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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.