Tag Archives: kiwanis

Kiwanis holds membership roundup for potential Ridgewood club

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Anthony Giudice

The Queens Kiwanis family is looking to grow into Ridgewood.

Kiwanis Queens West Lieutenant Governor J.P. DiTroia held a special membership roundup and outreach meeting Thursday night to spread the word about a Kiwanis club potentially coming to Ridgewood at the TD Bank branch located on Fresh Pond Road.

“The Kiwanis is a great vehicle for individuals to get involved with the community,” DiTroia said. “Events like this have helped build the Middle Village and Forest Hills clubs. They are great networking opportunities as well.”

Currently, the fledgling Ridgewood Kiwanis Club has five members and is looking to expand. They are seeking members of the community who want to make a difference.

“We need members, but more importantly we need members that participate and are involved in the community,” said Dorothy Lancaster, member of the board of directors of the Middle Village Kiwanis Club.

The first charter member of the Ridgewood Kiwanis Club, Yogeshwar Wadhawan, joined because he was interested in helping his community and felt the Kiwanis would give him a chance to give back.

“I joined because I want to give something back to society. I have time now, I’m retired, and I wanted to give back,” Wadhawan said. “I want to help kids and veterans. The reason for joining is more important to me than being the first member in Ridgewood. It is also a good way for me to keep busy, but now it’s a different reason to stay busy. Now that I’m not working for money, I want the inner peace and satisfaction of helping people.”

For more information about becoming a Kiwanis member, watch this video.


Queens West Kiwanis clubs donate to Project Eliminate

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photos courtesy JP DiTroia

The 17 clubs of the Kiwanis Queens West Division have helped raise $47,000 for the Kiwanis International’s Project Eliminate, which fights to end maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) around the world.

Currently, Kiwanis International has raised $100 million over the last four years for Project Eliminate, saving 50 million babies and mothers from this painful disease. The goal is to reach $110 million by the end of the year, saving an additional 5 million mothers and their children.

MNT causes newborn babies to suffer from repeated, painful convulsions and extreme sensitivity to light and touch. It also can have negative effects on mothers, causing them to die too.

“In our clubs we raised $47,000 from the 17 Queens West divisions,” said J.P. DiTroia, lieutenant governor of Kiwanis Queens West. “Middle Village raised over $9,000. I’m very proud of our division. This is the power of Kiwanis.”

DiTroia said the clubs were able to raise the money through fundraising events, walks, individual donations and matching grants.

“We are very happy. Hopefully we can get more donations,” DiTroia said. “It has been a long rollercoaster ride. I am confident that they will reach the goal.”

The Kiwanis clubs of New York State have raised over 1 million dollars toward Project Eliminate.

“This disease is hard on the babies and hard on the mothers. Both can die from tetanus,” DiTroia said. “I am grateful that we made the donations that we did. I am confident that Kiwanis will get it done. We have great energy. Our members are great.”

In addition to their work with Project Eliminate, the Kiwanis Clubs of Queens West help fight pediatric Lyme disease.

During the Kiwanis district convention in Albany, DiTroia chaired a Pie in the Face Kiwanis Pediatric Lyme Fundraiser event where the highest bidder won the right to throw a pie in the face of the newly elected New York State Governor-elect 2016-2017, Stephen Sirgiovanni.

In total, the event raised $1,000 for pediatric Lyme disease.


Queens West Kiwanis clubs sending kids to summer camp

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photos via Kamp Kiwanis Facebook page

The Kiwanis clubs of the Queens West division are helping children enjoy their summer vacation by sending dozens of youngsters to Kamp Kiwanis.

Each club from the Queens West division held fundraiser events throughout the year to raise money to give the kids a one-week camping experience.

The Corona-East Elmhurst club sponsored one child; the newest club in the Queens West division, the East River club, helped 11 children go to Kamp Kiwanis; the Maspeth club sent 14 children; LaGuardia led the way with 25 children sponsored; Middle Village raised enough money to send one child to camp; the Queens Boulevard club enabled four children to visit Kamp Kiwanis; and Sunnyside added 11 more children to the roster. In all, 67 children were sponsored for a week at Kamp Kiwanis.

“Children are sponsored by local Kiwanis Clubs throughout the district (New York State) and they come to camp with no cost to their families; the Kiwanis clubs pay for it,” said Sal Anelli, president of Kamp Kiwanis. “It is one of the finest sleepaway camps in the state, full of activities to promote fellowship and cooperation.”

