Four days, 20 Kiwanians and two lucky communities. That sums up a club-opening blitz in Arkansas in late April. Kiwanians from nearby clubs and members of the Eye of the Tiger team, along with Kiwanis International Trustee Chian Chu-Ching from Taiwan, joined the two-day blitz.
Two sites were selected, which resulted in two new Kiwanis clubs: the Bentonville Razorbacks and the Downtown Rogers. Area members canvassed the community and set up appointments in person and by phone in advance, and the Missouri-Arkansas District formed a planning committee that included the governor, governor-elect, Formula chair, Eye of the Tiger chair, area director and club coaches. The committee had weekly phone calls starting eight weeks before the event to ensure all planning was taken care of, including room reservations, publicity, calling for appointments and ordering meals.
When the group met with potential Kiwanis members during the blitz, the reaction to Kiwanis’ mission was very positive. “I was very amazed when I heard at least two people say that they had been looking for a service organization to join,” said Mary Vaughan, Missouri-Arkansas District secretary, and blitz participant.
“The fact Kiwanis focused on kids really resonates with potential members,” said Dan Yates, Missouri-Arkansas past-governor and club coach for the newly formed Kiwanis Club of Downtown Rogers. “Several were Key Club members and had not considered joining a Kiwanis club until our visit. But once they heard what Kiwanis does, they wanted to be involved.”
Blitzes like these are happening in new Kiwanis communities across the United States and in areas around the world. Spreading Kiwanis to new areas means helping more kids, and that’s what Kiwanis is all about.