December is the busiest month of the year for the Port Townsend Kiwanis Club, with multiple projects happening during the first 18 days. It is also the most joyous, as helping children have a happy …
December is the busiest month of the year for the Port Townsend Kiwanis Club, with multiple projects happening during the first 18 days. It is also the most joyous, as helping children have a happy Christmas fills the club members’ hearts – it’s what we do. Of course, it won’t stop then; many other club projects that occur in the new year will be in the planning stages later this month, but more on that at the end of this column.
The collection boxes for both toys and cash for the Toys for Tots program are out in many businesses throughout Jefferson County for individuals to make their donations. The toys collected are then routed to the local Christmas for Children project and the club’s Foster Kids Christmas project. The cash is used to fill the unmet items that the children and their parents or guardians have requested.
Working with Port Townsend Elks Lodge No. 317, toys are also given to families of current or retired veterans in Jefferson County. Unwrapped toys are collected through Dec. 15. A good jumpstart on the toy collection occurred last weekend during the “Fill the Bus” Day, which this year included food and entertainment. Of course, Santa was there, too – on the George Earl Memorial Choo Choo, and a representative from the U.S. Marine Corps, the original creator of the Toys for Tots Program, was also present with his family.
TOYS, GIFTS FOR KIDS
All of this work by Kiwanians and many others in our communities adds up to the three-day frenzy Dec. 16-18, which is the culmination of the Christmas for Children project, when “tons” of volunteers prepare to hand out hundreds of Christmas gifts, clothes and personal items. Led by Kelly Liske, Laurie Liske, Lexi Paoli and Marianne Walters, the more than 100 volunteers with the Christmas for Children program handle the requests from families, coordinate the giving trees with the gift tags throughout the area, fill the boxes for all the children enrolled in the program and distribute the boxes to the families. The Toys for Tots Program supplements the gifts provided by generous locals. More information may be obtained by calling 379-4207. People interested in helping with any of the various aspects of Christmas for Children may contact Kelly Liske at 301-5223.
The Foster Kids Christmas project provides a box of gifts for each child in foster care who is registered for the program. Again, Toys for Tots is to be on hand to supplement the program with gifts that haven’t been filled.
STARS OF TOMORROW
Sign-ups for the club’s Snow Sports Program took place Dec. 3. The first day of skiing, snowboarding and winter fun at Stevens Pass is Jan. 7, 2017 and continues for five additional Saturdays. Questions about the program may be directed to
michellewest1212 gmail.com or
Two longtime Kiwanis projects are gearing up for 2017. The chairperson for the annual Kiwanis Stars of Tomorrow youth talent show, Mary Crozier, has set auditions for 3:15 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 19 at Blue Heron School. The show is Sunday, Feb. 19 at Port Townsend High School. Questions may be directed to Crozier at 531-0200 or
email@example.com. More information may be found at
Also in January, nominations are requested for the annual Thomas J. Majhan Teen Leaders Awards for 2016. The ceremony is in early March.
Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time. Learn more at
ptkiwanis.org or email
The club welcomes businesses, organizations and individuals to present a 15-20 minute program during our Wednesday noon-hour meetings. Contact the Marilou Sullivan, program chair, at 301-1271 or email
olympus.net to arrange a date.
(Melanie Bozak, a member of the Port Townsend Kiwanis Club, is also district lieutenant governor.)