The Kiwanis Club of St. Anthony Village: Serving the local and global community


Kiwanis members, along with youth clubs, volunteering at Feed My Starving Children.

Kiwanis members, along with youth clubs, volunteering at Nourish 282/The Sheridan Story.

Aktion Club members on tour of the police station with Officer South.

“We build” is a guiding principle for the members of the Kiwanis Club of St. Anthony Village. Through volunteering and service projects, they build relationships with people of all ages and strive to improve the world.  

The vibrant St. Anthony Kiwanis chapter began in 1962 and has grown to 46 men and women. All of them seek ways to help create a community that cares for every member of society. They aren’t a group that’s simply looking “to meet, greet and eat,” but an organization that volunteers its time and donates its money to better the lives of the less fortunate -- especially children. 

The St. Anthony Kiwanis Club sponsors four service leadership clubs: K-Kids Club (38 members) at Wilshire Park Elementary School, Builders Club (53 members) at St. Anthony Middle School, and a Key Club (59 members) at St. Anthony High School. The Kiwanis also support an Aktion Club (14 members), which offers activities for mentally and physically challenged adults. 

Each of these leadership clubs provides members with opportunities to perform service, build character and develop leadership. Just visit any of the clubs and you will see diversity and witness how students can make a difference in their school, community and country.

This year the leadership clubs volunteered at Feed My Starving Children, Villagefest, the ECFE Halloween Party, The Sheridan Story, Eastside Meals on Wheels and Chandler Place. 

The Kiwanis members volunteer alongside the service leadership clubs on all these projects, and find them to be wonderful, intergenerational opportunities to make their community stronger through meaningful service. 

 

‘One child at a time’

The St. Anthony chapter is part of Kiwanis International, whose motto is “Changing the world one child at a time.” The worldwide service organization is currently raising funds to provide tetanus shots to eliminate maternal and neo-natal tetanus, which kills more than 100,000 babies annually. The funds pass through UNICEF to reach the people who need it the most.  

As the St. Anthony Kiwanis volunteer in the community, they get the satisfaction of knowing they are indeed changing the world ... one child at a time.  

They note that the time commitment doesn’t have to be great in order to be meaningful. Just spending an hour with a second-grader who is having difficulty reading and adjusting to the classroom and seeing a positive change happening, makes an impact and melts their hearts. 

You may have noticed Kiwanis members handing out peanuts on street corners or at businesses. Peanut Day is one of the most important days of the year for the club. Not only do the members give away peanuts, it’s also their way of thanking the many people who contribute money to the club’s projects.  

Their donations are channeled into scholarships for high school seniors and to purchase school supplies for needy students. The contributions also provide scholarships for community members who can’t afford childcare, and funds for low-income families to feed their children on the weekends. 

The local chapter also gives financial support to many charitable organizations that serve the community. They note, “St. Anthony needs the Kiwanis, and the Kiwanis need you.”

 

Come to a meeting

If you would like to learn more about the club, meetings last an hour and are held on the second, third and fourth Wednesdays of each month at the Culver’s Restaurant on Silver Lake Road. The meetings on the second and fourth Wednesdays are at noon, and the meeting on the third Wednesday is at 7:30 am.   

Each meeting has a theme and a speaker who provides information about needs in our community. 

Club President Bill Behrenbrinker and President-Elect Michael Kirschling say, “Within the Kiwanis family, you will make everlasting friendships with caring individuals who really do want to make a difference in this world today. 

“Come visit us and get the feeling that we are a growing and vibrant addition to the St. Anthony Village community.”

Martin Luther King said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” Behrenbrinker says one way to answer King’s challenge is by “getting involved in volunteering in your community. There is no better place to start than by joining the St. Anthony Kiwanis Club.”  

Men and women who would like to join the club don’t have to live in St. Anthony; many members come from surrounding areas.

For more information about the service organization, contact Bill Behrenbrinker at 612-619-0000 or bcbehrenbrinker@bremer.com. Also, visit the club’s website, www.saintanthonykiwanis.org.

Or, stop by a meeting and have breakfast or lunch, on us.

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