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Friday, December 13, 2013

Breakfast with Santa a Success

Thank you to all who attended the 16th Annual East Orange County Kiwanis Breakfast with Santa at Legacy Middle School!   On Saturday, December 7th, over 300 people gathered from our community for a wonderful holiday event featuring a pancake breakfast, photos with Santa, and performances from local schools.  Special thanks goes to Legacy Middle School for being the host school and to Mr. and Mrs. Claus for making a special trip from the North Pole.  

This event would not be possible without the support of our sponsors, performers, and volunteers:

Carrier (Title Sponsor)
Steak 'n Shake
Business Archives
Lowe's Home Improvement
The Home Depot
Bailey's Coffee Service
Ashley Furniture Homestore
Kiwanis Club of Greater Orlando-Winter Park
Florida Kiwanis
Orange County Public Schools
Orange County Sheriff's Office
Bounce Orlando
Just 1 Book
Walmart Neighborhood Market

Odyssey Middle School Chorus
Legacy Middle School Band
Sunrise Elementary Chorus

Corner Lake Builders Club
Legacy Builders Club
Colonial Key Club
Timber Creek Key Club
Kiwanis of East Orange County

Sponsored Youth Fundraisers:
Andover K-Kids
Legacy Builders Club
Little River K-Kids
Odyssey Builders Club 
Cub Scouts Pack 59

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Kiwanis Breakfast with Santa to be Held at New Location

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 16th annual holiday event “Breakfast with Santa” on Saturday, December 7, 2013 from 8:00-11:00am at a new location this year at Legacy Middle School (11398 Lake Underhill Road).

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.

Tickets for the pancake breakfast are $5 for adults and free for children under 12.  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.

The Kiwanis Club of East Orange County currently sponsors 13 service leadership clubs (K-Kids in elementary schools, Builders Club in middle schools, Key Club in high schools, and Circle K Club at UCF) which teach students about leadership and serving others in their community.

East Orange County Kiwanis Retires and Installs Club Leaders

The 2012-2013 East Orange County Kiwanis board was retired and the 2013-2014 board was officially installed during a ceremony held on Sunday, October 20, 2013.  The ceremony was led by Division 10 Lt. Governor Barry Rigby.  The festivities were held at Daryl's beautiful lake house pavilion and Chef Jim cooked up delicious gumbo, jambalaya, and bread pudding.

EOC Kiwanis Board              2012-2013                            2013-2014
President                               Stacy Vu                              Sean Osmond
Vice President                        Sharlene Dewitz                  Joe McKinney
President-Elect                      Sean Osmond                       Sharlene Dewitz
Secretary                               Beth Paris/Alix Saakes         Alix Saakes
Treasurer                              Jeannette Gabay                  Jeremy Riehl
Past President                       Gene Leonard                      Stacy Vu
Directors                               Brent Hambly                       Brent Hambly
            Phyllis Murray                      Phyllis Murray
            Diane Carter                         Diane Carter
            Joe McKinney                       Chris Gullette
            Jeremy Riehl                         Prairy Riehl
            LuAnn Leonard                    Jeannette Gabay

Monday, September 2, 2013

Kiwanis Charity Poker & Wine Fundraiser

On Saturday, August 10th, the Kiwanis of East Orange County hosted its Inaugural Poker Tournament in Orlando.  All funds raised benefited the Eliminate Project, a partnership with UNICEF to save mothers and babies from maternal neonatal tetanus (MNT).  Over 70 were in attendance at the event!

Kiwanis District Convention - A Weekend of Memories!

What a memorable weekend in Jacksonville!  A record number of East Orange County Kiwanians gathered at the Hyatt Waterfront Hotel for the 96th Annual Kiwanis District Convention including Sharlene D., Jeannette G., Daryl F., Jeremy R., Prairy R., Brent H., Alix S., George L., Annie L., Gene L., Chris L., Stacy V., Joe M., as well as significant others Brandy L. and Jan S..  Beth P. also made special appearances throughout the weekend. We were also very lucky to be joined by Garrett and Michelle from UCF CKI.

Some highlights from the convention include:

- We elected our Kiwanis board for 2013-2014, including installing Matthew Cantrell as District Governor and Celia Earl as District Treasurer.  Two of our members will also serve as District Chairs: Prairy Riehl (Interclub Relations) and Jeremy Riehl (Long Range Planning)!
- Several of our members led workshops during the weekend including Brent Hambly, Jeremy Riehl, Prairy Riehl, Chris Luczywo, and Sharlene Dewitz!
- George and Annie Langguth received the very honorable Zeller Award from the Kiwanis Club of Naples!
- Close to $25,000 was raised for the Kiwanis International's Eliminate MNT project this weekend through Caring Corner and other donations!
- We were informed by our Division 10 Foundation Trustee Kathy McDonald during the convention that the Just 1 Book book mobile renovation grant was approved by the Florida Kiwanis Foundation!  More to come about this at the next club meeting!
- A lot of fun was had during convention including karaoke on Friday night and a live band on Saturday!  We also learned who has the hidden talents of singing and dancing within our club... :-


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Volunteering at Second Harvest Food Bank

On Wednesday, June 5th, several of East Orange County Kiwanis club members donated their time by sorting food at the Second Harvest Food Bank. Kudos to Joe for coordinating a great service event!  Thank you to Beth, Chris G., Jeannette, Prairy, and Jeremy for volunteering - we even had several family members come join us as well!  We ended the night with enjoying dinner and fellowship at Ruby Tuesdays. 

