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The Suburbanite
  • Portage Lakes Kiwanis: Serving the community for 50 years

  • The Portage Lakes Kiwanis are best known for their Rose Day sale and Christmas Eve Santa delivery while many of their services to the community passes without much fanfare. I’d like to share with you just some of their other community service projects.

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  • The Portage Lakes Kiwanis are best known for their Rose Day sale and Christmas Eve Santa delivery while many of their services to the community passes without much fanfare. I’d like to share with you just some of their other community service projects.
    As you may know, Kiwanis is an international service organization, the Portage Lakes Kiwanis received their charter in 1951 with an objective to provide community service primarily to the Portage Lakes area.
    The Kiwanis Senior Tower on Portage Lakes Drive came about through the efforts of the Portage Lakes Kiwanis. They saw the need for a senior citizens building with affordable rent would be welcome in the community. They supported the idea by contributing start up money and helped secure federal funding to bring the vision to reality. The Senior Towers  is self sufficient and is run by a management company. 
    Some of the community activities and services they provide are the annual Easter Egg Hunt at the Tudor house in New Franklin; they offer boat rides for handicapped children through their youth services program; support Camp Y-Noah through manual labor by building picnic tables, bunk beds, docks, painting and roof repair. Coventry and Manchester high school students can participate in their Key Club and a Builders Club offered to middle school students.
    Their Kiwanis Civic Center offers free meeting space to non-profit organizations in the Portage Lakes. Some groups that have taken advantage of the offer are the Astronomy club, AARP, Orchid Society , both Boy and Girl scout groups; baseball, football and soccer sign-ups. In the Fall the Civic Center is a flu shot site. The cost to maintain the Civic Center is approximately $13 thousand dollars a year and is supported through private donations, Rose Day sales and an army of volunteers who through the Civic Center Board of Directors maintain the grounds and building upkeep. It’s a huge task.
    Every year since the 1950s Kiwanis has offered four $1500 scholarships to college bound graduating seniors in the Coventry and Manchester schools. One each to a male and female at the respective schools. Scholarship recipients this year were: Madeline Conley of Coventry; Jordin Shannon, Manchester; Nick Deberte, Coventry and Dustin Ivey of Manchester.
    Interested in joining and getting involved to serve your community?
    Kiwanis has membership openings for males and females, married or single. They have an array of business owners and service companies listed among their membership. Visit their Web site, www.plkiwanis.org, or drop in at their meetings every Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. at the Kiwanis Civic Center, 725 Portage Lakes Drive.
    Just remember when you purchase your Roses for Rose Day the first Saturday in October you are helping support the many services Kiwanis provides to the Portage Lakes community.