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Sunday, December 5, 2010

13th Annual "Breakfast with Santa" in Photos

Head on over to the EOC Kiwanis Flickr site to view photos from our 13th Annual "Breakfast with Santa" fundraiser and holiday celebration on Saturday, Dec. 4th.

Stay tuned for a blog posting with all of the details on this incredibly fun and successful event!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

EOC Kiwanis and UCF CKI Team Up to Fight Hunger

The EOC Kiwanis club teamed up with our UCF CKI brethren to fight hunger at the Second Harvest Food Bank (1918 W. Princeton St, Orlando, FL) on Saturday, November 20th. Second Harvest is a private, nonprofit organization that collects and distributes donated food to more than 600 nonprofit partner agencies in six Central Florida counties. These organizations serve over 700,000 people (20% of the Central Florida population) each year, and Second Harvest relies on donorship from local food retailers and volunteer efforts to accomplish their mission.

The EOC Kiwanians and UCF CKI'ers responded to Second Harvest's call for volunteers on Saturday, November 20th, 2010. After watching a moving video about the children and families who Second Harvest serves, we migrated to the warehouse for a tutorial on how the food is to be sorted. Believe it or not, there are a lot of rules (and exceptions to the rules!) which need to be followed when sorting the food that is donated by local food retailers such as Publix, Winn Dixie, and Walgreens. We then dove into the hundreds of unsorted boxes... Three hours later, over 15 pallets containing 36 boxes each were ready for distribution to the community - not to mention to 95 lbs of tuna which we donated for our "Two Tons o' Tuna" drive!

A big thanks goes to our volunteers for the day: Gene, Yoli, Wanda, Jared, Brent, Jeremy A., Jason, Stephanie, Paige, and four members of UCF CKI! Volunteering at the Second Harvest Food Bank is one of the best and most productive service opportunities in Central Florida. I highly recommend you spend a day with them serving the local community and learning about Second Harvest's operations. It's safe to say that we'll all be a little more thankful this year as we celebrate Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

EOC Kiwanis Turns Students Into Student-Leaders

Developing young leaders is at the core of what we do in Kiwanis.  On Saturday, Nov. 6th, the Kiwanis Club of East Orange County held its annual Service Leadership Club (SLC) Officer Training to do just that.

Many of the Presidents, Vice Presidents, Secretaries, Treasurers, and other Officers representing K-Kids, Builders Clubs, and Key Clubs from across Orange County gathered together to learn what it means to be leaders in their community.  EOC Kiwanis President Prairy Riehl started things off with a fun icebreaker, which involved (believe it or not) a combination of memorization and dance moves.  EOC Kiwanis member Sean Osmond then educated the SLC Officers on "The 11 Principles of Leadership", derived from US Marine Corps Officer Training.  This valuable information laid the foundation for the remainder of the afternoon.

The group was divided into smaller groups by role to discuss their individual responsibilities as Kiwanis SLC Officers.  The student-officers learned how to properly conduct their meetings and the value of having an agenda prepared prior to each meeting.  The small groups were then re-organized groups to discuss things such as committees, fundraising, meeting activities, awards and recognition, and our Kiwanis Worldwide Service Project.  The group learned from each other and shared ideas through lively discussion.  To round out the afternoon, each SLC Officer was given the opportunity to share one thing they learned and one thing that they will take back to their clubs and work on.

Giving back to the East Orange County community is what the EOC Kiwanis club is all about, and SLC Officer training has equipped these bright young minds with the knowledge and ideas needed to take their service to the EOC community to the next level.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Breakfast with Santa


ORLANDO, Fla. – (Nov. 1, 2010) – Children in the East Orange County area can enjoy a special visit with Santa in early December. The Kiwanis Club of East Orange County will host its 13th Annual Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, December 4, 2010 from 7:30-10:30am in the Waterford Lakes Town Center.

In addition to Santa, the event will feature a pancake and sausage breakfast with juice, coffee, and hot chocolate. Students from local schools will provide entertainment. For an additional charge, children can have their photo taken with Santa and create their own plaster masterpiece.

The breakfast is hosted by over 100 student club members and is completely volunteer-driven. All funds raised from this event are returned to the community through the club’s service leadership programs.

Wristbands for Breakfast with Santa are $5 for adults and $3 for children and can be pre-ordered from any Kiwanis member or through any school Kiwanis service leadership club (K-Kids in elementary schools, Builders Club in middle schools, Key Club in high schools, and Circle K Club at UCF). You may also purchase tickets from the Waterford Lakes Town Center office or by calling 321-229-2642 or 321-228-3669.

Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

EOC Kiwanis Volunteers @ Winter Park Fall Festival

The East Orange County Kiwanis Club teamed with the East Orlando Club to serve 1000 hot dogs, chips, drinks and Halloween candy (free of charge) to local youth and their families at the YMCA Winter Park Family Fall Festival on Saturday, October 30th. Activities for the entire family included a Halloween costume parade, hay rides, pumpkin picking, bounce houses, art projects, bicycle courses, pool safety education, child ID program and fingerprinting, and reptile petting! A great time was had by all on this absolutely beautiful day. Jeremy Riehl, Prairy Riehl, Jan Henson, Drew Henson (honorary EOC Kiwanis member) and his daughters Anna and Makayla, and Brent, Jennifer and Emma Hambly all participated in the fun. The Winter Park Family Fall Festival was the kick-off event for the Orange County week of family celebration which runs from October 30th to November 6th and focuses on strengthening the community by strengthening families – a great compliment to our Kiwanis mission of “serving the children of the world, one child and one community at a time”!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

OCPS Recognizes our Club

Tonight our club was recognized by the Board Members of Orange County Public Schools. This is what the Board Members said about us:

Many people know Rotary for their efforts to fight polio and Lions Club for their fight against blindness. How many of you knew that Kiwanis' motto was to serve the children of the world one child and one community at a time? Kiwanis of East Orange County serves the children of Orange County in remarkable ways.

We sponsor 18 different "Service Leadership Clubs" in Orange County: K-Kids in elementary school, Builders Club in middle school, Key Club in high school, and CKI in college in Orange County. Think of each Service Leadership club as a small Kiwanis club at each school, but the volunteer projects are organized by the students and their teachers.

Kiwanis supports students in Orange County with the projects that they plan at their schools and in their communities, such as school supply drives, beautification projects, and much more. Currently many of the schools are participating with our second annual Ton o Tuna Drive for the Second Harvest Food Bank.

In addition to service, the Kiwanis Club of East Orange County fosters leadership and provides financial support to the 18 clubs that we sponsor. Key Club members have the opportunity to attend statewide and even international conventions where they develop their service leadership skills and network with students from all over the world who have a similar interest in volunteering. Members of our clubs at all levels also have the opportunity to become club officers and learn how to run meetings and plan events.

Kiwanis of East Orange County wants to spread the world of how great Orange County students and parents are. Many of you may have seen other parents driving around with "My Child is a Terrific Kid" bumper stickers on their cars. Each year, we recognize over 1,500 students with the Terrrific Kids program, which is a recognition program that promotes character development, self-esteem, and perseverance.

Not only do we support the students in Orange County, but we also support the teachers. Every year, Kiwanis of East Orange County also recognizes 160 teachers as "Teachers of the Month" with a restaurant Gift Certificate and bowling pass for their dedication to the lives of children.

The Kiwanis Club of East Orange County is proud to be changing the lives of the children of Orange County, one child and one community at a time.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

K-Family Dinner

Last night, over 150 people gathered at Legacy Middle School as representatives of 10 local schools. We shared a delicious meal, cooked by Jan Henson, while the students explained what they planned for this year as members of their school community service organization. In the Elementary level we call these clubs K-Kids; in the Middle School level we call these clubs Builders Clubs; in the High School level they are Key Clubs, and in the college level they are CKI. These groups have amazing plans for this year as they make a positive difference in their schools and communities. We were also blessed to hear from Liz Callaway about the Paper Retriever Program. Bring all of your paper to a large green and yellow dumpster located at your nearby school, and your school will earn some money while you help the environment. Check out our pictures of the event in the slideshow at the left.

A very big Thank You to Ms. Robillard and the Legacy Middle School Builders Club for hosting this event! You made us feel very welcomed!

Thank you to the schools listed below for being able to attend this important event and inspire us to work hard throughout the year to ensure that you are supported! We look forward to seeing you accomplish great things this year!


Builders Club
Corner Lake
Union Park

Key Club
East River


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What a great start to an already amazing year!

As you may or may not know, October 1st is the beginning of the Kiwanis calendar year. Each year, a new group of eager volunteers take office to lead the club into yet another great year. Already this year we have been busy! We have attended numerous Service Leadership Club meetings, prepared for our first fundraiser (October 24th - Join us at Congo River Golf), gave almost 100 certificates to local schools for the Terrific Kids Program, participated in the East Orlando Chamber Celebrate Education Day, received 1 new member, and gave 10 certificates to Teachers of the Month. The fall season is very busy for us as we work to support our schools and fundraise for the new year, and yet we have a blast doing it.

I am very honored to be able to work with you this year. With such an amazing Board of Officers and hard-working committee leaders, we will achieve great things this year. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.

Yours in Service,

Prairy Riehl
Club President, 2010-2011

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

EOC Kiwanis Interclub Round Robin - ACHIEVED!