Promoting Kiwanis at Local Expo

Thanks to Jeremy Riehl, Prairy Riehl, Tim Wolfinger, Beth Paris, Chris Luczywo, Scott Kidd, Gene Leonard, Alix Saakes, Sharlene Saakes Dewitz and family for helping promote Kiwanis at the Waterford Lakes Family Expo on Saturday, May 18th! Special thanks to Chris for providing a tent, as well as Alix and Beth for their face painting skills. Love the teamwork!

Spring Service - Serving Dinner at WRCC and Recognizing Outstanding Students

Members of the Kiwanis of East Orange County ended April with a kick and began May with another kick!  Thanks to all who participated in our recent events.  

Serving Dinner at the Women's Residential and Counseling Center
The Kiwanis Club of East Orange County prepared and served an evening meal to women and children living at the Women’s Residential and Counseling Center (WRCC) on Tuesday, April 30, 2013. Residents feasted on a meal of roast chicken, pork, baked potatoes, veggies, and apple pie with ice cream. Many residents went out of their way to thank the club for the meal and fellowship. The WRCC is a transitional program for homeless women and children operated by the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida. The East Orange Kiwanians have served many meals at the WRCC in the past. The WRCC is also the site of the East Orange Kiwanis playground that was erected by the Club in 2005.  Thank you to Jim Wright  (photo below) for organizing and cooking this wonderful meal and to all volunteers for attending, including Brent, Alix, Jeremy, Prairy, Joe, Mike, Stacy, and CKI members Carolina, David, Jamie, and Michelle!

Recognizing 11 Students During "Student of the Year" Program
The Kiwanis Club of East Orange County honored 11 students on the morning of Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at its Annual Outstanding Student of the Year breakfast and awards ceremony. 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, Key Club, or CKI.

During the ceremony, students received individual plaques and academic neck ribbons. Their names were also inscribed on a plaque displayed at each school. Families were invited to enjoy a full breakfast at Steak 'n Shake and over 70 were in attendance.  All of this would not have been possible without the gracious nominations of the educators and the support of family members. Many thanks also goes to Daryl Flynn for coordinating the event.  OCPS District 1 Board Member Joie Cadle, OCPS Superintendent of Schools Barbara Jenkins, and several school principals were also present.  Congratulations to our outstanding students!

Just 1 Book Ribbon Cutting

Approximately 100 community leaders attended the Just 1 Book ribbon cutting on Wednesday, April 24th in Bithlo Park including Mayor Jacobs, several commissioners, and school board members.  The Kiwanis Club of East Orange County was represented by Daryl, Prairy, Joe, Brent, Sharlene, Alix, Ann and George.  Senator Martinez and Nelson were also represented.  Sarah and her family were fittingly and deservedly honored.  Our members were humbled to be acknowledged for our support. -George Langguth

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Kiwanis One Day!

Kiwanis One Day encourages service in all Kiwanis and K-Family clubs across the globe!  This year, on Saturday, April 6th, the Kiwanis Club of East Orange County took place in multiple events around the state.  

Members joined together on Saturday morning to participate in a community cleanup with Orange County's Commissioner Jennifer Thompson.  Liberty Middle School and surrounding communities were cleaned up that morning thanks to the volunteers from the K-Family and other service groups.  Thank you to UCF CKI, Odyssey Builders Club, Waterford K-Kids, and East Orange County Kiwanis (Heather, Daryl, Jeremy, Prairy, Lori-Ann) for taking part!

Florida Key Club invited K-Family members to walk to Eliminate MNT at their District Convention at the Shingle Creek Hotel on Saturday afternoon.  The dollars raised will go to eliminate maternal neonatal tetanus in third world countries.  Jeannette, Jeremy, Todd, and Prairy (photo below) represented us well!

Several other projects included Just 1 Book's book distribution at Lake Eola's Spring Festival in the Park (Sharlene), University High School Key Club car wash fundraiser (Joe), Taylor 4 Teens Walk-4-Change (Stacy), and Wounded Warrior Run (Sean).

What great ways to spend Kiwanis One Day!

