Simon Says: Have a Rockin’ Good Time at Summer’s District Convention
It’s time to celebrate! And there’s no better place to do that than the98th Annual Indiana District Convention, August 5-7, 2016 at the Radisson at Star Plaza in Merrillville. The annual gathering of Indiana’s spirited, and often boisterous, Kiwanians begins in rollicking fashion on Friday with Rockin’ for Riley, a lively evening celebrating the district’s special partnership with theRiley Hospitalfor Children.
The high-energy event will give you a chance to embrace your inner child as a professional Simon Says caller will have you touching your toes or pinching your nose with hundreds of your Kiwanis friends. (We’re guessing more than a few photo ops will be provided.) There will be other games galore including, for the less self-conscious, Guitar Hero. There will be music and karaoke. There will be drinks and snacks. There will be revelry aplenty.
And in the true spirit of the celebration of the district’s more than 90-year partnership with Riley, clubs reachingMake Wishes Come Truegiving levels will be lauded and Riley Honors will be applauded. There also will be opportunities for clubs to support the 3 Wishes Campaign by giving their checks for Riley to Governor Kris Bowers.
The event, which begins at 7 p.m., is a fitting kick-off to a convention that will be chock full of opportunities for fellowship and fun. Among the highlights are the Kiwanis Town Hall, an upgraded exhibit area featuring mini-presentations on topics of interest to Hoosier Kiwanians; the House of Delegates, including election of the 2016-17 governor-elect, on Saturday afternoon; a Kiwanis Soiree, an evening of celebration with a Parisian flair also on Saturday; and a Memorial Breakfast Sunday morning.
Registration for this event, which is required for all attendees, is now open. You’ll find a registration form and additional informationonline. If you register before July 25, the fee is $90, which includes materials, Friday evening’s Rockin’ for Riley event, Saturday breakfast and lunch. After July 25, the fee jumps to $105.
“Plans are in the works to make the 98th Annual Indiana District Convention memorable,” says Governor Bowers. “It’s a time to celebrate and you’ll leave with great memories of having a good time with fellow Kiwanians.”
Kiwanians Build Club, Community
By Keeping Things Lively
The Kiwanis Club of Rochester keeps things lively. It’s a mindset that has helped the club build its longstanding tradition of service to its community, nestled in the middle of Fulton County in the northern part of the state. It also helps the club build its membership.
“We have an enthusiastic club and conduct lively meetings,” notes Martin Smith, president. “We continually encourage our members to bring guests who have funwith us and learn a little of what being a Kiwanian is all about. Our club has also been very active in the community for a long time. Most folks have heard good things about the club, which helps us prospect for new members.”
The approach seems to work. Smith says the club began the Kiwanis year with about 45 members and has grown to 54 members, with a couple of hot prospects in the wings. The club also has gotten the attention of the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce, which gave the club an award recognizing its service to the community.
“It was a nice honor,” Smith says. “It’s always nice to be recognized for good works. In general, the chamber recognized our club for our involvement in the community. We sponsor two Key Clubs, give six scholarships, clean a stretch of roadway, support about 15 other groups in town, and have a membership that is active in other Rochester activities. We just help Rochester be as good as it can be.”
The club isn’t resting on its laurels. “Growth is important for a number of reasons,” Smith says, “but is primarily beneficial just to have new blood in the mix. You never know where the next best idea will come from.”
Make 3 Wishes Come True by Taking Part in Riley Honors Program
Many are the ways Indiana’s Kiwanis clubs and their members support the 3 Wishes Campaign. The Milford Kiwanis Club, for example, entered a float in their city’s recent Memorial Day parade touting the district’s 3 Wishes, Early Action for Autism initiative. As the float made its way along the parade route, club members worked the crowd, encouraging parade goers to pitch in for the drive.
And speaking of pitching in, the Greenwood Kiwanis Club recently staged its annual Chili Cook-off to raise funds for the Kiwanis/Riley initiative. This year’s event drew top chili chefs from the Brownsburg, Danville, North West Hendricks and Plainfield Kiwanis clubs, as well as the Aktion Club from Gateway Services in Johnson County, which is sponsored by the Greenwood club. At the end of the evening, bellies were full, as were the club’s coffers, to the tune of more than $1,700.
Other clubs turn to traditional ways to raise cash for Riley, including car washes and bake sales, walkathons and “chocolate-athons.”
For Kiwanians, Jim Smith strongly recommends making individual gifts through the district’sRiley Honors Program.
“Hoosier Kiwanians have a longstanding tradition of helping children in need through their support of Riley,” Smith, the district’s 2014-15 governor says. “It’s a tradition that I’m quite proud of, and one that they can continue by supporting the 3 Wishes Campaign through the Honors Program. And they will be rewarded in many ways by doing so.”
Individual gifts to the campaign through the Honors Program will be recognized at three different giving levels: KIDS Trustee, $4,000; KIDS Patron, $2,000; KIDS Fellow, $1,000. Pledges and gifts are cumulative during the four years of the campaign.