Craig Kiwanis Club makes imprint on local youth, elderly
They are best known for their upcoming play, which consists of silliness and sarcasm, but the Craig Kiwanis Club and its members are much more than that.
Kiwanis clubs can be found across the country and the world for that matter, each dedicated to helping its community with whatever specific needs it has. So while no two Kiwanis clubs are the same, they all share in volunteership and service for the betterment of a community.
The Craig group spends much of its time and proceeds on bettering the lives of youth in Craig. The Kiwanis play is recognized and attended for its satire on local events from the past year and an opportunity to see local men cross dressing on stage and the club has fun with it each year, but they see it as a means to providing scholarships.
“We want to make sure the community understands that the play is what we do, but most of the money goes into the community as scholarships,” said Bryan Ludgate, Kiwanis president. Fellow member Chuck Cobb added, “The play is what we’re known for, but as far as we’re concerned it’s a fundraiser to support the stuff we do.”
The club averages between $8,000 and $10,000 in scholarships each year for students heading to a variety of futures. Helping students going to four-year colleges, junior colleges or trade schools are all equally important to the club.
In 2013, Kiwanis expanded its efforts in helping the younger generations by partnering with the Boys & Girls Club of Craig in the Yahoo Golf Tournament. They plan on having proceeds from that go to the Boys & Girls Club and other similar initiatives for children.
“That’s about how we as two clubs can team together and use those proceeds effectively for the kids,” Cobb said.
But it’s not all about the under-21 crowd for Kiwanis. They also extend special support to the elderly community of Craig.
“We do Santa visits near holiday time every year,” said Mike Anson, a 13-year veteran of the club. “Just two weeks of going around to the elderly and knocking on their doors with one of us dressed as Santa. You go up to an older lady’s door, maybe she has no family, and to see her face and her smile because you’re there, it’s a pretty cool feeling.”
The club also sponsors three lifelines for elderly who can’t afford them, sends a large group of volunteers to the Special Olympics at Moffat County High School each year and has been involved in renovations and improvements at several community locations, such as the Loudy-Simpson hiking trails and shelter, Sherman Camp and the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion.
They are known as a fun-loving bunch of once-a-year entertainers, but through their efforts all over Craig year after year, the Kiwanis Club leaves a much more lasting impression.
“To me it’s a group of great guys with a big history in the community,” Ludgate said. “I really enjoy the camaraderie of it.”
Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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