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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Santa is coming early

Kissimee Kiwanis is delivering over 150 boxes of food to the homes of those in need.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cypress Springs K-Kids Collect Items for Homeless Citizens

The Cypress Springs Elementary K-Kids of Orange County collected over 100 pounds of food and personal care items for homeless citizens. The items were donated to the Coalition for the Homeless, a non-profit organization which serves the homeless population of Central Florida. Mr. Jerry Hempstead, who volunteers with the Coalition for the Homeless, came to Cypress Springs Elementary School and spoke to the K-Kids about the Coalition’s homeless shelters and the diverse services it provides. The K-Kids asked many insightful questions and learned that homelessness affects all of us – men, women, and even children. The students left the meeting that day thankful for their homes and families, and are inspired to do more service for their community.

The Cypress Springs K-Kids plan to accomplish the following projects by the end of 2011: Collect tuna for Kiwanis Club of East Orange County’s “Three Tons o’ Tuna” drive, collect toys for “Toys for Tots”, create and distribute holiday cards to a local nursing home, and lead a “Say No To Drugs” campaign for Red Ribbon Week. Much more will be accomplished in 2012, as well!

By Brent Hambly, Cypress Springs K-Kids Kiwanis Advisor on behalf of Sherry Snarr, Michelle Soldano, and Kim Killinger, Cypress Springs K-Kids Faculty Advisors

Sunrise K-Kids Book Collection is a Success!

submitted by Jeannette Gabay, Kiwanis Advisor

The Sunrise Elementary K-kids, all eighteen of them with their Advisor Sally Castrianni and Anna Santos, are having success with their first service project for the new school year, which will be completed at the end of October. So far they have collected 504 used books for the kids at Ivey Lane Elementary School located in the Washington Shore area of Orlando. Those kids will be able to choose from the collection, take home, and read the book(s). Ms. Castrianni explained that the children at Ivey Lane rarely get the opportunity to have a book of their own and they would greatly appreciate having books they can take home and read. See pictures of the K-kids counting and organizing book collection. Check out the Kiwanis K-Kids shirts they are sporting also!

Monday, October 10, 2011

2011-2012 Officer Installation Banquet

The Kiwanis Club of East Orange County held our Officer Installation Banquet this past Saturday, October 8th. Everyone enjoyed the social, pot-luck dinner, and dessert prior to the ceremony – especially the Kiwanis cake made by Sean’s wife Stephanie! The ceremony began with the current year’s officers being thanked for their year of service and retired, followed by the installation of this year’s officers:

2010-2011 Officers (Outgoing) – Thank You!
President:  Prairy Riehl
President-Elect:  Christine Stewart
Vice President:  Brent Hambly
Secretary:  Stacy Peterson
Treasurer:  Jeannette Gabay
Past President:  Judy Stewart
Directors:  Timothy Clark, Daryl Flynn, Phyllis Murray, Jim Wright, Jeremy Riehl, Jan Henson

2011-2012 Officers (Incoming) – Godspeed!
President:  Gene Leonard
President-Elect:  Stacy Peterson
Vice President:  Sean Osmond
Secretary: Beth Paris
Treasurer:  Jeannette Gabay
Past President:  Prairy Riehl
Directors:  Timothy Clark, Daryl Flynn, Phyllis Murray, Jeremy Ayala, Brent Hambly, Christine Stewart

Numerous awards were presented to our club members and officers for their excellent service this year – including some beautiful plaques coordinated by George Langguth. This year was one of great accomplishment and growth for our club, and we couldn’t have done it without the exceptional leadership we had this year. The President’s torch was then passed from Prairy Riehl to Gene Leonard, who gave us a few words (and warnings) about the upcoming year. Best of luck to all of our incoming officers – may you flourish and take the club to the next level in 2011-2012!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Changing Leadership; Steadfast Caring

by Jeremy Riehl, Division 10 Lt. Governor, 2010-2011
Over 900 people came together at the Marriott Resort on Marco Island over the last weekend in August for the Florida District Kiwanis Convention. What brought these citizens together from across several generations was a common purpose--service; specifically service for children. They came from across Florida and even a few from beyond the border, including the International Counselor, Dr. Button, from Canada.

