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Kiwanis club to open doors in Airdrie in August

By: Andrew Szekeres

  |  Posted: Thursday, May 22, 2014 10:08 am

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Kiwanis International is planning to return to the city of Airdrie this simmer. The international, coeducational service club is expected to be up and running by July.

Kiwanis International is a volunteer-led service with the motto of “serving the children of the world.”

According to the Kiwanis International website, the organization tries to provide service for children and youth two different ways. One way is by directly improving their lives through programs and activities such as reading or camping.

The other is to encourage service and leadership through leadership clubs at various age levels. An example of a leadership club would be The Kiwanis Builders Club for middle-school youth to work together to serve their community.

The executive director of Kiwanis Western Canada District, Dirk Bannister, said an open house is scheduled for Airdrie.

“It’s set for June 21,” Bannister said. “Kiwanis are in the process of setting it all up with the (Nose Creek) Museum.”

The open-house will be a chance for people to check out the various programs that will be available for volunteers and children.

With a booming population reaching 50,000 people, Bannister said now is the best time to return to Airdrie.

“Our main focus in life is to provide community services for children,” Bannister, a former resident of Airdrie of nearly 30 years, said.

“Airdrie has certainly grown in the last few years and in our eyes is prime territory for a Kiwanis club.”

Kiwanis came to Western Canada in 1919, and arrived in Airdrie 30 years ago. The previous club in Airdrie ceased operations shortly after arriving due to the smaller population of less than 10,000 people at the time.

“Most people who lived in Airdrie at the time worked in Calgary,” Bannister said.

“It used to take a hour to get out of Calgary and into Airdrie back then, and people just didn’t feel like doing either service work or club meetings after.”

Bannister said the population and business boom in Airdrie have retained a larger percentage of the bigger population to work and live in the city.

According to the Kiwanis Western Canada District, during 2012 and 13, the Western Canadian district recorded 32,000 hours of community service, helping more than 92,000 children and youth and raising $1,375,000 for community and club projects.

A club for the Airdrie Kiwanis is expected to be built by the end of August with details to be released at a later date.

Open house for Kiwanis takes place on June 21 and is expected to be at the Nose Creek Museum with a time still to be determined.

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