Sidney’s Kiwanis Club will be back on its feet soon, after it was recently dissolved due to a lack of members.
Ron George, the Lieutenant-Governor for Kiwanis on Vancouver Island, says membership in the Sidney and Peninsula club had dwindled down to nine, well below a standard minimum of 15 people. He said the numbers dropped further earlier this year and only within the last couple of weeks did the club nearly cease to be.
George said this is a recent turn of events, as the club held a fundraiser only a month ago. Members, he said, were getting too busy with other things.
“The leadership of the club decided to dissolve, re-organize and find new members,” George explained from Victoria. “It will be reforming.”
George himself has been in his Lt.-Gov. role with Kiwanis only a month, but has been beating the bushes, looking for former and new members.
He said he found the sister of a Kiwanis Club president in Duncan — someone working in Sidney — to take on a leadership role in the revived organization.
As well, more people have come into the fold and others are returning after some time away. He said there are more than 15 people now ready to jump in.
“It seems like Sidney wants a club,” George said. “They don’t want to lose it.”
George added he’s working with Kiwanis at higher levels, including Kiwanis International based in Indianapolis, Indiana, to determine whether the Sidney and Peninsula club charter is still intact.
If it is, he said the reformed club could continue on under that document. If not, there might be a more involved process — and more time — in getting the local club back.
Either way, he said he hopes to have the Sidney and Peninsula Kiwanis Club running by the end of November.
The local club plays a strong role in the community, holding an annual toy drive for local children in need.
The Peninsula News Review’s own Coins for Kids program is a regular contributor to that toy drive. Because of the timing of this change, the Sidney Lions Club has taken on much of the responsibility for the toy drive.
Lions club past-president Don McIvor says they will assist in the drive this winter and is looking forward to Kiwanis returning soon.
“The trick is to keep (the toy drive) going,” said George.
His job, he continued, is to ensure the Sidney and Peninsula Kiwanis Club makes a comeback.
Local Lions Club doing fine
As membership in the Kiwanis Club remains an issue for its resurrection this month, the Sidney Lions Club is doing fine, says past-president Don McIvor.
“We have a large summer of events coming up,” he said, pointing to the club’s commitment to replace playground equipment in Tulista Park.
“We have committed to the town to replace the park’s wood playground equipment,” he said. “We have $20,000 and we need $50 or $60,000 for the entire project.”
To raise the money, the Lions plan to sell bricks in a donor wall at the park. This, McIvor said, will begin once the town prepares the site for the wall.
Membership, too, is strong, he continued. He said numbers have been in decline over recent years but of late, there has been a resurgence in interest and some new members have joined.
“The future looks good for us.”