MARCH 3, 1997

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Opinion

Guest Column

Volunteerism enriches our community

Volunteerism by Adriene Walker, Woodinville Kiwanis Club
Commemorating the City of Woodinville's 4th Birthday, "Celebrate Woodinville '97" is coming on Saturday, Mar. 29. The Woodinville Kiwanis Club will sponsor a pancake breakfast at Woodinville Towne Center, and all are invited!
   Being a Kiwanis member is a way for me to "give back" to the community in the way of volunteer services, but it's also a rich resource to tie into, to find out about what is happening in our community, through public and private services which are available to all of us in our weekly meetings.
   Each meeting provides a lively, informative guest speaker on a variety of topics, and I do mean variety: We've had political speakers like State Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe and County Councilmember Louise Miller and community service speakers on topics such as hypnotherapy, domestic violence, Forgotten Children's Fund--you name it, we'll get it.
   Lunch lasts an hour, and individuals collectively or individually pick out projects they'd like to work on. One of our Kiwanian worldwide goals is to eliminate iodine deficiencies, particularly in third world countries, by the year 2000. The majority of these diseases affect small children in the form of mental retardation, goiters, cleft palates, and cretinism. Morton Salt has joined their efforts with ours, and are now donating part of their proceeds to this cause. (You may have seen our advertisement on their salt container.)
   More locally, you may have seen some of our group collecting food and small infant items in front of the Stock Market store for our local "Eastside Baby Corner," one of the largest contributors to the Northshore Multi-Service center to help meet the local needs of infants and small children.
   One hundred percent of our fundraising goes toward charitable causes. Besides volunteering with Head Start and a local scout troop, we are sponsoring (with both time and money) a youth group of volunteers at Leota Jr. High School called the "Builders Club." These teens have helped out on many occasions with our projects and have come up with a few ideas of their own, including handmade "trauma dolls" for Children's Hospital; it was a huge success and the teenagers were very proud!
   Kiwanis Member Catherine Howard chaired the steering committee for the Greater Woodinville Community Roundtable and has volunteered services with the NS/SL Community (Health & Safety) Network, whose first focus is "At Risk Youth." It has been statistically proven that when youths become involved with their community, adolescent crimes and substance abuse are substantially reduced.
   Our Builder's Club at Leota is just one example of making positive change in our community. We also love their energy when it's time to pull blackberries at our Slough project or collect litter on the Adopt-a-Road program.
   We of the Kiwanis are proud of our community and we want you to be proud also. Wouldn't you like to join us for lunch? We meet at Las Margaritas every Thursday from 11:30 to 12:30; lunch is optional. For more information, contact Kiwanian Glenda Mitchell, 483-6466, or Kiwanian Catherine Howard, 481-6959.