The EOC Kiwanis has achieved a major accomplishment - the coveted "Round Robin" award!  Round Robin distinction is given to a Kiwanis club that visits all other Kiwanis clubs in its division.  EOC Kiwanis visited all 13 other Kiwanis clubs in Division 10, as well as a visit to the Aktion Club of Winter Park, to earn the Round Robin award.  CONGRATULATIONS to all of our club members!

Achieving the Round Robin would not have been possible without the efforts of the following individuals who attended our Interclubs:  Brent Hambly (10 Interclubs), Prairy Riehl (7), Judy Stewart (6), Jeremy Riehl (6), Stacy Peterson (5), Mike Murray (4), Daryl Flynn (2), Gene Leonard (2), Sean Osmond (2), Wanda Smith (2), Yoli Figueroa (1), Jeannette Gabay (1), Tim Clark (1), Beth Paris (1), George Langguth (1), Ann Langguth (1)...and our Interclub "All-Star" Jan Henson with 11 Interclubs!!

Interclubs bring Kiwanians together to establish relationships for future projects and share the successes that each club has achieved. Thank you all for making fellowship and relationship-building with other Kiwanis clubs a priority!  And a special thanks to Sean, Gene, and Beth, who have attended several Interclubs since they "officially" joined EOC Kiwanis recently!

Monday, August 30, 2010

District Convention: A Weekend of Fun and Celebration

Over 750 Kiwanians gathered on August 26-29, 2010 for a weekend of fun and celebration. The 93rd Annual District Convention of the Florida District of Kiwanis was held at the beautiful Renaissance Orlando Resort near Sea World. The Kiwanis Club of East Orange County was well-represented by George & Ann Langguth, Jeremy & Prairy Riehl, Judy Stewart, Jan Henson, Beth Paris, and Stacy Peterson.

The weekend kicked off with a plethora of educational workshops and exhibits for members to enjoy. On Friday afternoon, Kiwanians enjoyed fellowship of others during an Interclub Luncheon. The keynote speaker, 2000-2001 Kiwanis International President Bo Shafer, entertained those who attended with his Southern sense of humor. He spoke of "how blessed we are to be Kiwanis members" and reminded everyone "not to sweat the small stuff". Following more workshops and dinner, Suzi Cruz gave everyone "An Act to Remember" with her songs from the 50s to Broadway.

Delegates organized at 7:45am on Saturday morning (who else would wake up this early in the morning but dedicated Kiwanians!) to elect the 2010-2011 leadership team for the Florida District of Kiwanis. Reports were given from the Florida CKI District Governor Tim Wolfinger (from our very own service leadership club at UCF!) as well as the Florida Key Club District Governor Rene Miller. Tim charmed everyone with his whit and thanked the mentors in his life with a token of appreciation in the form of a brick (yes, real bricks - symbolizing foundations for which greatness can be built). Rene drew from his experience when speaking of the newest Worldwide Service Project - Project Eliminate MNT (

Kiwanians enjoyed a fabulous retirement/installation dinner on Saturday night. Our Lieutenant Governor Gene Leonard was retired that evening, and Past Club President Jeremy Riehl was installed as the 2010-2011 Division 10 Lt. Governor. Thank you Gene for all that you've done this year! Jeremy is wished the best of luck in his new and challenging role! The 26 remaining Florida Lt. Governors were installed for the upcoming Kiwanis year, which begins October 1, and numerous awards were given to individuals and clubs for their outstanding service.

The following individuals were installed as the new Florida District Board for 2010-2011: Tom Ramiccio, CEO of the Lake Worth Chamber of Commerce, was elected Governor. Eddie Lee, a retired Contractor who resides in Madeira Beach, was elected Governor-Elect in preparation of becoming Governor at the next District Convention. Allen Whetsell of Flagler Beach was elected District Treasurer in preparation of becoming the Governor-Elect at the next District Convention. Governor Donna Parton closed the evening with her retirement from the board and Kiwanians witnessed her dream of becoming a "princess" coming true.

A big thank you to George & Ann Langguth and the rest of their staff for making the weekend so enjoyable!

After a weekend of fun and celebration, the Kiwanis Club of East Orange County has been re-energized with new ideas for the new Kiwanis year. The "Time to Serve" has come!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Taking on the *Two* Tons o' Tuna Challenge

At the end of 2009, the Kiwanis Club of East Orange County met and exceeded the Second Harvest Food Bank's challenge to donate a "ton o' tuna", or over 2,000 pounds of tuna, to help Central Florida families in need. With the assistance of numerous Key Clubs, Builders Clubs, K-Kids Clubs, Circle K International, and numerous other community groups, the Kiwanis organization presented the local food bank with a grand total of over 2,660 pounds of tuna. In 2010, the club has doubled the challenge by agreeing to collect and donate TWO TONS of canned or pouched tuna between now and Christmas Day.

