Kiwanis Family House

February President’s Message

Like most nonprofit entities the Kiwanis Family House faces the challenge of reconciling available resources to the fulfilling of our mission by providing needed services to individuals receiving medical treatment personally or with a family member receiving medical care at the University of California Davis Medical Center or Shiners Hospital for Children – Northern California.

With the financial support of over a hundred clubs within the Kiwanis organization, individual Kiwanians, and many individual private contributors, we have been able to meet an annual operating budget of nearly $500,000.  Every donation, regardless of size, is greatly appreciated and without this financial support, we could not continue providing much needed respite and support for many hundreds of families each year.  I would like to especially acknowledge the numerous contributions of two groups within the Service Leadership Programs of the Kiwanis Family.   The high school Key Clubs within the Greater Sacramento Area and the university  level Circle-K Clubs within the California-Nevada-Hawaii District of Kiwanis International have been truly impactful and their continued support has been especially worthy of note.

As a social/service club at the high school level, Key Clubs provide a structured environment for youth to develop leadership skills through the performance of community service.  One area of service for Key Clubs within the Sacramento Area is the support of the Kiwanis Family House.  In addition to donating hundreds of volunteer service hours during the school year working at the facility doing landscape and general cleanup chores, Key Clubbers can always be counted on to provide hands-on work in support of various Kiwanis Club fundraising events which benefit the facility and also to support events at the facility itself.  Their contributions are a critical component in the success of these events. 

One direct fundraiser performed by Key Clubs is “Awake-A-Thons”. Under the stewardship of the Luther Burbank High School Faculty Advisor, Mr. John Perryman, this rather novel approach to fundraising raises several thousand dollars for the facility every year and provides a safe and fun experience for the participants.   

For these “Awake-A-Thon” events, students secure financial pledges from friends and relatives to support their attendance at an all-night event starting on a Friday evening and ending on Saturday morning.  During the event students take part in chaperoned activities such as basketball, volleyball, dance contests, scavenger hunts and video game tournaments.  They are held within secure areas of the high school campus and in some cases end with a pancake breakfast.

At the college level, Circle-K clubs afford young adults the opportunity to develop leadership and team building skills through service on campus and within their communities.  Within the California-Nevada-Hawaii District of Kiwanis International, Circle-K Clubs have adopted the Kiwanis Family House as a district-wide fundraising project.  Thanks to this recognition, the facility not only receives a sizeable financial donation yearly through contributions from Circle-K Clubs on campuses throughout the 3-state area, but also receives acknowledgement and branding recognition. On the local level, the Sacramento State University Circle-K Club sponsors a fundraiser known as the “March-In-March”.

At the “March-In-March” event, participants secure sponsors who pledge a flat amount or a specified dollar amount for each “lap” walked, or for the younger and most energetic, jogged around the building.  The morning event begins with a pancake breakfast for everyone which is followed by a show of solidarity where all participants join hands to fully encircle the building.  Awards and prizes are provided by the Circle-K club members for several categories including most laps completed and most money rose.  (This year, the “March-In-March” is planned for Saturday, March 11 so there is still time to participate in this fun event – details can be found on the Kiwanis Family House website.)

Events such as “Awake-A-Thons” and the “March-In-March” are just two examples of how groups, joining together as a team, are able to combine having fun with the accomplishment of a common goal.  “One Can Make a Difference” is a Kiwanis International motto which I have cited in earlier President’s Messages.  It says so much and is so true.  Whether as part of a team or individually, each and every one who supports the Kiwanis Family House is making a difference and can be very proud.  Thank You!    


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