As a family, the attendees retired the outgoing officers, including our Division 10 Lieutenant Governor, Jeremy Riehl, and the District Governor, Tom Ramiccio. That same evening our new Lieutenant Governor was installed; Prairy Riehl picked up the baton of leadership from her
husband to serve the 15 clubs in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. In addition to ratifying Allen Whetsell at Governor-Elect and Eddie Lee at Governor, the house of delegates elected a new District Treasurer, Melanie Winternheimer of the East Orlando Kiwanis (in Division 10); she is now in line to serve as Governor in 2013-14. They also passed two resolutions--one to honor four former governors that past away this year and another to endorse our retiring governor for his bid to serve as an International Counselor. In additional to attending workshops and sharing ideas, the group put their wallets where their hearts were and raised thousands of dollars for charity through raffles, auctions and treasure hunting at the Caring Corner.

A number of awards were presented throughout the event. However, one stands out from the rest--Club of the Year. This award recognized the most outstanding Kiwanis club in all of Florida for 2009-10. I am very proud to report that Divison 10's newest club, Avalon Park Kiwanis, earned this awesome honor. One year after chartering as a new club, they doubled their membership to 50; established Service Leadership Programs at 9 schools and initiated a very successful reading program, just to name of few of their accomplishments. We look forward to the continued inspiration and leadership of the new club on the block.

Good luck to all the clubs of Division 10 and the Florida District as well as our new Ltg Prairy, District Treasurer Melanie, Governor-Elect Allen and Governor Eddie.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Painting at the East Orange Community Center

On Monday, August 1, 2011, four members and three friends from the Kiwanis Club of East Orange County helped paint three classrooms and the lobby of the East Orange Community Center. The community center is strategically located to provide accessible services and programs in the East Orange County area and is also partnered with the Just 1 Book Program. The group started at about 8:00am and finished by lunch. Thank you to Prairy, Valerie, Gene, Beth, and our guests for making a difference in the community!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

11 Students of the Year Recognized

The Kiwanis Club of East Orange County honored 11 students on the morning of May 11, 2011 at its Annual Outstanding Student of the Year Program. The program recognized top students who excelled among their peers in academics, school, and community service. The students also hold memberships of a Kiwanis sponsored service leadership program: K-Kids, Builders Club, or Key Club.

During the ceremony, students received individual plaques and academic neck ribbons. Their names were also inscribed on a plaque displayed at each school. All of this would not have been possible without the gracious nominations of the educators and the support of family members.

Congratulations to our outstanding students!

Visit Flickr for additional photos from the event.

Andover Elementary -- Kayla Esquival

Arbor Ridge Elementary -- Samantha Roma

Cypress Springs Elementary -- Zoe Griffin

Riverdale Elementary -- Joshua Cole

Sunrise Elementary -- Rileigh Adkins

Union Park Elementary -- Isaliz Gonzalez

Waterford Elementary -- Jacob Colecio

Corner Lake Middle -- Raquel Arthuzo

Legacy Middle -- Amy Bahnmiller

Union Park Middle -- Ethan Bainbridge

University High -- Alexis Wood

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Kiwanis Family 5K for the Kids was a BIG SUCCESS!

Thank you for coming out to the race! We hope everyone had as much fun as we did. To check out the online results, go to To download the free photos for the event, go to Also, please complete this survey so we can improve the 5K for next year - The Survey is only 8 questions and won't take more than 3 minutes. Thanks for supporting the East Orange County Community!

100% of all the funds raised will go right back to our community. By joining in on the fun, you are directly supporting the schools in East Orange County. Thank you for helping out with our:

8 K-Kids Clubs at Andover, Arbor Ridge, Cypress Springs, Riverdale, Sunrise, Union Park, Waterford, and Cub Scout Pack 59
Terrific Kids Programs at 8 Elementary Schools
5 Builders Clubs at Corner Lake, Discovery, Legacy, Odyssey, and Union Park
2 Key Clubs at East River and University
1 CKI at the University of Central Florida
2 Aktion Clubs in Apopka and Winter Park
14 Teacher of the Month Programs
18 Student of the Year Recognitions

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Our Club Newsletters Rock!

Have you read our newsletters yet? We love to brag about the amazing things that our Service Leadership Clubs are doing and let you know about the great things happening in our community! Please click on the links to the right to view our outstanding activities. We are always looking for extra hands at our projects. Thank you to Stacy Peterson for being such an amazing and dedicated Editor! Your talent is shown through your creations.

