Kiwanis installs new officers

Published 5:10 am Monday, October 18, 2004

By By SPIROS GALLOS / Niles Daily Star
NILES - The Kiwanis Club of Niles/Southwestern held its October Boost at Mission Hills Memorial Chapel, 3001 M-51 North, Saturday night. The club welcomed guests and formally installed its 2004-05 officers.
Past President Mike Cameron began the evening by welcoming Lt. Governor Linda Heilig, from the Portage Suburban Kalamazoo Club, and dinner guests of the Kiwanis members.
Before dinner was served, a game of Heads or Tails was played to relax everyone. Guests had to pick their head, or their "tail" before Cameron flipped a coin. Whoever chose right remained standing, those that did not, sat down.
Secretary Greg Surber highlighted the events of the past year, which was the clubs first.
Although members had been meeting before, the Kiwanis Club of Niles/Southwestern was official installed on Jan. 17, 2004.
The club rang bells for the Salvation Army during the holiday season last year and answered phones during the WNIT auctions, Surber said the club will try to do it again this year.
Members cleaned some space from their basements and attics for the Garage Barrage in Downtown Niles. The group was able to raise $150 from sales at that event.
The club held a Bowl-a-thon which raised $2,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Berrien County, and a charity golf outing which raised $2,500 for construction of the new Niles-Buchanan YMCA facility.
Cameron, Surber, and President John Grinnell also got a chance to see the Kalamazoo Air Zoo before it opened its doors at a pre-grand opening unveiling. The three sold a few Kiwanis coloring books to raise money for the club.
After dinner provided by Catering by Karen and Company of Niles, Niles High School senior Seeairah Sherman entertained guests with her own selection of Christian music.
Before the installation of the 2004-05 officers, Heilig praised the club for their efforts over the past year.
Heilig swore in the new officers before turning the podium over to Grinnell, who will serve as president of the club for the 2004-05 year.
Grinnell began his speech by thanking his fellow club members before outlining his plans for the club for the next year.
Grinnell announced that a Key Club was being created at Niles High School. The Key Club will give high school students a chance to volunteer with Kiwanis to help their community.
Grinnell said he would like to install Key Clubs at more high schools after the Niles one is established.
After his speech, the winners of the silent auction were announced. Dinner guests bid on gift baskets donated by the members. The club raised $275 from the auction.
Guests then watched a movie called "Dancing with the Moon." The movie was produced by Kiwanis International and showed how UNICEF and Kiwanis Club partnered to put an end to Iodine Deficiency Disorder, the leading cause of mental retardation in the world.
After the dinner, Grinnell said he hopes to help more organizations through the club's fund-raising.
Grinnell said he was confident the group could reach the goals he set out for the coming year.