Monday, September 7, 2015

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Invitation to our annual picnic

Our Kiwanis picnic will be at Kordiak Park in Columbia Heights on Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 5 pm.

PLEASE RSVP! We are serving steak!

Everyone bring a side dish and dessert. The club provides the steaks.

Bring a friend and introduce them to Kiwanis and all that we do with Eliminate and Key Club and so much more!

Beautiful waterfall structure at Kordiak Park

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Peaches are Coming!

Kiwanis Peach SALE!!!
                                                   PLEASE  NOTE  CHANGES                                                       
             LOCATION for pick-up, Box sizes and Address     

                     Columbia Heights/Fridley Kiwanis Club             
        Luscious tree ripened COLORADO peaches
       Hand picked in the orchard and direct to you.
   Boxes are packed 20 lb case  or 10 lb case (new)
                                20 lb for $35.00  or   10 lb  for  $20.00
       Your peaches are to be picked up Wednesday, August 5th from  
                                                         9:00am to 6:00pm
                                 or  Thursday, August 6th    from 9:00am  to  Noon.                                                                                                            
                              The truck will be located at  (new address):                                    
                 40th & Central Ave NE (East side) in Columbia Heights, MN
             Pre-orders must be picked by 11:30am on Thursday August 6th
                   Please send peach orders and payment to:    
                        Issue check to “Kiwanis Peaches  
                           7624 Stinson Blvd NE                                                                                                                               Fridley, MN  55432

          Or hand it to one of the peachy Kiwanians with the Columbia Heights-Fridley Kiwanis Club.

            No. of boxes:_____ 20 lb @ $35.00  or ______10 lb @ $20.00   
            Amount Enclosed: $___________
            Telephone (_____)_____________________
            Address,City,State & Zip______________________________________________________

            Email:_____________________________________________________________________               Thank you for your support!          Submit order by 7/25/15                             2015

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Kiwanis Represent in Washington, D.C.

On April 29th, three representatives from Fridley High School’s Key Club attended the Kiwanis International Community Leader Briefing in Washington DC. Kiwanis Advisor Mary Bowen, Faculty Advisor Jessica Baker and Key Club President Kati Stevenson were chosen to attend the briefing because of the work Fridley Key Club does with one of their signature projects, the Teeter-Totter Marathon, which is an annual project where members spend 70 hours teeter-tottering in a basement to raise money.

“The Kiwanis International staff selected 240 Kiwanis and Kiwanis Family projects to be potentials. From this list the White House staff selected 34 projects. Our Key Club project was one of four to be recognized. When I learned of this process, I realized that the Fridley Key Club is more powerful and unique than I had thought,” said Bowen, who has worked with the Key Club for 24 of the 27 years that she has been a member of Kiwanis. It was an honor to be chosen out of the 16,000 clubs that are a part of the global K-Family.

Kiwanis is an organization comprised of members who are “dedicated to serving the children of the world.” There are many groups to be a part of based on the age of a participant, and Key Club is the level for high schoolers. Key Club aims to build strong leaders and perform community service, all while being grounded in the values of Character Building, Caring, Inclusiveness and Leadership.

Stevenson, who has been in office for about two weeks now, stresses how important these values are. “We don’t always talk about them, but if you ever meet a Key Clubber, they exhibit every one of the Four Core Values. I noticed that a lot in DC: I met some very humble people who fell in love with service and continue to make a difference in their communities.”

Fridley Key Club has indeed made an impact. In addition to their Teeter-Totter Marathon, other projects they do include the Homeless Sleepout, Dodge for Darfur, Dog and Dolls for Africa, Highway Clean-up, helping with Fridley Parks and Rec events, March of Dimes, ‘Tines for Troops, Teacher Appreciation and many more.

All of this service led to the distinction of being chosen to attend the Briefing in DC. “For thirteen years we have received the Distinguished Diamond Level Award, the highest award a Key Club can receive,” Bowen proudly stated. Stevenson added, “We’re highly qualified, but it was still an honor to be chosen. A huge part of it is all the work our advisors put in. Mary especially spends hours sewing for us, or making little crafty projects to thank us students for our work. And she still finds time to maintain friendships with all of the higher-ups at Kiwanis International!” Bowen just laughed. She has served on many advisory boards for Kiwanis over the years and has formed lasting friendships with people she was excited to see again. “It was a great experience for me to see and visit with some of my worldwide Kiwanis friends. Many of them have worked selflessly for years without any thanks or recognition. They are a positive group, always caring about others.”

