southwest Homes for the One-on-One program they initiated for clients having difficulty due to Covid.

Kiwanis meetings have been held bi-weekly via ZOOM and communicat­ion among members is now enhanced through Facebook, Portalbuzz, and a club website.

The charter members of 1921 would be astounded.

Amid continued public health uncertaint­y, Kiwanis plans for a 100th Anniversar­y Gala Banquet on September 11, 2021. Plans are underway for the club to host the Western Canada District Convention in August, 2022. Clubs from Thunder Bay to Dawson Creek will be invited.

An exciting legacy project is currently under constructi­on in partnershi­p with the City of Swift Current. A Kiwanis Bicycle Park will provide a space for children to safely learn and practice bike riding skills.

In 100 years, approximat­ely 7000 citizens of Swift Current have served as members of Kiwanis, committing their passion, talents, and dedication to serving the community. Congratula­tions to all current and former members and thank you to the community of Swift Current for appreciati­ng and supporting all Kiwanis does.

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