Monday, May 9, 2011

East River Key Club - What a great first year!

East River’s Key Club is in its first official year here in East Orange County. We have worked hard this year on collecting can tabs to donate to the Ronald McDonald house, participated in both street cleanups, raised money to help find a cure for cancer during Relay for Life and have already reserved our spot for next year. Our favorite project as during Breakfast with Santa as we had a pancake decorating table set up. It was a huge hit with the young kids. During our first year, we have approximately forty charter members and will continue to grow. We look forward to working on bigger and better things in the coming school years.

Jessica Wessel
Club Sponsor

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Corner Lake Builders Club - Making a Difference!

The Corner Lake Middle School Builder’s Club had a very busy and successful year! Each month, our club worked on service projects from toy drives to canned food drives. Back in November, we collected hundreds of canned goods and packaged them into baskets for 2 dozen local families for Thanksgiving. In December, we held a toy drive and wrapped the donated presents which were given to a local shelter. In January, our club collected animal food and cleaning supplies for the “Back to Nature” wildlife refuge which is located in East Orange County. Following this project, we spent lots of time preparing to participate in Relay for Life. We made decorations, collected donations and made games for our cool “Monopoly” themed tent. And we’re not done yet - toward the end of the year, we will be conducting our “School Beautification Project.” If anyone has a contact for landscaping donations, we sure could use the help! Thank you!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Wow! We have been busy!

March was a busy month for us! Not only did we continue the support of our 16 sponsored schools by attending their community service club's meetings, but we also helped out in some new areas. We hosted the Aktion Club meeting for the Wildcats Club in March with a project to color Earth Day books and attach seeds to deliver to Camp Thunderbird. Just in case you don't know, Aktion Clubs are community service organizations for adults with disabilities. Specifically, the Wildcats Aktion club is composed of Adults with Down Syndrome. We then joined 7 other Kiwanis Clubs in the area to clean up Camp Thunderbird - a camp for adults and children with disabilities. Through sweat and hard work, we shoveled mulch, raked leaves, and cleaned the buildings to help make the camp beautiful. We would like to do this same event every year for Kiwanis One Day - which is always on the 1st Saturday of April The rest of April is going to be just as busy! Join us at the Just 1 Book Rock and Roll Street Party on Saturday, April 16th from 4pm - 8pm at the 5 & Diner on East Colonial. We’ll have a booth at the event, and we’ll be hosting a hula hoop contest and musical chairs. In addition, there will be games, bounce houses, U-bot, classic cars, rock and roll, adult beverages, hot dogs, burgers, slushies, shakes....…what’s not to love?? :-) We also have two events on Saturday, April 23rd. We will be joining Just 1 Book for their Easter Egg Hunt from 7am – 12pm at 990 Belvedere Road Orlando Florida. Then, at 1pm, we are going to head over to the Center for Women and Families (639 W Central Blvd Orlando, FL 32801) to hand out Easter Baskets and host an Easter Egg Hunt. Please feel free to join us for either or both of these events.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Division 10 Raises Over $2500 for Juvenile Diabetes Camp

On February 19th, Boardwalk Bowl in Orlando was host to 200 enthusiastic bowlers from Division 10 Kiwanis, Aktion, Key Club, Builders club and K-Kids. Members of the K-Family from Seminole, Orange and Osceola counties came together for some good old fashioned bowling to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Camp. The over $2500 raised this year will be added to money raised over the past five year to establish an endowment that will provide scholarships for kids to attend the camp for years to come. This annual division 10 bowl-a-thon to raise money for camp scholarships is dedicated each year to the memory of Joe Feith, the charter President of the East Orange County Kiwanis club and long-time supporter of the camp. In addition to awards for the top bowler in each category (noted below), the K-Family traveling trophy was awarded to East Orange County for raising the most money as a K-Family. I am grateful to all the participants for coming together for a great cause. Special thanks go to Dave Schmitt (event chair), Cathy Morino (bead lady), Sid Tally (money man) and the Avalon Park Kiwanis club for helping to organize the event.

