By Denise Ortuno Neil

The 2014/2015 Kiwanis Club season kick-off for Division 47, went off without a hitch on Saturday, October 11th at the Deli on Miles in Indio. The meeting set the season in motion and also served as a Proclamation Ceremony for the new Kiwanis East Coachella Valley Club.

The Kiwanis Club District 47 includes the lower and higher desert, Yucca Valley, 29 Palms and Hemet. The Kiwanis Club will be celebrating their 100 year anniversary next year. The organization is global, has 600,000 members and has been dedicated to helping children and communities for almost a century.

The Kiwanis Club members are passionate about their organization. They have their own inner workings with Lt. Governors, PLG’s (Past Lieutenant Governors) Presidents and Secretaries. They also have K-Kids for elementary grades, Builders Club for Middle School (I was one), Key Club for high school and Circle K for college students. It all seems to work for the club as they make a difference in their communities with their dedicated efforts.

The new Kiwanis East Coachella Valley Club just started March of 2014. The new club sponsored the day’s event. President of the new club Jim Wiley was on hand as was the club’s President –elect Carmen Grace. The Indio Mayor Mike Wilson was in attendance with his lovely wife Gina Wilson. The mayor presented the new club with a Proclamation deeming October 11th 2014 as Kiwanis Club East Coachella Valley Day. Jim Wiley was proud to accept it for the club.

The new Kiwanis East Coachella Valley Club has different events coming up in the near future. They are partnering with Indio Baseball Camp and will be having a See’s Candy drive for the holidays. The club will also be involved with the Patriot Ride, which is a smaller version of the Tour de Palm Springs, and takes place in the east side of the valley. They will also be providing shuttle service for Coachella Fest concert goers who want to go into the city of Indio. The Kiwanis East Coachella Valley Club is on a fast track to growing their club.

Also on the podium circuit was PLG Lee Miller, who talked about how the Kiwanis Club will be sponsoring a float in the Rose Parade. The theme will be “Inspiring Children”, a fitting theme for them to embrace.

PLG (Past Lt. Govenor) Jack Lacy of Lasr- Ink discussed the official visit of the Governor coming soon. Lacy is an official member of the Palm Springs Club, which has been around since 1951, and sponsored the new East Valley Club, which Lacy serves as counselor.

PLG Herman Platzke discussed the Eliminate Program and their fight to eradicate Tetanus disease. The Kiwanis Club works closely with UNICEF to end suffering around the world.

The whole event took place at the Deli on Miles in Old Town Indio. The quaint restaurant is owned by former Indio Mayor Elaine Holmes. She opened the Deli on Miles just this past spring. She serves breakfast and lunch, and her sandwiches are made with premium Boars Head meats and soups and salads are homemade, “It’s a labor of love,” said Holmes. She looks forward to the cooler weather so guests can enjoy her cozy patio and dine al fresco when she expands her hours to include dinner service. Holmes is a staunch advocate of the Kiwanis Club and was delighted to have been the chosen venue for their event.

The meeting closed out with a raffle drawing and all the members singing “Hail to Kiwanis”.

The Kiwanis Club District 47 is off to a great season of helping children throughout their communities and being a beacon of hope for change not only here in the Coachella Valley, but throughout the world. “Hail to Kiwanis”!!

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