Meeting via Zoom, the Greater Kingston Kiwanis Club is still managing to provide service to the Kingston in this time of pandemic response. In addition to its contributions to the local food banks and to the Food4Kids Program, Kiwanis has recently announced the awardees for the 2020 scholarship program.
Working via video chats and online, the Kiwanis Foundation Scholarship Committee reviewed applications and conducted such interviews as needed to select the 2020 Kiwanis Scholarship recipients. Three seniors were selected, each to receive tuition grants. They are Jessica Roth, Abby Steele, and Montana Thoroughman. Roth was also named a “legacy” scholar as she is the daughter of Kiwanian Eric Roth.
Consistent with Kiwanis requirements for scholarships, all three of the students had outstanding community service records. Jessica Roth and Abby Steele are well known to Kiwanis members as having presented a program to Kiwanis on their Girl Scout service, including the highest award given, the Silver Award. They have also participated in Key Club and Kiwanis service projects, including Salmon Slam, food drives and holiday activities. Jessica has worked the bike rodeo, Village Green clean-ups and at the Giving Garden. Abby has volunteered for Food4Kids, Days for Girls, and at the Kingston Arts Festival.
Montana, a member of Interact and the KHS Environmental Club, has done trail maintenance, food drives, volunteered with elementary students and assisted with Santa’s breakfast and various Port of Kingston events. She has also been a tutor and volunteered at the Suquamish Community meal.
All three students are graduating from Kingston High School. Roth will also be earning her Associate of Arts degree from Olympic College where she has attended as a Running Start student. All three students intend to pursue college degrees in science-related fields. Roth has been accepted to the University of Oregon; Steele will attend Harvey Mudd in Claremont, California; and Thoroughman plans to attend the University of Montana. What a great group of citizens and role models!
In other Kiwanis news, the Club contributed $5,000 to area food banks last month when a scheduled Spring food drive had to be cancelled in order to reduce exposure for Kiwanis members to COVID-19. Recognizing that the food banks desperately needed support due to an increase in demand, Kiwanis couldn’t let them down. That is when the 31 Kingston Kiwanis members dug deep into their pockets to personally raise the money that was missing as a result of the cancelled food drive.
“This is what Kiwanis is about,” explained President Jan Erickson. “Our mission is to serve those in our community who are in greatest need. Helping the food banks with their immediate emergency was a way we could contribute even though we couldn’t stand out on the grocery store sidewalks.” It is expected that the Club will be examining its budget closely in the coming months to see what other assistance it can provide.
As summer comes on, the Food4Kids program will be a vital life line for children. Because schools are not in session and there will be no summer school program, Food4Kids is hoping to provide eleven weeks of food for 100 children. At $5 per day per child, the program will need over $38,500 to meet summer needs. Unfortunately, there is not currently that much in the Kingston Cares account. So, like the Kingston Kiwanis, it is hoped that the community will dig into its pockets to help support the Food4Kids Program. Persons wishing to support this effort may contribute by sending a donation to Kingston Cares (P.O. Box 870, Kingston, WA – 98346).
The great news is that the annual Kiwanis Blueberry Sale is still happening. With special attention to safe handling of the berries, online or snail mail ordering and socially distanced delivery in mid- to late July, Kiwanis hopes the community will be generous in its support. Since the annual Benefit Concert and Brew Fest had to be cancelled due to restrictions on crowds during the COVID-19 pandemic, this fundraiser needs to be even more successful than in the past. The berries are big, delicious and perfect for freezing. Check out the Kingston Kiwanis website for details at greaterkingstonkiwanis.weebly.com.