While in DC, Bowen, Stevenson and Baker attended the Briefing, where they heard from speakers who work in the Obama administration. They were thanked many times for their service, and learned about new initiatives such as Invest in Us, Fitness Gram, My Brother’s Keeper and USAID. This was Baker’s favorite part of the trip, because it made her feel like an active participant in her community, country and government. “I liked hearing about the power of the goodwill of American people overseas and the impact we are having. It made me proud to be an American,” she said, adding that she enjoyed hearing from the decision makers.

Next on the agenda was an Impact Luncheon, where the groups heard from the other clubs about their signature project. Stevenson got to stand up and talk about the Teeter-Totter Marathon, as well as the Dog and Doll Stuffing project Fridley Key Cub does, where they stuff and send toys to orphans in Africa. This project recently won a first place award at Key Club’s District Convention. “The Dog and Doll project was something we’ve been working on all year long, and we’re very proud of all we have accomplished with it. It wasn’t that nerve-wracking to talk to all the other clubs, and they gave us a round of applause for all of our work,” remarked Stevenson. She added that they also had some delicious caramel-chocolate mousse for dessert, “which was fabulous.”

Afterwards, it was time to meet with the Congressional representatives on Capitol Hill. Baker had a meeting at four p.m., while “Mary and I got to do touristy things. We visited the Botanic Gardens, which was gorgeous. It was a perfect April day, and I loved just being able to be outside for a while,” Stevenson reflected. Baker continued, “Someone at school wanted a picture of the cherry trees if they were still in bloom, but they weren’t, so we faked it with a dogwood.”

The meetings with staffers from the representatives’ offices were both good and bad. Some were not interested, which Baker stated “made me appreciate legislators who take the time to listen and get to know their constituents.” On the other hand, Bowen and Stevenson had an excellent visit with Abby, one of Congressman Keith Ellison’s staff. “She was an awesome person. She was already knowledgeable about Kiwanis and their service efforts, plus she was willing to talk with us about her job. We had a good experience,” said Stevenson, with Bowen nodding in agreement.
The evening held two receptions, the first being White House-sponsored at one of the Senate buildings. Stevenson quipped, “We heard from senators and representatives who were or are part of the K-Family, so that was special. Plus, I got my picture taken behind the official Senate podium. Mrs. Baker sent it out with the caption ‘Future Senator?’ to some of the staff at school, which they appreciated.” When asked if she does have plans for political office, Stevenson shook her head. “I’d like to stay on the community side of things. Actually, John [Shertzer, the Chief Programs Officer at Kiwanis International] already told me he’d hire me if I want to work for Kiwanis.”

The next reception of the evening was sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Washington DC and was held at the La Loma restaurant. With delicious smells wafting in the air, Baker, Bowen and Stevenson socialized briefly with other friends they had made. “We didn’t stay long, because we were tired, but it was fun. We got to catch up again with the Mankato club,” remarked Stevenson. Baker seconded that. “I enjoyed meeting the rest of the Minn-Dak representatives from Mankato. They seem to be great at connecting organizations and we could learn a lot from them.” The day was full of inspiring moments, but the best was yet to come.

“We got to take a tour of the White House! We had to get up really early to do it, but it was such a neat experience. We got to take pictures from inside the gates, and I saw the really famous painting of George Washington. My history teacher was excited about that,” chattered Stevenson. “I also got to hang out with Michael [a Key Club president from Illinois] and some of the college students from Rutgers University. Talking to them was the highlight of my trip, because I love connecting with people, and we got along really well. We talked about Key Club and how we get greater involvement in our activities, but we also talked about life and high school. Turns out they also study the Cold War in Illinois!”

Since it was just a three day trip, many events had been crammed in, leaving little time for reflection. But each participant from Fridley was able to come away with a main idea, something that inspired them to continue to pursue service in Key Club and life. For Baker, that’s getting the Key Clubbers to feel a better sense of community. “I would like each of the students involved to feel that their individual actions are part of a larger whole that is making a huge difference in the world. [To be] thinking of ourselves doing small actions that add up.” For Bowen, her take-away was a renewed sense of thankfulness for her amazing crew. “I call this experience ‘Crzy Mry, Queen for a Day.’ The new friendships I made, the new projects ideas I obtained and the awesome speakers I heard all contributed to making me feel very special. We are blessed to have the support of the school and the staff. I am rarely told ‘No’ with any of my cuckoo ideas!” For Stevenson, she felt her proudest moment came in just socializing with others. “Mary knows everyone, so I got introduced to a lot of influential people. Every one of them has story I can learn from. I also liked sitting down with Michael and another Key Club president from New Jersey, Sam. She was awesome, and talking to them was such a blessing. I have garnered some knowledge from them that will help me better lead my club, and they reinforced my decision to stick with service because there’s a huge support network out there of kids just like me who are just as passionate about helping others.”

