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Serving the community

Service clubs offer variety of projects

August 21, 2011
By SANDY MICKELSON, Messenger staff writer , Messenger News

Most people, whether they admit it or not, need to be part of something bigger than themselves.

They like to, need to, want to belong to a group of like-minded individuals. Some people make it so by joining a church group, a hobby club, a work-related group. Others step into the life of a service club member, taking care of others, setting up fundraisers and planning projects.

Service clubs in Fort Dodge and Badger offer help for a wide variety of projects with a wide variety of fundraisers. The Badger Lions, for instance, sell giant coloring storybooks. The Junior Womens Club raised $1,200 for both the Beacon of Hope and the BASIC program - Brothers and Sisters in Christ - at its annual waffle breakfast.

Article Photos

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen

Roy Chase, president of the Golden K Kiwanis Club, closes the Wednesday morning meeting at Citizens Central in downtown Fort Dodge.

The Golden K Kiwanis support the International Kiwanis "to get iodine around the world," said club president Roy Chase. "We're getting great results. And right now, we're doing neo-natal tetanus, especially in Africa. We're just starting this."

These are projects few people even consider unless they are part of an organization that supports it.

"It's hard to get people" to join service clubs these days, Chase said. "People are so active with the games that they play. All kinds of stuff is available. People just seem to be busy. and we're retired people."

Fact Box

Badger Lions

Meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Monday of the month at the Community Center in Badger.

President: Roger Curtis, 576-7666 or 545-4487.

This is a service organization for the community, and the club assists Lions projects locally, statewide and nationwide. The club holds an Easter candy hunt for youngsters each spring and in the fall, holds a Halloween Beggar's Night party with hot chocolate, hot dogs and prizes.

The main fundraisers are pancake feeds in the spring and fall and sales of giant coloring storybooks.

Dues are flexible.

Badger Lions is

This is the members' way of volunteering in the community, helping out and serving others. Money raised helps support the Salvation Army.

Noon Lions

Meets at noon every Wednesday at Chen Gardens.

President: Joe McBride, may be reached at Northern Lights, 576-2181.

As a service organization, Noon Lions is heavily involved with sight and hearing - Lions International is trying to eradicate preventable blindness. Lions members go into day care centers and Head Start as part of the Iowa Kids' Sight program to screen eyes of children aged 6 to 48 months. The local group screens up to 800 children a year.

The main fundraiser is the annual steak fry held every May that serves more than 700 people. Proceeds are used for hearing aids, eyeglasses and the Kids' Sight program. Pancake breakfasts are served, and members help other organizations with fundraisers.

Dues are $75 a year, with weekly lunches paid by members.

Noon Lions website is

Noon Lions members are very active in the community, state and on the international level, with a lot of activities to offer. Member Jess Lewis, a member of the publicity committee, says, "It's a fun group, a laid-back group. we just like to work in the community."

Noon Kiwanis

Meets at noon every Tuesday at Chen Garden.

President: Dennis Baugh, may be reached at the YWCA by calling 573-3931, ext. 212.

Noon Kiwanis is a service organization working with youth and children. The group passes out dictionaries to third-graders in county schools outside Fort Dodge, members read to students in the Butler Blast Flashlight Reading program, then give the books to the children when they're done.

Members take some disadvantaged children shopping at Christmas to buy gifts for other family members, and the group is sponsor of Reynolds Park. Noon Kiwanis is one of the original sponsors of Oleson Park and is in the process of upgrading the trail there.

The group's main fundraisers are a pancake breakfast in March, plus Sandpile Days in April or May, when members deliver sand to homes for $5 a wheelbarrow.

Dues are $135 a quarter, which includes weekly meals.

The group's website is

Noon Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers that try to change the world one child in one community at a time. For anyone with that idea, Baugh said, "we're the organization for you. We try to give back to the community as much as we can."

Fort Dodge Rotary Club

Meets at 11:45 a.m. every Monday at Best Western Starlite Village Inn and Suites.

President: Steve Hoesel, 955-2381. Club member Jim Patton, district governor, may be reached at (712) 297-7616.

Local and international projects for Fort Dodge Rotary Club involve funding the Blast after-school program at Butler Elementary, scholarships to both Fort Dodge Senior High and St. Edmond High School and an academic achievement dinner where the top 7 percent of high school students are honored.

The club also maintains Snell Crawford Park. An international project is helping develop water projects for schools in Thailand.

