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Ashland Kiwanis: 'It's what we do'

Ashland Kiwanis participates in a variety of projects throughout the year that involve fundraising, community service and supporting children locally and worldwide. Additionally, we have speakers at our weekly meetings to explore topics of interest to the membership. We engage in a number of social activities to share experiences, talents and our collective interests. All represent great opportunities for service, friendships and personal growth.

Below are the projects and activities in which we are currently involved:

Monster Dash Run for Education. A series of running events to support Ashland Schools Foundation with in-classroom grants at the public schools.

Monster Ball Pasta Party the evening before the Monster Dash foot races.

Flag Program where we put up and take down American flags at local businesses and organizations on most federal holidays,

Ashland High School “Student of the Month.”

Scholarship programs for seniors at the high school.

Ashland High School Key Club.

Special Olympic events such as track and field, bowling, basketball, softball and bocce ball.

We donate money each year to the Kiwanis Children’s Cancer program benefiting the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland.

Youth baseball and football.

Scouting troops.

Christmas gifts for the needy.

Salvation Army bell ringing.

Postcard “buddy” program at he Ashland Middle School.

Nature Center’s school program scholarships supporting young school children learning more about our Rogue Valley and its environment.

Flowers and caroling at the Linda Vista Nursing and Rehab Center in Ashland.

Elementary school reading, mentoring and library book program.

ScienceWorks exhibits such as the Bee Exhibit.

Essay contests at elementary schools.

Street cleanups.

Youth programs

The Ashland Kiwanis Club sponsors the Ashland High School Key Club. Our Key Club independently initiates service projects and community service activities throughout the school year. Ashland Kiwanis works through a faculty adviser at the high school to coordinate our participation with their activities or to have them work with us on major service programs and fundraisers.

We are so proud of our Key Club and their accomplishments which make our community a much better place to live. The activities listed below are representative of the many projects they are involved in each year:

Special Olympics bowling at Lava Lanes in Medford volunteering to help with lane management, cheer leading, etc.

Volunteering at our Halloween Monster Ball and Monster Dash fundraisers.

Help to purchase and wrap Christmas gifts for children of Human Services’ lower income families.

Candy Cane fundraiser at Ashland High School in December to help support a needy student.

Relay for Life (April and May) fundraiser for cancer.

Handing out flowers at Linda Vista Nursing and Rehab Center.

Attendance at Key Club District Convention to further their leadership skills.

Scholar programs

Eight scholarship programs are normally offered each year to qualifying senior students of Ashland High School. The scholarships are:

Tommy Laird Kiwanis Scholarship offered annually to two of the nine monthly Students of the Month.

Ashland Kiwanis Athletic Scholarship offered annually to two senior athletes who standout among their peers in their chosen athletic program.

Ashland Kiwanis Key Club Scholarship offered annually to a key club member who exemplifies the spirit of the program and who contributes greatly to the success of approved projects and activities.

Kiwanis Youth Foundation of Southern Oregon Scholarship offered to students who may not qualify for other scholarships provided by school sponsors.

Flag program

The Ashland Kiwanis Club sponsors a Flag program each year from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30 of the following year. Our club has been providing this service to the community for over 35 years. This is a major fund raising activity for the club that helps to support its many programs for children and others in the community.

Weather permitting, Kiwanis places nearly 300 American flags at business and residential locations throughout Ashland. The placement of flags is done on most federal holidays plus some special dates from time to time. Flags are also placed along Siskiyou Boulevard. Individual citizens may subscribe to the flag program and have their flag placed along the boulevard. You may choose to honor a veteran or another special person in your life.

The annual $60 subscription fee helps us support programs including Key Club sponsorship, youth baseball and football, Nature Center student field trips, school reading programs and Christmas gifts for the needy, to name a few.

The annual Flag Program Holidays are: Veterans Day, Pearl Harbor Day, Martin Luther King Day, Presidents Day, Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and Patriots’ Day.

Reports from the Ashland Kiwanis Club appear quarterly.

Runners pack the start of the Kiwanis-organized Monster Dash race benefiting the Ashland Schools Foundation. Photo by Denise Baratta