Kiwanis event funds grants for local organizations

April 13, 2010

By Chantelle Lusebrink

Ready, set, bid — for a good cause as the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah hosts its 32nd annual auction and dinner fundraiser April 24.

The event is one of the largest Kiwanis fundraisers all year, President Connie Fletcher said.

Last year, the event made about $66,000, member Keith Watts said. Members are hoping to reach that again this year at the Hilton Garden Inn with help from emcee Leon Kos, Issaquah’s city administrator, and City Councilman Fred Butler.

Items for the auction include travel packages, an oceanfront condo in Mexico, iPod Touch, jewelry, local experiences like a fire truck ride, and two Trophy Club passes to the U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee Golf Course.

Proceeds from the event go to fund grant requests from local organizations, like Eastside Baby Corner, Issaquah Church and Community Services and the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank.

It also helps pay for programs, like Kiwanis Hospital Dolls, headed by member Joan Probala. The program purchases supplies for making dolls to give to Seattle Children’s. The dolls aren’t only comfort to some of the area’s smallest patients, but they are tools doctors use to help describe procedures to children.

“The doctors can draw on them and show the children what is going to be done,” said Kiwanian Chris Brandt, chair for the auction and dinner.

It also funds other fun events, like the ponies for the Down Home Fourth of July, and typically helps provide emergency funding for emerging needs in the city.

In addition to filling grant requests, Kiwanis officials have named the Eastside Domestic Violence Program as the benefactor of the evening’s Fund An Item paddle donations. People are asked to make flat donations of varying amounts during the event that go directly to the organization.

“Eastside Domestic Violence Program has benefited from Kiwanis dollars for a long time and we have a long-term relationship with them,” Fletcher said. “In times of economic slowdown, it’s shown that families come under stress and there is an increase in domestic violence incidents. There is more of a need out there than ever before and we are trying to respond to that need.”

The organization, founded in 1982, has grown to become one of the state’s largest domestic violence service providers, serving more than 100,000 victims and their children.

In 2009, the organization answered nearly 10,000 calls to its crisis line, provided 33,130 nights of safe shelter, provided services to 4,316 victims, and provided education and training to more than 25,000 members in the community.

“For every one person we shelter, 18 are turned away,” Executive Director Barbara Langdon wrote in an e-mail. “The Kiwanis Club of Issaquah’s support will ensure that Eastside Domestic Violence Program will be there when families need us most. Together, we can make a difference.”

Last year, the Fund An Item portion of the evening raised nearly $20,000, Fletcher said.

“We are so excited about this event. We can’t wait to celebrate with the Kiwanis,” Kelly Becker, program director for Eastside Domestic Violence Program, wrote in an e-mail. “We hope you will join us for a fantastic evening out with friends while raising money to benefit families in our community.”

Eventgoers will also be able to purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win an Apple iPad.

So, raise your paddles, glasses and forks for what is often known as the “social event of the year,” Fletcher said.

But remember to get your tickets by about April 20, as they go quickly.

Chantelle Lusebrink: 392-6434, ext. 241, or Comment at

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One Response to “Kiwanis event funds grants for local organizations”

  1. Capital One and Consumer Action Sponsor Free Financial Literacy Training for Maryland Nonprofit Community Organizations | on April 14th, 2010 12:30 am

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