The belief that nonprofit organizations strengthen our community, combined with faith in our readership and humanity in general that we all have talents to share, The Castle Pines Connection is committed to featuring a different local nonprofit each month. This month we highlight the Kiwanis Club of Castle Rock.
By Lynne Marsala Basche
In 1915, Kiwanis International was founded by a group of businessmen in Detroit, Michigan with a mission to “empower communities to improve the world by making lasting differences in the lives of children.” The local Kiwanis Club of Castle Rock takes that statement to heart as the organization strives to have an active role in the community and promote leadership within future generations.
Kiwanians are known for their outreach activities. While the international organization tackles larger-scale issues, local chapters focus on community needs, and no two communities have the same demands. Interestingly, Kiwanis clubs are one of the few organizations that offer assistance to other nonprofits to help them succeed as well.
Some of the Kiwanis Club of Castle Rock programs include K-Kids, which teaches primary school children about empowerment and leadership, Bring Up Grades (BUG) to help kids improve and maintain their grades, and the oldest and largest service leadership organization for teens, Key Club, which is very active at Rock Canyon High School. Also, the chapter organizes the annual Stars of Tomorrow event, which showcases local talent. (Unfortunately, the event was canceled for 2017 due to chapter conflicts, but it is expected to return this year.) The Kiwanis Speaker Series is also a favorite way for adults to get informed, network and meet new people.
According to club public relations and marketing chairman Ron Claussen, the Kiwanis Club of Castle Rock is excited to add the Ambassadors of Compassion (AOC) program to its portfolio. AOC teaches youth about resiliency and expertise learned by leaders and influencers so that they can manage the stresses of life and navigate everyday challenges.
The Kiwanis Club of Castle Rock accepts donations throughout the year, and all raised and donated money is distributed to individuals and organizations in Douglas County. The Club also hosts an annual golf tournament, which is its largest fundraiser, and an upcoming chili cook-off as part of the Hometown Heroes program. Events are listed at www.kiwanisatcastlerock.org.
The Castle Rock chapter has 25 members, and everyone is a volunteer. While the members are hard-working and energetic, Claussen noted that in order for the chapter to continue to thrive, new younger members are necessary. Members (and interested members) meet every Thursday at Village Inn in Castle Rock at 7 a.m. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. “Come, learn and see where your niche is,” said Claussen. “We’re all about the children.”