Thursday, March 2, 2017

From failing to thriving: The Redmond Kiwanis Club story

Redmond Kiwanis is holding a "Prospective Member Meeting" on Friday, March 10th, at the Family Pancake House.  It's an informational meeting,  The City of Redmond's "homeless outreach specialist" will be our guest speaker.  Questions?  Please e-mail Ken Ormiston at: 

The Formula
Jan 24, 2017

"The Redmond Kiwanis club has seen it all. From being a thriving, 50+ member club to extinction, to four passionate and determined Kiwanians 11 years later, to now, a club increasing its membership and impact on the surrounding community. Few would remember a time when the Redmond club experienced the higher membership numbers and a thriving community presence. And few would remember that what seemed like overnight, the members were gone. But current Redmond Kiwanis club members remember the turningpoint...when there were four.

Avondale Park Transition Home feed
(l-r) Raymond Wong (a Fab Four,) Don Horton, Ferrin Lauve, Ken Ormiston,
Chef Penny Arneson is making tamales in the kitchen.

Those members, dubbed the “Fab Four” by fellow Redmond Kiwanians, are credited with the turnaround that has reenergized the presence of Kiwanis in their community today. “From my perspective” says David Carson, “I think it came down to the sheer and utter will to resurrect our Redmond Kiwanis Club by the “Fab Four” as they’re known. The passion with which these pillars of our club have attacked the waning membership issue has been amazing to experience.”

Pat Vache' recalls how the transformation began. “We four started with our own networks,” he says. “We looked to city and county residents who were rooted in civic and community service. Our main focus was targeting like-minded individuals who want to serve our community as much as we do.”

The Formula played a big role in the reformation of the club as well. “They brought a team of “ground troops” as we called them who came to Redmond, set up shop and helped organize an open house for our Club.” Pat credits The Formula’s assistance with increasing the reach within their community.

Reintroducing the club to the Redmond community has brought a lot of new Kiwanians to the club. David admits that the road has been a little bumpy. “Of course we’re dealing with growing pains as now 80% of our club is made up of new members, so the culture is rapidly evolving but it also means that we have a younger club. The inertia is very exciting and bodes well for our community in the things that our club currently does and will be able to accomplish in the future.”

The club has a long tradition of providing meals to various community groups in need. “We provide dinner for The Landing in Redmond, which is a youth shelter in our community. Our Kiwanis club also provides breakfast to various before-school program attendees. We also clean up the streets quarterly and have adopted an arts trail with the objective of beautifying it so members of the community are able to enjoy the space.” Pat says.

The main focus of the Redmond Kiwanis Club moving forward is capturing and embracing the diversity in their community. “As you know, Microsoft is headquartered in Redmond. We could use the type of talent Microsoft attracts.”

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