Kiwanis Club in Sequim disbands after 40 years

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM –– The Kiwanis Club of Sequim-Dungeness disbanded last week after gathering for the 40-year-old club’s final meeting at the Paradise Restaurant.

Shell McGuire, former club treasurer, said the members had grown too old to keep up with the club’s mission of seeing though service projects for children and could not recruit enough new younger members to continue.

“We just couldn’t find enough people willing to work the fundraisers,” McGuire said.

The handful of remaining members conducted its last meeting Thursday at the restaurant at 703 N. Sequim Ave.

Last year’s Christmas tree sale, an annual fundraiser for the club, was manned almost solely by member Gil Oldenkamp, McGuire said.

“With one guy doing the Christmas tree sale with minimal help, it was just too much,” McGuire said.

A local Scout troop is looking to take over the Christmas tree sale.

The club also awarded scholarships to Sequim students, collected books for poor families and collected old computers that could be refurbished and given to those in need.

McGuire said the PC Users club has taken over the duties of the computer efforts.

Those who wish to donate computers that can run at least Windows version XP can donate by phoning McGuire at 360-681-0805.

Some of the remaining club members now will work with Kiwanis clubs in Port Angeles and Port Townsend, McGuire said.

The Sequim post of the club had about 30 members at its peak in the 1990s, according to Don Zanon of Port Angeles, former regional lieutenant governor for the Kiwanis.

Membership is decreasing in many service clubs, Zanon said.

“A lot of it is, the younger people that are coming up just don’t seem to have the kind of time and are involved in a lot of other issues in their personal lives,” he said.

“There’s just no more room for these clubs.”

Despite that trend, he said, membership in the four separate Kiwanis clubs in Port Angeles and Port Townsend is still going strong, with about 220 total members between the two cities.

The local clubs continue to support Camp Beausite, a summer camp for the developmentally disabled outside Chimacum.



Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: June 17. 2013 6:02PM
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