Here is a summary of the top bowlers:

Kiwanis Men

Jerry Posey- Seminole Sunrise 185

Dave Schmitt - Avalon Park 179

Chris Kopytko- Avalon Park 168

Kiwanis Women

Nicole Kopytko- Avalon Park 156

Patty McCurdy - Kissimmee 151

Daryl Flynn - East Orange 146

Aktion Club

Jason - Wildcat Aktion Club 109

William - Wildcat Aktion Club 102

Christina - Wildcat Aktion Club 87

Key Club

Lobster - Trinity Pre Key Club 176

Nicholas - Trinity Prep Key Club 169

Pooplas - Trinity Prep Key Club 157

Builders Club

Justin L - Avalon Builders Club 108

Ashley - Esteem Builders Club 97

Fletcher - Trinity Prep Builders Club 94


John C - Waterford K-Kids 117

Samuel - Waterford K-Kids 114

Thomas - Waterford K-Kids 106

Celeste Waterford K-Kids 100 (Girl)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Circle K International at UCF Recognized at State Level

The Circle K International club at the University of Central Florida, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of East Orange County, was awarded numerous prizes and awards at the Florida CKI 52nd District Convention in Tampa February 18-20, 2011.

K-Family Relation Award 2nd Place

Governor's Project Member - 3rd Place - Ellie Baialieva

Outstanding Club Editor Award - 3rd Place - Sydney Walker

Outstanding Club Treasurer Award - 2nd Place - Robert Draper

Governor's Project Award

Jack Gillrup Scrapbook Award - 2nd Place

Total Club Achievement Award - 2nd Place

Outstanding Club President Award - 1st Place - Ellie Baialieva

Outstanding Chairmen of the Year - Legal Chair - Adler Dehner

Outstanding Secretary Award - 2nd Place - Natchez Hanson

Outstanding Member Award - 3rd place - David Braverman

Most enthusiastic DCON attendee - David Braverman

Governor's recognition Award - Maggie Gilson

Governor's recognition Award - Natchez Hanson

The Kiwanis Club of East Orange County is proud of CKI’s accomplishments and extends its congratulations to the UCF club for another outstanding year!

Circle K International (CKI) is an international collegiate service organization that is a sponsored leadership program of Kiwanis International. It promotes service, leadership, and fellowship. With over 13,250 members, it is the largest collegiate service organization of its kind in the world

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Open Hearts Family Services

Around Valentine's Day, love is always in the air. What better way to show love than to help children in need! Open Hearts Family Services is loving children through providing homes for them all year long. Read below to find out ways you can help.

While fostering a child at this time may not be an option for everyone, there are still many ways to share your love with our children:

Donate Resources

~Care for our young ones by donating car seats, strollers, cribs, new or gently used clothing and toys.
~Provide your support to foster parents by donating gift cards or providing skilled services (hair-cuts or braiding, tutoring sessions, music lessons, birthday cakes, etc.)
~Sponsor a day out on the town by donating tickets to the museum, movies, zoo, or other fun family destinations.
~Make a valued financial donation that can help provide foster children with the opportunity to enjoy many opportunities that may not currently be available to them, such as summer camp, prom, athletic programs, recreation, family activities, and more.

Get Involved
~Host an event at your home or business for those interested in becoming foster parents or plan an appreciation event for existing foster parents in your community.
~Provide support and supervision for foster children during foster parent trainings or meetings, agency sponsored field trips, or special events.
~Establish and develop a mentoring relationship with a foster child or parent.
~Become a Community Partner with Open Hearts Family Services and help Open Hearts Family Services connect with your local churches, schools, businesses, and community groups.

Hire a Foster Child
~If you are a business owner or have the responsibility to hire, consider hiring a foster child. Whether the position is permanent or temporary, it gives the foster child a chance to gain hands-on experience while earning an income.

