On the evening of Thursday, September 29, 2016, over 100 fellow Kiwanians and guests, Key club members and advisors as well as Builders Club members and advisors, gathered at the George Washington Hotel’s Grand Ball Room for our annual Installation Banquet. I want to start by thanking everyone who attended this event to support our incoming officers and board members as well as to recognize some deserving Kiwanians. At least most were deserving. More on that later.
Again, I want to give a big “thank you” to Dave Reichert for planning such a nice evening. The evening included the presentations of two Kiwanis Capital District Foundation’s Life Membership awards. The first of these was awarded to our outgoing Past President David Sunter for all of the contributions he has made over the past four years going through the chairs. The second award went to our outgoing President Ali Matson, also for all of her contributions she has made during her past three years of going through the chairs.
The George F. Hixson award is given to individuals who have demonstrated a significant commitment to our club. This year’s first recipient was David Sunter—further evidence that David did an outstanding job. Everything from his leadership to recruitment of new members. The second Hixson award will be given at a later date.
The “Rookie of the Year” was presented to T.J. O’Connor. T.J. joined the club and immediately became involved with the Millbrook Key Club as an advisor, took on projects with the P.R. committee, worked multiple shifts on Pancake day and also agreed to be on the Board of Directors.
The biggest surprise, at least for me, was when President Ali presented me with “Kiwanian of the Year”. Surprising for me because I also see what everyone is doing and I can think of several who, in my eyes, were more deserving. Thank you so much for this honor!
This past year was a fantastic year, complete with challenges. We started out with a record breaking pancake day and then another in the spring that almost beat the first. Several new members were inducted. We filled many funding requests and helped many children. President Ali was doing a great job when her career took her away from us. Luckily for me (and the club), Ali continued to be there, helping to lead this club by advising and consulting me on what to do. Great job Ali on a great year! As I mentioned at the Installation Banquet, we need to continue to enhance our club by bringing in new members. New members will bring fresh ideas. That is how we will continue to grow, not just for numbers, but how we can benefit more children. How do we do that? Just tell someone what we do, how we help children and then ask if they would like to visit with us to see if they would like to be a part.
Speaking of helping children, at our board meeting last week, the board voted on funding over $18,000 to local needs. We will be bringing those to the membership this week, October 5th. This surplus was a direct result of the two successful pancake days we held. I am very proud of this club which hosts this extremely successful community event, which is so much more than a fundraiser!
Thanks again for electing me as your President for this year and I look forward to serving.