Kamp Kiwanis is a 105-acre camp ground located 10 miles west of Rome, NY, owned by the New York District Kiwanis Foundation. The woodland campground has a pond for fishing and boating as well as an in-ground swimming pool.

Children at Kamp Kiwanis are encouraged to go swimming, boating, fishing, participate in several different sports, arts and crafts, go on hikes, learn to build campfires, act in skits, go on nature walks and many other fun activities.

Weekly camping sessions run through Aug. 15. Each weekly session begins on Sunday at 3 p.m. and ends on Saturday at 8 a.m.

“The camp runs an eight-week camping season. The first two weeks are for adults with special needs. The other six weeks are for economically and physically challenged children from the ages of 8 to 14,” Anelli said. “Each week we take in up to 125 children, of which up to 20 can be special needs children. We mainstream those children with the rest of the campers so that they don’t feel that they are any different.”

For more information about Kamp Kiwanis, visit their website.



Queens Courier co-publisher honored at Kiwanis division meeting

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photos by Anthony Giudice

Members of the Kiwanis Clubs of Queens West gathered at Villa Erasmo in Middle Village on Monday night to honor several attendees during their monthly division meeting, including Queens Courier Co-Publisher Victoria Schneps-Yunis.

Schneps-Yunis received a certificate of appreciation from the Kiwanis Clubs of Queens West for her and The Courier’s participation in the celebration of the Kiwanis International centennial.

“The Queens West Division acknowledges Victoria Schneps and The Queens Courier for their part in the celebration in the Kiwanis 100-year anniversary,” said J.P. DiTroia, lieutenant governor of Kiwanis Queens Wests.

Schneps-Yunis not only received an honor, but also presented the Kiwanis Clubs of Queens West with a check worth $1,575 for their Lieutenant Governor Fund, which was raised through The Courier’s ad campaign for the Kiwanis centennial.

“We all remember The Courier had a wonderful ad and out of that came a wonderful exposure for our members,” DiTroia said. Schneps donated 20 percent of the ad funds, which accumulated to $1,575 and will be divided among the clubs, he said.


After the presentation of the check, Schneps was not done. She announced that DiTroia will be nominated as a King of Queens, an annual event which recognizes leaders in the borough from a variety of fields, to further strengthen the connection between the Kiwanis and the community. The Kings of Queens event is scheduled for September 17 at Terrace on the Park.


Kiwanis celebrates its 100th anniversary

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy of J.P DiTroia

Kiwanis International is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

The Kiwanis was founded on Jan. 21, 1915, in Detroit, Michigan. On Nov. 1, 1916, The Kiwanis Club of Hamilton, Ontario, was chartered, making Kiwanis an international organization.

By 1916, a year after its founding, the Kiwanis had only three clubs with about 500 members; today the Kiwanis has nearly 600,000 members with clubs in 80 nations.

Those clubs and members address the unique concerns of their own areas, while tackling larger global issues. Members of the Kiwanis hold around 150,000 service projects, raise approximately $100 million and contribute more than six million hours of service each year.

As Kiwanis grew around the world, it grew locally as well. The first club in the New York District was founded in Rochester in 1916. The Queens West Division of the New York District currently has 17 clubs.

“Kiwanis, in general, is a lot of work and a commitment to the community, however, what it does is it challenges you…if you want to grow as an individual, it challenges you, it forces you to learn different things,” said JP DiTroia, Lieutenant Governor of Kiwanis Queens West.

In June 2010, at the 2010 international convention in Las Vegas, Kiwanis pledged to raise $110 million and joined UNICEF to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus from countries still affected by the disease. This cause is known as Project Eliminate.

Since Project Eliminate began, the Queens West Division has been steadfast in raising money for this cause through several fundraising events.

One such event was the fundraiser wedding they held for the Kiwanis mascot, Kiwally the Koala, where the club raised $5,400 for Project Eliminate. That money went to save over 3,000 babies, according to DiTroia.

“We have raised, our division, over $42,000 in four years,” DiTroia said of his club’s progress with Project Eliminate.

For donating $1,500, DiTroia received the Centennial Award and pin from the Kiwanis.

