During the month of July, all Division 9 Kiwanians were asked to collect creamy peanut butter for the PB&J Lady. If you have not heard about this amazing woman’s many years of daily service, it is an inspiring story.
Before sunrise each morning the PB&J Lady makes hundreds of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and bakes chocolate chip cookies. She puts each person’s meal and an encouraging note in a brown paper sack which has been decorated by a child. Each sack is a unique gift from the heart. The PB&J Lady takes these care packages to homeless people. Each sandwich is delivered within a few hours after it is made, so it is not soggy. She varies her route, so she meets different people each day. If asked, the PB&J Lady shares information about other resources available to them, but she does not push. She is there in friendship.
Olathe Sunrise Kiwanis Club enthusiastically supported this peanut butter drive. As donations poured in, it was fun to see assorted brands and many different sized jars added to the pile. One member invited her colleagues to participate and was overwhelmed by their response. She even received several jars of jelly (even though we did not ask for jelly). The grand total collected by Olathe Sunrise was over 75 pounds of peanut butter. Thank you to everyone who donated or encouraged others to donate.
During the first year, Olathe Sunrise Kiwanis Club promoted our flag project through creation of an Olathe Flag Project Facebook page, publication of an article in the Johnson’s County Gazette, announcements at Olathe Chamber of Commerce coffees and Community Organization meetings, and word of mouth to neighbors. During the second year, we increased our visibility by emailing a flyer to the Westview Neighborhood Association, participating in the “Novel” Tea, and placing Facebook ads. Our creativity and persistence is paying off. Participation in the flag program grew from 72 flags to 105 flags.
Here are pictures from an April flag work day:
Thank you to all the members and their spouses who have helped on flag work days and who have installed and retired flags on patriotic holidays. Many of you are not pictured here. Know that your service is appreciated and that my camera will catch up with you eventually.
On the Saturday before Mother’s Day, twenty-two Kiwanis Clubs collected baby supplies at Hy-Vee stores throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area. The Olathe Sunrise and Johnson County clubs chose Mother’s Hands as the recipient for items collected in Olathe. Olathe Sunrise members greeted shoppers at the 135th street and Brougham store. Johnson County members thanked donors at the 119th street and Ridgeview store. Together we collected $1428.78 in baby products which will help alot of little ones.
Here are pictures of items collected by Olathe Sunrise Kiwanis Club initially in five grocery carts and later transferred to the truck for transport to storage:
Katie was our secret weapon. Everyone wants to help a Girl Scout.
Thank you Hy-Vee for allowing us to be at your store entrances, and thank you Rolland for coordinating all the details to make this event possible.
Friends of the Olathe Public Library invited us to participate in their second annual tea to fund the Curtis Gilmore Memorial Scholarship. Sponsoring organizations and businesses were asked to decorate a table based on any novel. To get our creative juices flowing, we were given a link to pictures of last year’s tea which had a “Make Mine a Mystery” theme. Looking at the pictures made me feel very eager to be part of the fun and very scared that I was not artistic enough. Luckily Margie, Vicki, Loretta, and Alyssa were more than up to the challenge. Rock & Rhino added so much personality to our table.
Sharon Markey, master of ceremonies, surprised us by highlighting our flag project before introducing keynote speaker, Regina Sirois. Regina described the experience of writing her first young adult book and inspired attendees to start or continue writing themselves.
Tickets sold out a couple weeks before the tea. If you missed it, here are more pictures along with a link to a slideshow of the event:
Congratulations to Christina Fangman, the 2013 recipient of the $500 scholarship! What a fun way to make friends within the community, share a love of reading, and raise funds to recognize a dedicated library volunteer.
For the “Novel” tea, the club wanted each place setting at our table to include a brochure. Since we did not have a club brochure, we had to scramble. Members were asked to provide pictures. Loretta’s team at AC Printing wowed us by quickly turning our scattered thoughts into an amazing brochure. Here is a link to it. One of my favorite attributes is the yellow background which was suggested by Loretta’s inspired team. Be sure to grab several hard copies at the next club meeting, and keep them readily available to share with prospective members and sponsors. Thank you Loretta, AC Printing, and everyone who submitted pictures for creating this neat brochure.
On April 19th, Olathe Sunrise Kiwanis Club celebrated our 29th anniversary with coffee cake, a founding member, a new member, and lots of happy dollars. Olathe Sunrise was recognized as a Distinguished Club for the 2011 – 2012 Kiwanis year under Vicki Reed’s leadership. Larry Lisbona received the Legion of Honor Certificate in appreciation of his many years of service.