Raise Awareness
~Share with friends and family the opportunity to invite a child into their lives by becoming a foster parent or volunteering with Open Hearts Family Services.Host an event at your home or business for those interested in becoming foster parents or plan an appreciation event for existing foster parents in your community.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Service Leadership Club Spotlight - Sunrise K-Kids and Corner Lakes Builders Club

Sunrise Elementary K-Kids
With the help of their Faculty Advisor, Sally Castrianni, the K-Kids completed two major fall service projects. The first project was collecting gently used books from their classmates. The books were donated to children who attend Catalina Elementary School right here in Orlando. The K-Kids heard about a need the children had for books to read at home, so they asked their
classmates for books to help the children at this school. They collected 1,029 books and delivered them to the school the first week of November. The second service project was the annual collection of food for the East Orange County Food Bank, Thanksgiving Food Drive. The K-Kids collected over 300 pounds of food. This year, they picked ten needy families and gave them boxes of food directly. The food was delivered to the food bank on November 18, by Kiwanian
Jeannette Gabay and coworkers-David Evans and Kristen Childs.
—Jeannette Gabay, Kiwanis Advisor

Corner Lakes Middle BuildersClub participated in many projects in fall 2010 including several food drives, pop top collections, Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, a Thanksgiving Basket program, and Breakfast with Santa. The students are interested in getting a web page set up for the club. Their officers also had to write an essay on why they wanted to be an officer in Builders Club and then have it reviewed by a board of staff members before being installed into office. They are also writing letters to a deployed soldier that they have adopted for his tour. The club is looking forward to doing even more service in 2011.
—Sean Osmond, Kiwanis Advisor

Teaming Up to Fight Hunger

Kiwanis of EOC teamed up with our UCF CKI brethren to fight hunger at the Second Harvest Food Bank on Saturday, November 20, 2010. 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. After watching a moving video about the children and families who the food bank serves, we migrated to the warehouse for a tutorial on how the food is sorted. We then dove into hundreds of unsorted boxes. Three hours later, over 15 pallets containing 36 boxes each were ready for distribution to the community, including numerous cases of tuna for our Ton o’ Tuna drive! Thanks to Gene, Yoli, Wanda, Jared, Brent, Jeremy A., Jason, Stephanie, Paige, and four members of UCF CKI for volunteering! Second Harvest 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
their operations.

Written by Brent Hambly

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy New Year!

Welcome 2011! I hope all of you had a restful break and are revived for the new year. The beginning of a year often brings reflection of the past and planning for the future. In reflecting on this past year in Kiwanis, I am filled with pride and honor to be a part of such an amazing club. Not only did we meet our Two Tons of Tuna goal, but we surpassed it by over 1000 pounds. We also recognized 37 Teachers of the month, 642 Terrific, and held a very successful Breakfast with Santa event. These successes lay on the shoulders of the club members, community members, local businesses, and students. We have spent countless hours serving our community, and I look forward to the countless other ways we will continue to serve. As I look forward to the three quarters that we have left in the Kiwanis year, I am excited to see the great things that are yet to come. We will continue to support our 18 Service Leadership Clubs, including the East River High Key Club that will officially be chartered soon – woohoo! We are now gearing up for our first ever 5K run/walk! Because of the hard work of our Public Relations Chair, Stacy Peterson, and her team, we have been highlighted in many of the local newspapers, magazines, and online publications. Keep your eyes open for where we will be next! It’s going to be a great year!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Second Harvest Receives Two Tons o' Tuna

Central Florida families will be ringing in the New Year with plenty of tuna salad sandwiches. Due to the overwhelming success of the “Ton o’ Tuna” challenge in 2009, the Kiwanis Club of East Orange County accepted a heftier goal of collecting TWO TONS of tuna by the end of 2010. With the assistance of numerous Key Clubs, Builders Clubs, K-Kids Clubs, Circle K International, other Kiwanis clubs, and numerous other community groups, the Kiwanis organization presented the local food bank with a grand total of over 4,000 pounds of tuna.

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.

The Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, through its five hundred participating agencies, provides food to about 60,000 people each week. 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.

Members of the community responded to the need for tuna again in 2010. East Orange County Schools from the Kiwanis club’s sponsored service leadership programs (Key Club, Builders Club, K-Kids, and Circle K) donated about 1,000 pounds collectively. Sunrise Elementary K-Kids and UCF Federal Credit Union topped the charts by each contributing just over 400 pounds of tuna. StarKist, one of the leading distributors of seafood products in the United States, also donated several cases of tuna. Due to a generous monetary contribution from the Kiwanis Club of Orlando of the equivalent of 1,500 pounds of tuna, the two-ton goal was achieved in December 2010.

Thank you to everyone who made a tuna donation!

Please contact our club if you are interested in serving the Central Florida community with us, or if you have suggestions for making next year’s tuna drive even more successful.