Here’s the math: 1 can of tuna is 6 ounces. One ton is 2,000 pounds, or 32,000 ounces. A “ton o’ tuna” is therefore 5,333 cans, and two tons of tuna is 10,666 cans of tuna.

Because of the current economic downturn, the emergency food needs of Central Floridians have begun to exceed the food bank's capacity to respond. With demand increasing daily, the food bank has never had less food on the shelves. The most pressing need, in short, is for more food. And among the non-perishable food items that Second Harvest distributes, none is more in demand among families in need than canned tuna – versatile, nutritious, and delicious!

To reach the two ton goal between now and Christmas Day, we will need a concerted effort from every Service Leadership Club sponsored by the EOC Kiwanis Club as well as the members of our local community. Please think about how your group can participate, reach out to any Kiwanis representative, and BRING ON THE CHALLENGE in 2010!

2009 Ton o' Tuna Challenge

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Just 1 Book" Makes a Difference

What began as a young girl’s vision to provide books to children in need has developed into a state-wide movement. “Just 1 Book”, an Orlando-based non-profit organization, got its name from Sarah Dewitz, a fifth grader at Cypress Springs Elementary school. Sarah read an article in the East Orlando Sun entitled “Lost Along the Way”, which explains how the citizens of Bithlo, FL have no access to books now that the Lynx bus line, which used to run between Bithlo and the Alafaya Branch Public Library, has been discontinued. She thought to herself, “If every student in my school donated Just 1 Book, the Bithlo children could have their own library!“. Sarah then wrote a proposal which urged her classmates at Cypress Springs to participate in this important cause.

The Kiwanis Club of East Orange County is proud to have supported Sarah and “Just 1 Book” from the very beginning. In its first venture, “Just 1 Book” collected over 9,000 books – 5,000 of which EOC Kiwanis helped to collect through its Service Leadership programs at Riverdale Elementary, Cypress Springs Elementary, and Legacy Middle Schools. The books donated by generous citizens of East Orange County and collected by Sarah’s “Just 1 Book” campaign will make a difference in the lives of many children. Contact us to learn more about how YOU can make a difference in a child’s life.

Since the first “Just 1 Book” drive, Sarah and her family have spread the word about “Just 1 Book” throughout Florida. Whether it’s presenting Ronald Blocker, Superintendent of Orange County Public Schools, with a proposal for “Just 1 Book”, or asking Suzanne Kosmas, Florida House of Representatives Member for books from the FL Library of Congress, Sarah is fearless in her campaign to provide books to children in need. Sarah needs all the support she can get in order to achieve her goal of making “Just 1 Book” a state-wide (or national!) success. If you’re on Facebook, please join Sarah’s “Just 1 Book” group and see what she’s up to, and stay tuned for Sarah’s next book drive!
EOC Kiwanians volunteer @ "Just 1 Book" Sorting Event
Over 9,000 books sorted!!
EOC Kiwanis Vice President with the DeWitz family, founders of "Just 1 Book"

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Kiwanis International is a community service organization that is focused on children. Our club, Kiwanis of East Orange County, focuses primarily on creating and assisting in Service Leadership clubs in our local schools. We currently have 18 clubs in East Orange County.

At the Elementary level, the clubs are called K-Kids; at the Middle School level they are Builders Clubs; at the High School level they are Key Clubs, and at the College level they are CKI Clubs. The clubs focus on developing leaders and community-minded citizens through allowing them to be officers and work together to meet a goal.

We also support a Terrific Kids Programs in the Elementary Schools in the area in which each child selected as a Terrific Kid is given a certificate, sticker, and bumper sticker. To be a Terrific Kid, a child must maintain good character (more information can be found at

Currently our club sponsors the following schools.
Andover K-Kids
Arbor Ridge K-Kids
Bonneville K-Kids
Cypress Springs K-Kids
Riverdale K-Kids
Sunrise K-Kids
Union Park K-Kids
Waterford K-Kids
Cub Scout Pack 59 K-Kids
Arbor Ridge Builders
Corner Lake Builders
Discovery Builders
Legacy Builders
Odyssey Builders
Union Park Builders
East River Key Club
University Key Club

Check out what we are doing with these clubs. The students develop a passion for service that inspires us all!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Serving the East Orange County, FL Community Since 1990

Since 1990, the Kiwanis Club of East Orange County (FL) has been serving the children of our community. You may have heard of us through a child who participates in one of the 18 Service Leadership Clubs we sponsor in the Orange County Public School system. Perhaps you've seen us at our annual "Breakfast with Santa" event at Waterford Lakes. But even if this is your first glimpse at our club, we want you to know that we are out in our community, every day of every week, giving our time and resources to meet the needs of East Orange County. Our passion for service runs deep, and we hope that you will considering joining us in our mission to serve the children of the world, one child and one community at a time.