When asked about the club’s early years, Bob Patterson, a charter member, described our initial partnership with Children’s Miracle Network. Kiwanians called past contributors prior to the telethon requesting their continued support. These early donations gave the televised telethon a rolling start. When the cameras panned out, members appeared on television increasing our club’s visibility. For many years, Olathe Sunrise organized a spaghetti or barbeque dinner fundraiser during Olathe School for the Deaf’s Homecoming Weekend. Of course, a trip down memory lane would be incomplete without the famous or possibly infamous circus project. From digging post holes in hard clay and 100 degree temperatures to disposing of smelly, heavy elephant waste to dealing with hard rains flooding the area and threating to submerge extension cords, club members did whatever it took to make it a fun, safe, organized family event. Whenever we encounter obstacles with current projects, circus project participants remind those of us who joined later that if we can set-up a circus, we can do anything. I am continually amazed by how quickly our club overcomes challenges.
If you were not there, you missed more than Margie’s delicious coffee cake (which I would love to snag the recipe for). Here’s to another 29 years of service, friendship, and fun.
On Saturday December 1st from 8 am to 11 am, Westview Elementary School had a holiday festival. Santa Claus visited and posed for pictures. While waiting for their turn on Santa’s lap, students selected gifts for family members at Santa’s Secret Shop, decorated ornaments with glitter and markers, and purchased treats made by the PTO.
Having so much fun works up an appetite. Olathe Sunrise Kiwanis Club served pancakes, sausage, coffee, hot chocolate, and orange juice. Thank you Cracker Barrel, Planet Sub, Price Chopper, and Starbucks (by Bass Pro Shop) for donating breakfast supplies. Proceeds will be given to Westview Elementary School.
Thank you Westview Elementary School parents and staff for letting us partner with you. As you can see from these pictures, the Kiwanians enjoyed it as much as the children.
At our November 16th meeting, Carol Miner with Balloon Garden described how she shares the joy and beauty of balloons. She showed us pictures of her larger works of balloon art such as ladies dresses, elegant canopies, spiral arches, and eight foot tall toy soldier sculptures. Then she made a flower, a dog, and two different hats while we watched. Here are a few pictures of the fun:
To see more of her creations, please visit Balloon Garden’s web site or Facebook page. If you were not present for this demonstration, you really missed out.
The Special Olympics State Soccer and Bocce Tournament was held at Lone Elm Park on Sunday September 30th. The Olathe Parks Department painted the Special Olympics logo on the grass which made the fields look very official. Approximately twelve teams participated. During downtime between games, players could visit a FUNFitness tent which provided fitness screenings for athlete flexibility, functional strength, balance, and aerobic condition. We were lucky to have beautiful weather for the event.
Olathe Sunrise Kiwanis Club set-up our trailer and served refreshments. Our menu consisted of breakfast burritos, donuts, hotdogs, nachos, and candy. Our drink selection included Starbucks coffee, hot chocolate, bottled water, Gatorade, lemonade, and assorted soft drinks. We were the only supplier of breakfast items. American Legion furnished lunch for the soccer and bocce players, but their fans would have had to brown bag it or go hungry without us. We ran out of bottled water very early in the day and made a grocery run to restock. By noon, we had sold out of everything except candy and a few varieties of drinks which were flying off the shelf. Last year we started with the same inventory and gave items away at 3 pm because they had not sold. The increased demand really surprised us.
Thank you to the volunteers and donors who made this a special day for the soccer and bocce players and their fans. Specifically thank you Olathe Parks Department for preparing the fields and for loaning us an electric generator to power our microwave and slow cooker. Thank you Starbucks at 151st and Black Bob for donating coffee and hot water. If you happen to stop by that Starbucks location, please thank the store manager, and let them know how much we appreciate their support.
Olathe Sunrise Kiwanis Club recently joined the Olathe Chamber of Commerce. Chamber coffees are held every Thursday from 9 am to 11 am at different chamber member businesses. We attended our first chamber coffee at Merit Bank today and met many friendly people.
The meeting began with each new member introducing their organization or company to the group. Jim Grant described the objectives of Kiwanis and mentioned that we work with Title 1 schools and Special Olympics. Then community service organizations requested support for current projects. Each project may be announced at two chamber coffees. Jim told them about our “Field of Honor” and our flag display service. Flyers describing projects may be placed on a table next to the registration table. We did not take advantage of this today. At the end, prizes that have been donated by members are given away.
After hearing about our flag project, one member approached us to learn more and will probably sign-up for a flag in his yard. Another member provided a tip for how to get the word out about our flag project. I left the event excited about the possibility of partnering with Olathe businesses and organizations. I look forward to the next chamber coffee on Thursday August 23rd at Hilton Garden Inn.