The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Michele Smith
the Times 

Focus on Kiwanis Club of Dayton

Building community, one child at a time


Michele Smith

Dayton High School seniors Roselin Burris, Sadie Seney, Mackena Culley, Adam Puckett (not shown) and their advisor Shayna Hutchens went to Washington, D. C. in Nov. 2019 as part of the Road to Leadership program, which was paid for by the Kiwanis Club of Dayton. Dayton Kiwanis has contracted with the Close-Up Organization to provide students with the opportunity to experience travel, and provide a living classroom for them to explore U.S. Government, history, and culture. The students thanked the Kiwanians during a Kiwanis Club of Dayton meeting, last week. Last year's trip cost about $10,000.00. Club President Chuck Reeves said there was a very sizeable donation from one committed individual, for that trip. The rest of the money came from donations, through the Community Network, and from Kiwanians who raised funds by flipping hamburgers and hot dogs, at community events, to help pay for the trip. The students, themselves, raised around $850 to pay for their personal expenses.

DAYTON-Judi Pilcher is a Kiwanis Club of Dayton Director and she would like people to know the organization is more than just a hamburger cooking organization.

They do, however, sell hamburgers and hotdogs, at community events, and they sponsor the annual Turkey Bingo fundraiser, all to help pay for programs for local youth.

Pilcher said, with the exception of Club dues, all the money made through fundraising efforts goes to programs for youth.

About $18,000 is generated each year through fundraising and helps support the following programs; The Club for Boys & Girls, Girl Scouts, Camp Nancy Lee, Liberty Theater Children's Programs, Future Business Leaders of America, Youth & Government, Golf Education, Touchet Valley Little League, 4-H & FFA Livestock, DW Cheerleaders, Knowledge Bowl, Blue Mountain Girls Softball, B.A.D. Basketball, Senior Scholarships, and Road to Leadership.

Club Secretary, Joe Huether, said a new opportunity for Kiwanis was recently presented for their consideration. This is for reading with elementary students through the Opening Books Opening Doors program.

Kiwanis Club of Dayton also supports Project Timothy, Christmas Kickoff, Dayton on Tour, All Wheels Weekend, Turkey Bingo, the Columbia County Fair, the Touchet Valley Little League,4-H and FFA Livestock, and the Kiwanis Easter egg hunt in the city park.

Club President Chuck Reeves said, "The Easter Egg hunt is one of the more 'visible' things we do."

Pun intended.

"We appreciate our partnerships with other clubs and organizations such as the Dayton Lions Club and American Legion, who make it possible to put on major events such as Turkey Bingo. In turn we help with the Lions Club Crab Dinner and American Legion Spring Bingo," Huether said.

The Club also enjoys the many informal members who help them with community events and activities, when help is needed.

The broader purpose of Kiwanis International, is to serve the children of the world, Huether said.

Since its inception in 1915 Kiwanis International has grown to more than 8,000 clubs in seventy nations and each year raises more than $100 million for projects and community service.

"In our Pacific Northwest District, one that we support is the SIGN project," Huether said. "It provides surgical implants to hospitals in undeveloped countries."

He said Kiwanis Club member Gary Schroeder, Treasurer, recently went to Cambodia and visited hospitals that do more than 1,000 SIGN fracture treatment surgeries, annually. On his way Schroeder delivered surgical equipment and supplies for the program.

During the past decades membership in local service clubs has declined, with Dayton Kiwanis currently at eighteen registered members, and they are seeking additional members.

"If we had more, we could do more," said Reeves.

Membership has its benefits. The Dayton General Hospital dietary staff caters a very tasty lunch for the bimonthly Kiwanis Club meetings.

Club meetings are held at noon on the second and fourth Thursdays, of each month, in the Delany Room, at the Dayton Memorial Library.

For more information about Kiwanis Club of Dayton contact Kiwanis Club of Dayton by mail at: P.O. Box 208, Dayton, Wash. 99328, or by phone at: 382-7295, or by email at:


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