Kiwanis and Just 1 Book Bring Joy to Kids at Coalition

The Kiwanis Club of East Orange County organized a great service project on Saturday, March 30th at the Coalition for the Homeless.  The kids enjoyed an egg hunt, visit from the bunny, and a special trip to Just 1 Book's book mobile.  Thanks to Jim and Chris for coordinating, George, Ann, and Jeannette for supplying the goodies for the kids, and Sharlene and her family for bringing out the J1B book mobile!  We also had a wonderful turnout of volunteers - in addition to Jim, Chris, George, Ann, Jeannette, and Sharlene, thank you to Phyllis, Mike, Jeremy, Prairy, Daryl, Alix, and Michelle for spending their afternoon helping make Saturday special for the kids at the Coalition.

Mayor Hosts "Jazz in the Park" for Service Organizations

Kiwanis clubs from Division 10 were well-represented at Mayor Teresa Jacob's "Jazz in the Park" event for service organizations on Thursday, March 22nd.  Kiwanians from the East Orange County Kiwanis Club present were Sean, Prairy, Sharlene, Alix, and Stacy.

Check out Orange TV featuring President Elect Sean Osmond!  The video can be found online at

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Division 10 Bowls for Florida Juvenile Diabetes Camp

Hundreds of Kiwanians, K-Family members, friends, and family from Division 10 spent the first Saturday in March at Boardwalk Bowl in Orlando to raise money for the Florida Diabetes Camp.  There was a fantastic turnout at the event and fun was had by all.  The Kiwanis Club of East Orange County took 2nd place for highest contribution for a Kiwanis club with over $800 raised.  Discovery Middle School Builders Club Advisor Jazmine Gonzales earned 1st place in highest bowling score.  

Thank you to Linda McCafferty and Prairy Riehl for leading the efforts!

Learn more about the Florida Diabetes Camp at

Kiwanis Poker Night Social

Several members of the Kiwanis Club of East Orange County gathered on a Friday evening in February to play Texas Hold 'em!  Chris Guellette led our games and was a fantastic teacher for the newbies!  LuAnn Leonard took the prize at the end of the night.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Early Childhood Education Forum

We joined numerous stakeholders to find ways to help lay the foundation for students' success in life. The first 5 years are so important for the development of children!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Fun at the Florida Kiwanis Mid-Year Conference

Numerous East Orange County Kiwanians attended the Mid-Year Florida Kiwanis Conference on February 16, 2013 including George, Ann, Sharlene, Jeremy, Prairy, Brent, Gene, Stacy, and Jeannette, along with over 300 Kiwanians from around the state.  We heard from International President Tom DeJulio and motivational speaker Wiley Lowe, who inspired us to finish out the remainder of the Kiwanis year strong!  

The club collected awards for the 2011-2012 year, including:
-Distinguished Club
-K-Kids Award (1st Place)
-Outstanding CKI Sponsorship (Honorable Mention)
-Interclub Relations Award (Honorable Mention)
-Public Relations Award (Honorable Mention)
-100 Women in 100 Days Award

We are also very proud of Sarah Dewitz for all of her work that she has done with Just 1 Book!  Thanks to Sharlene for coordinating a service opportunity yesterday afternoon at the conference.  Check out the story featured in the Orlando Sentinel at the link below:

Seminole book giveaway

Run for the Kids - Superhero Dash!

The Kiwanis Club of East Orange County hosted its 3rd Annual Kiwanis “Run for the Kids” on the morning of Saturday, February 2nd at Jay Blanchard Park. Over 230 runners and walkers took part in the superhero-themed 5K and 10K races. The event was coordinated by Kiwanis members as well as student volunteers from East Orange County's 17 service leadership clubs. The money fundraised from the event will go directly back to the students in these clubs – K-Kids in Elementary School, Builders Clubs in Middle School, Key Clubs in High School, CKI at UCF, and Aktion Clubs for disabled adults.

The Kiwanis Club of East Orange County thanks its sponsors for their support. The Title sponsor for the event was Carrier Air Conditioning – the world leader in air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration systems.  Additional sponsors included Impress Ink, Bubbalou's Bodacious BBQ, Centura Institute, Publix Supermarkets, Sylvan Learning Center, YMCA at Jay Blanchard Park, Bounce Orlando, Orlando Physical Medicine, and Orlando City Soccer.  Photos were taken courtesy of Ksel Photography. The 1st through 3rd place winners in various age groups received trophies.

After the 5K and 10K, kids’ races were held for ages 1-5 and 6-8, in which all kids received race ribbons. Following the race, kids enjoyed inflatable games, provided by Bounce Orlando. A big thank you also goes out to the almost 100 volunteers that helped make the event happen, including East River, Colonial, Timber Creek, and Boone High School; UCF CKI; and Orlando City Soccer. For complete race photos, visit

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Fun time at the Aktion club meeting

The Wildcats Aktion Club had a blast decorating inspirational posters for our race on February 2nd. The racers will be excited to see these!