“I’m thrilled,” DiTroia said of being presented the Centennial Award. “It’s important to me, not just because I got the award, but the importance that I’m showing my fellow Kiwanians that it can be done. The reward in itself is saving the babies, but certainly to be recognized by your peers is the ultimate honor.”

The Queens West Division is also involved with many other organizations such as the Heartshare School, the Ronald McDonald House, among others, according to DiTroia.

“We raised money, $2,200, for pediatric Lyme disease,” DiTroia added.

The Kiwanis continues to add new members and grow both locally and internationally, helping those in need across the globe with its charitable donations.


Maspeth students learn about public servants on Law Day

| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso


Leaders in local, state and national law enforcement joined emergency response teams and civic groups in celebration of the 39th annual Law Day hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Maspeth on May 22 at Maspeth’s I.S. 73.

Maspeth-based lawyer and Kiwanis member Edward McGowan created Law Day back in 1976 as a civic project for his term as the group’s president. The event initially began with 10 guest speakers and has since expanded to include over 30 instructors and speakers from all facets of law enforcement and legal professions.

McGowan created the program as a way to give back to the children of the community, as well as to the school he himself once attended.

“This school is my foundation for what I am today,” he said. “The program is all about giving the kids the opportunity to sit in a classroom with a uniformed officer and ask questions.”

This year’s Law Day event featured representatives and guest speakers from a wide range of groups, including officers from the 104th Precinct, Maspeth Kiwanis, the MTA Police Unit, the Middle Village Ambulance Squad, NYC Office of Emergency Management, DSNY Community Affairs Unit, Maritime lawyers, NYPD Crime Prevention and Community Affairs Units, as well as agents from the FBI.

Instructors and speakers from each group were sent into classrooms to discuss their roles and professions with students in a series of three, 20-minute presentations.

“They get a chance to show a little bit about themselves and say, ‘Hey, you can do this, too,'” McGowan added.

Jon Kablack, a member of the 104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol (104COP), spoke with a seventh-grade class and shared his own experiences and struggles as a high school student.

“You learn, in life, from your mistakes and how to fix them,” he said. “But as a community servant, I want to come and help you fix those now, so that you’re not held back later in life.”

Kablack also discussed the topic of graffiti with the students, an important issue that often involves the community’s youth. He explained the differences between true art and vandalism and urged the class to report such incidents.

Kablack also encouraged the students to complete their homework and maintain good grades so that they could gain admittance to a good high school and college, and eventually the career of their choice.

“You can do anything you want to do,” he said.

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

RIDGEWOOD TIMES/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

P.O. Charles Sadler of the 104th Precinct Community Affairs Unit addressed a sixth-grade class with a similar message of encouragement.

“If you set your goals, you could do anything,” he said. “Sometimes you have to work harder than other people to get to your goals, but you will get there.”

Sadler explained how the NYPD’s motto of “Courtesy, Professionalism and Respect” should be applied to life inside and out of the classroom.

“Be that guy or gal that chooses the right way,” he said. “That’s why I became a cop. I wanted to show people how to be that better person and to protect and serve those who can’t protect and serve themselves.”

McGowan hopes to plan a large event and celebration for next year’s 40th Law Day anniversary.

“I hope I’m saving lives and creating something,” he said. “Out of this, I got to help a lot of people.”


Kiwanis koalas to ‘tie knot’ at ‘beary’ sweet Maspeth fundraiser

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy of J.P. DiTroia

Kiwanis Queens West is hosting a special “mascot wedding” fundraiser to support the Eliminate Project, which hopes to end maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) by providing immunization shots to mothers and infants in need. The fundraiser will take place at O’Neill’s Restaurant in Maspeth on Saturday, March 21.

“Our Kiwanis members of Queens West are fun-loving and have very big hearts,” said Lieutenant Governor of Kiwanis Queens West J.P. DiTroia. “We are hoping to draw 50 or more [attendees] since all the net proceeds will go to Project Eliminate to save babies.”

The theme of the evening’s fundraiser will be the wedding of the Kiwanis Queens West mascot, Kiwally the Kiwanian, and his girlfriend Kiwanna, both stuffed koala bear dolls.

There is a $65 donation that includes dinner and entertainment at the event, with all proceeds going to the Eliminate Project.

“I always set my goals high. If we raise $2,000 It would be great. But we would be happy with $1,000 as well,” DiTroia said of the fundraiser. “That would save 500 babies since it costs $2 to give a baby the shot for tetanus.”

