The New Haven Kiwanis Club has changed its meeting schedule and location, and hopes to attract some younger members to support its mission of service to youth.
The club now meets at the New Haven Chamber of Commerce office at 428 Broadway, from 7 to 8 p.m. the first and third Tuesdays of each month.
The club had held lunch meetings since its founding in 1961. Recent attendance levels prompted the club to reach out to those who find evening meetings more convenient.
Jeff Showman is the new president of the New Haven Kiwanis Club. He is also a former president. He said he has been unable to attend lunch meetings since taking work in north Fort Wayne two years ago.
Mayor Terry McDonald is vice president. Ollie Brueck is treasurer. Connie Everett continues as secretary.
Showman thanked the management of Rack and Helen’s Bar and Grill for hosting the club in the upstairs dining area for the last several years, with attentive service to a waning lunch count.
Chamber President Charlie Hatten said the chamber welcomes the new guests at the new chamber’s new office. “We want people to use it all the time,” he said. “That’s why we built it. They’ve got their own key so they’ll just let themselves in.”
Though not a member of the club, Hatten supports groups such as the Kiwanis, even volunteering at the food booth during Canal Days.
“I do stuff with them all the time,” he said.
The Kiwanis Club works to support youth locally by providing four $500 scholarships to each New Haven High School graduating class.
“When you read their applications you get a better appreciation of these students and what these scholarships mean to them,” Showman said.
The club joins other Indiana Kiwanis in supporting Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. Over the years, Kiwanis have helped to fund a helicopter ambulance landing pad at the Indianapolis hospital. Kiwanis also support programs for overnight stays of families of patients. The club recently completed Peanut Days, visiting local stores to accept donations for Riley Hospital.
“That’s where we hear the stories of people who have family members at Riley,” Showman said.
Those priorities are unchanged, Showman said.
The new meeting schedule will not include a meal, but refreshments may be available. Showman said he hopes all those factors contribute to better attendance. He especially hopes for participation by parents of high school students.
Showman said the students who benefit from Kiwanis also have been important to the club’s success. The Kiwanis support the Key Club at the high school and those students at Canal Days. Key Club members also rake leaves or do other chores for senior citizens and volunteer for the Canstruction food drive for Community Harvest Food Bank each fall.
Showman said welcoming new members will honor “all the tradition” that was created and tended by longtime club members.
Dues are $105 a year. Anyone interested in joining or in receiving more information may contact Showman by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (260) 348-2920.