Kiwanis International takes root in Tipp City

TIPP CITY — A chapter of Kiwanis International will be taking root in Tipp City this month.

“A member of the Piqua club approached me to look at Tipp City as a possible location for a club. I then started a community assessment — I looked at the median age of the population, the schools, current organizations, and the needs the community has, as well as the businesses, and Tipp City was found to be a community that could more than benefit from a Kiwanis club,” Lieutenant Governor of Kiwanis Clubs Kelly Faas said.

Kiwanis International is a global organization that is a support system for Kiwanis Clubs. Currently, there are 206 chapters of the Kiwanis Club in Ohio, which will make Tipp City number 207. Every club is composed of volunteers who are community leaders and members who are concerned with the health and safety of children. The club provides support for student clubs, most often Builders and Key Clubs, in schools, and is known for providing scholarships to graduating high school seniors. Faas said that once the adult club is formed, the focus can move to these student-run clubs.

“They choose projects to work on in the school or community. Usually, a teacher will be an advisor to the students, and the adult club will have an advisor for the students as well, but otherwise, they make their own decisions,” Faas said.

According to Faas, other schools have participated in clothing drives, shoe drives, penny collections for food banks, and other projects.

“They are only limited by their imagination. They learn leadership skills, how to work with others, goal setting, fundraising, and many more life skills that they will use in the future,” Faas said.

From a business standpoint, Faas said that Kiwanis is a mix of people from all walks of life, ages, and businesses. When Faas started the process of bringing a chapter of Kiwanis to Tipp City, she met with Tipp City Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Liz Sonnanstine, in order to meet members of the community and be informed of the positives going on in the city. On Aug. 4 and 5, a team of current local Kiwanians will be visiting businesses in the area and inviting people to attend the first official meeting to be held Aug. 10 at noon at The Tipp Center at 855 N. Third St. The public is invited to bring their lunch and refreshments and dessert will be provided by Kiwanis.

“At that meeting, we will introduce the community to what this Kiwanis club can accomplish for the children. We will discuss the bylaws, discuss first project ideas, working with the schools, et cetera,” Faas said.

Faas has met with Tipp City Schools Superintedent Mark Stefanik and Bethel Local Schools Superintendent Justin Firks, and said both former Kiwanians are excited to get clubs started in their respective school districts. She also introduced herself to Tipp City Council at their July 19 meeting, informed them of the Kiwanis chapter coming to Tipp City, and invited council to the Aug. 10 meeting.

The Miami Valley Today reached out to Stefanik and Firks for comment and received no responses as of press time.