Each year, an estimated 60,000 babies and a large number of women die from this disease. The disease causes the newborns to have repeated, painful convulsions and extreme sensitivity to light and touch.

“That’s what Kiwanis does with UNICEF, they get the babies the needed shot to protect them,” DiTroia said.

In order to stop MNT, over 100 million mothers and their children must be immunized. That will require vaccines, syringes, safe storage, transportation, the services of skilled staff and much more.

To do this, “Kiwanis International has set a goal to raise $110 million in five years. We are in our fifth year and internationally, we…have raised over $72 million,” DiTroia explained. “In our New York State Kiwanis District we have raised over $1 million, and in my great district Queens West Kiwanis, of which I am the proud lieutenant governor, we have raised over $32,000, and that is in addition to all the other worthy projects that our 17 Kiwanis clubs perform for the communities that they live in.”

For more information on Project Eliminate, click here.


Ozone Park Kiwanis gets new president

| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Nick Beneduce

Victor Rodriguez, a plumbing supply owner, has taken over as president of the Ozone Park Kiwanis Club, succeeding Jonah Cohen, who had been the club’s leader for the last two years.

Rodriguez had been a vice president of the club for about the last year, Cohen said, and had run a number of events for the Kiwanis.

“He happens to be a very, very nice guy,” Cohen said. “I think he will be an asset to the organization. He’s a good leader.”

Rodriguez received the Kiwanis’ “Member of the Year” award on Saturday, September 29 at the club’s comedy show.


Kiwanis comes back to Bayside

| sLieberman@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Rosa Michaels

The Kiwanis Club is coming back to Bayside.

After a three-year hiatus, the philanthropic organization has decided to revamp its Bayside chapter, which had previously existed in the neighborhood since 1940.

Kiwanis is an international organization aimed at offering opportunities for individuals to get involved in the leadership and improvement of their community, their country, and their planet.

“We make giving back easier on the individual by doing things that an individual would not be able to do,” said William Risbrook, the current Kiwanis New York State Governor.

Kiwanis sponsors cleanup projects, as well as holiday food and toy drives. They also send underprivileged children to Kamp Kiwanis.

If you are interested in becoming a Bayside Kiwanis Club member, you can attend meetings at Bourbon Street restaurant on Bell Boulevard.

“In these economic times government can’t do everything,” said Assemblymember Ed Braunstein. “We rely on groups like Kiwanis to fill in the cracks.”

Turkeys and trimmings delivered in Middle Village

| mchan@queenscourier.com


Five families got an early start to a happy Thanksgiving, as turkeys complete with trimmings made their way to their front doors.
Courtesy of the newly-formed Middle Village Kiwanis Club, 30 turkeys were collected and distributed to local churches, two homes in Ridgewood and three in Middle Village on Tuesday, November 22.

“It was overwhelming and over-joyous for the families and even for myself. They were very grateful,” said Al Gentile, treasurer of Middle Village Kiwanis and chairperson of the club’s food drive committee. “We began to talk about everything under the sun — their trials and tribulations that are going on right now. They were very appreciative to get this help.”

Gentile said some of the families even tried to convince the Kiwanis Club to give the help to more needy people instead of them.
“It was just an unbelievable story. These are cancer victims, some of them are unemployed. It was very rewarding to know that they were going to get the baskets,” he said.

According to Middle Village Kiwanis boardmember J.P. Di Troia, the bulk of the birds will go toward Sacred Heart Parish’s food pantry, while others will be donated to Our Lady of Hope Parish, St. Matthias Parish and other local food drives.

“We’re Kiwanis. That’s what we’re about. We help the community and we help families — anybody in need. We’re ecstatic,” said his wife, Tina Di Troia, the first Middle Village Kiwanis president and longtime member of several Kiwanis’ in the surrounding neighborhoods.

The brand new group — which will be officially installed and chartered on December 7 — already is 29 members strong, and the numbers will only be growing, officials said.

“We’re finding that everyone is looking for us to join, to help us and to do more for the community, especially the children,” Tina said.
Middle Village Kiwanis members personally delivered the turkeys — and a basket of stuffing, cranberry sauce, canned vegetables and pudding — to the doors of families and local churches.

“It’s very exciting for all of us involved,” J.P. said.