Club members fill shoe boxes with personal items for girls and boys, age 4 to 16, in Nicaragua and look for outbound foreign exchange student candidates, who are sent abroad to stay with families, so room and board is covered and the students pay only the airline ticket.

The Rotary Club provides a scholarship for graduate school and takes part in the Ryla Program, which helps children develop business skills, helping them learn about business skills - how to present themselves well, dress well and say thank you.

It is the goal of Rotary International to eliminate polio, an ongoing project for the past 20 years.

The annual Applefest Run, set Oct. 2 this year, is a main fundraiser, with proceeds going to the new cancer center at Trinity Regional Medical Center, and other fundraisers are in the process of being established.

Dues are $110 a quarter and cover meeting meal costs.

The group's website is

Members say if anyone is looking to be a part of something special, both a social part and part of club projects, Fort Dodge Rotary Club is the club to join.

Fort Dodge Junior Womens Club

Meets at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month at various restaurants.

President: Mary Kay Daniel, 573-3431, ext. 5.

Junior Womens Club has donated funds to Veterans Memorial Park, the reading program at the library, the Beacon of Hope homeless men's shelter and the BASIC program - Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Club members recently renovated a room at the YWCA, and in June served an evening meal at the Beacon of Hope. The club also contributes to Backpack Buddies, a program that provides food to students to take home for the weekend.

Club members operated a booth at Market on Central, selling crafts and baked goods, and members participated in the Egemo volleyball tournament. A membership drive is coming up.

The annual waffle breakfast fundraiser raised $1,200 each for the Beacon of Hope and for the BASIC program. Money raised at Market on Central is used for club projects.

Dues are $45 a year.

Club information is available on Facebook by typing in Fort Dodge Junior Womens Club.

Daniel said joining the Junior Womens Club is "a great way to meet new people and to volunteer in the community. We don't just do projects and fundraisers, we also do social things. Our group is going to have a workshop at Studio Fusion on Wednesday and also on Sept. 21."

Noon Sertoma Club

Meets at noon every Thursday, except Thanksgiving, at Chen Garden.

President: Dean Stuhrenberg, 955-2207l.

The name Sertoma comes from "service to mankind," and speech and hearing are the club's project focus. It contributes toward the cost of hearing aids for older adults in the area who qualify for help, and also contribute to other activities in the community.

Club members provide for the community through the Backpack Buddies program, which provides food in backpacks for children to take home for the weekend. A recent $25,000 grant from Wal-Mart will help fund this project, spearheaded by club member Terry Moenke.

Fundraisers include the annual pork chop supper, which will be served from 4 to 7 p.m. Sept. 5 at Veterans Memorial Park, rain or shine. Tickets are $10, and the proceeds go to club projects. Lights at Kennedy in December also is a major fundraiser.

Dues are $110 a quarter, which includes meals at club meetings.

Noon Sertoma Club may be found on the Sertoma International website,

Members say the No. 1 reason to join Noon Sertoma Club is for its community service. Also, it's networking because a lot of members are business people. Also, there's the camaraderie. It's those three main reasons, but, basically, it's the service to mankind and giving back to the community.

Daybreak Rotary Club

Meets at 6:45 a.m. every Tuesday in the Iowa Central Community College Career Education Building, Room 108.

President: Gary Moore, 573-6136 at work, who says, "Our club is for earlybirds. If they don't get up till 7, it's not going to work."

The main club project is the Badger Lake Dragon Boat Bash, which is Friday through Aug. 28 on Badger Lake at Kennedy Park. Most of the proceeds will go to the Trinity Regional Medical Center new cancer center. A scholarship is offered at Iowa Central Community College every year to an international student is memory of the late Mary Sula Linney, who had been a Daybreak Rotary member.

Other programs helped by Daybreak Rotary are the Butler Blast after-school program, Operation Christmas, Webster County Conservation, Fort Dodge Riverfront project, the Red Cross and the Martin Luther King Committee, among others. The motto of Rotary is Service Above Self, and local members also are involved in International Rotary projects, such as eradicating polio.

As a fundraiser, Daybreak Rotary partners with La'James International College to sell gift cards around the holiday season, with proceeds supporting the Butler Blast after-school program and the Red Cross.

Dues are $75 per quarter, which includes a continental breakfast at the weekly meetings.

The club has two websites: for Dragon Boats at www.fortdodgedragonboat.- com and a new club website,

Being a member of Daybreak Rotary is called a good way to give back to the community that you're living in. With Rotary, you also get involved in international issues as well as local, but emphasis is on the local.