Overall, the experience was a successful one for the Fridley Key Club. They got to go to Washington to talk about something they are quite enthusiastic about, service, and came home with some great ideas to implement in their club, as well as a renewed fire for social change. Bowen couldn’t have said it better when she said, “Working with these students has made me realize that the future of the world is in excellent hands. Life is good!”

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Amazing Day at Bridging with our ONE DAY Project

Here are a few pictures from our Kiwanis One Day project on Saturday, April 28. We had many Region 7 clubs, plus several key clubs, and the new Circle K Club at the U of M join us. About 130 people building 85 dressers for needy families helped by Bridging in Roseville, MN. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Key Club completes teeter totter fundraiser

This year, Fridley Key Club’s annual Teeter-Totter Marathon lasted for 70 hours from 6:00 pm, Friday, February 13th to 4:00 pm Monday, February 16th.  It was held in Kiwanis advisor Crazy Mary Bowen’s family room. 30 Fridley Key Clubbers, 5 Columbia Heights Key Clubbers 12 Builder’s Club kids, 4 Kiwanis members and a couple of parents and siblings jumped on the teeter-totter.  They raised over $700 dollars for the Eliminate Project.  That project is the Kiwanis effort to vaccinate all mothers in the developing countries against maternal/neonatal tetanus.  It is also Key Club’s major emphasis project for this year.
Key Club partnered with the other members of the Kiwanis family, as well as the JAMS ladies of Fridley, on this effort to raise funds and have fun doing it!  While at the Teeter-Totter Marathon, those present stuffed 162 fabric dogs and dolls with fiberfill to make stuffed toys. The dogs and dolls, made by the JAMS ladies, will be sent to orphaned youngsters in Africa who are victims of AIDS.  Crazy Mary likes to call this duo event of teeter-tottering and stuffing the “Two-fer on the Teeter.”

Everyone was excited to be a part of the Marathon.  It was comical to watch the Builder’s Club kids’ eyes grow wide when they saw the teeter-totter in the basement, as they have never been a part of the Teeter-Totter Marathon before. It was also awesome to welcome Key Clubbers from the Columbia Heights Key Club, who came late Sunday.  They put in quality work stuffing the dogs and dolls, as well as teeter-tottering.

“It was great to see the partnership of so many different clubs and organizations,” said Key Club chair Kati Stevenson. “The event was a huge success.  Thank you to everyone who contributed time, energy and money to our Teeter-Totter Marathon.  Because of you, we have saved 400 mothers and their babies from maternal/neonatal tetanus.” Those who participated put in over 300 hours of service, which is a lot of time to go up and down, up and down, up and down. Thankfully, Crazy Mary’s family room had a real jukebox so the kids entertained themselves with the oldies as they laughed their way to a good time and a goal-reaching donation at Teeter-Totter Marathon 2015.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A new Builders Club starts in Fridley

Students in grades 5-8 at Fridley Middle School now have an opportunity to become members of an international community service oriented club at their school.
Mary Bowen, Fridley High School Key Club adviser and Blair Berger, Fridley Middle School Band Director, recently chartered a Builders Club at Fridley Middle School.
As students maneuver the “in-between-stage” of life, Builders Club empowers them to be themselves, work together with peers and implement plans through action. An extension of Kiwanis International, Builders Club is a middle school program that shares the mission of building leaders to help children around the world. Through the club, students become leaders at school, in their community and in the world.
“Blair approached me with the idea as he saw the need of community service in the middle school,” said Bowen who has been the Key Club advisor for almost 30 years. “People see the need to have children help in their communities and there is movement to involve children in community service early – before they are overly involved in sports and other activities,” she said.
The middle school’s newly formed Builders Club already has 28 members who will hold a charter potluck event on Sunday, Feb. 8, at 1 p.m. in the Fireside Room at the Fridley Community Center. During the event, the new members will receive their pins, T-shirts and certificates of membership and new officers will also be announced.
Berger, the club’s advisor, said he is excited about this new opportunity for middle school students.
“Community service is heavily imbedded in the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum,” Berger said. “The Builders Club now gives our middle school students an organized voice for community service.” He added that any student in grades 5-8 can join the Builders Club. The club is student led and like the Key Club, has an emphasis on building leadership skills in the individual members. Bowen and Berger will work with the members as they learn the functions of the club, formalize all board positions and brainstorm on community service projects.
One of the club’s first projects will be a teacher appreciation day and participation in the annual Teeter Totter Marathon that is organized by the Fridley High School Key Club. “Our high school Key Club has an outstanding and distinguished community service record,” said Berger, “and my vision for the Builders Club is to help our middle school students aspire to that level of service.” (Source:
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