Golden K Kiwanis

Meets at 9:30 a.m. every Wednesday at Citizens Central, 617 Central Ave.

Roy Chase, president, may be reached at 576-0582. Jerry Meinders becomes president on Oct. 1.

Main club projects offer financial support for 4-H, Athletics for Education and Success, the Butler Blast after-school program, Boy Scouts, Boys State, Children and Families of Iowa, dictionaries for third-graders in Fort Dodge schools, D/SAOC, the Church of Damascus Road, Fort Dodge Rec Center, Fourth of July fireworks, Girl Scouts, Patterson baseball field, Rabiner youth shelter, Red Cross, Salvation Army, nine $1,000 scholarships for seniors at Fort Dodge Senior High and St. Edmond's and the YWCA.

Golden K Kiwanis services include flower deliveries on Valentine's Day and Mother's Day, Habitat for Humanity, hospital visits, nursing home visits, PICA, prayer for the ill, Special Olympics, Grandparents for Education (a former RSVP program) and a traveling library.

Fundraisers are peanut sales in June and a soup, chili and pie supper coming in October.

Dues are $90 a year, with $35 joining fee.

The national website, which has a place for the local group, is

Members of Golden K Kiwanis say joining the club is good for people who care to serve others because of their own good life. It's a social group, with a lot of club camaraderie.

Fort Dodge Evening Lions

Meets at 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of every month at Chef's Kitchen.

President: Steve Rees, 955-5326 or 955-8505.

The Evening Lions just completed the 20th year of the pickup project fundraiser. The group also serves a pancake breakfast in conjunction with Citizens Central and serves a spaghetti feed at 4-H camp near Madrid for a youth exchange group. It recently bought a baby monitor for a deaf mother, where lights go off to show baby movement.

This fall, club members will go into preschools and into the YOUR program to take photos of the eyes of children ages 4 months to 48 months old. Those photos will be sent to the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, where doctors will look over the pictures to see if there are any problems. If so, the doctors will make recommendations.

Dues are $65 a year, with most of that going to district.

A website is available through international, District 9-NW, at

Everything done by Evening Lions, all the money raised, stays in the community, and members do "as much as we possibly can do to help people in the community."

Sertoma Sundowners

Meets at 6 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays at Chen Garden.

President: Steve Brown, 571-0506.

Brown said the Sundowners group helps just about everybody - there are no specific projects. Members help the local Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts and operate a beverage trailer at places like the Shellabration concert. Sometimes the group donates those services.

In addition to the beverage trailer fundraiser, the Sundowners have a Summer Sizzle Meat Sale every spring when they sell boxes of meat - pork chops, chicken breasts, steaks and hamburgers. They sell raffle tickets for an Iowa State University basketball game, and will operate casino nights for other organizations or functions such as Christmas parties, wedding receptions and after-prom parties.

Dues are $65 a quarter.

There is no local website, but Great Plains Sertoma website has information on Sundowners and all clubs in the Great Plains region of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska.

Members say joining Sertoma Sundowners is a way to help others. "It makes you feel better when you're doing something for somebody else. We try to help those who don't have the opportunity to help themselves."

Fort Dodge Civitan Club

Meets at 7 a.m. every Wednesday at Zakeer's.

President: Nancy Leo, 576-4249.

Civitan projects throughout the year include two dances - one at Christmas, one in spring - for people with disabilities. Invitations have been sent for a picnic on Sept. 18 at the Lion's Den for people with disabilities. Once a month the club holds bingo games at alternating homes for the disabled.

For fundraisers, the club sells fruitcake at Christmas, sells Younkers coupon booklets for Community Days, sells wrapping paper in September and takes orders for Rada knives, a good brand of knives. The club has sold popcorn, pop and craft items at Market on Central and puts blue candy boxes in restaurants to fund research on people with disabilities.

Dues are $25 a quarter, with an initial joining fee of $25.

There is no website.

Members say people should join the Civitan Club for the friendship and to work with people with disabilities, who are so appreciative. There is great fellowship among members. Board meeting are held once a month, and local speakers are brought in for the other three weeks.

He said he thinks people are "not as service oriented as they were 50 years ago. It's just tough across the country, and there's more organizations you can belong to."

While service clubs all provide service to some project, each has its own goal. Anyone wanting to join a club may find what those goals are to find the perfect fit of a club to join.

Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or



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