Club Spotlight: Kiwanis mission is helping kids

Cindy Crane
Special to the Eagle
Runners head out through the start/finish arch. The Kiwanis Club of Marco Island held their 7th Annual Marco Island Kiwanis Family 5K race on Saturday, starting and finishing at Tigertail Beach.

Kiwanis Club of Marco Island, founded in 1993, has the mission to improve the world, one child and one community at a time. We had a very busy December to achieve this mission.  

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On Dec. 5, at our regular meeting, we honored Terrific Kids from the 4th grade at Tommie Barfield Elementary. Jacqueline Miller, Ocean Musgrave, Lea Berkley, Anthony Higuera, and Jocelyn Pantoja were all honored for their accomplishments. 

On Dec. 7, we held our 7th Annual Marco Island Kiwanis Family 5K run with over 200 runners signed up. The proceeds from this event help to fund our service programs for local children.

Kiwanis logo

On Dec. 8, we held our annual Kiwanis Christmas Sing-a-long, to raise funds for our annual toy distribution for the kids. Music was provided by Rosetta Stone, there was a cookie decorating contest, and Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived for the festivities.  

On Dec. 14, several members of Kiwanis met at Walmart, along with some teachers and the school nurse from Manatee School, to shop for gifts for the children. Kiwanis of Marco Island has been doing this for 18 years since taking over the project from the Coast Guard Auxiliary. 

On Dec. 16, several Kiwanis members met at Manatee Elementary along with Santa and Mrs. Claus to greet every child in the school and assure that they each got a gift from Santa. For many of these children, it is the only gift that they will receive.

Texas Hold'em Tournament  

Our next big event will be our annual Texas Hold'em Tournament on Friday, Jan. 24 at Rose Auditorium, 180 S. Heathwood Drive.  Doors open at 5p.m. with free lessons, and the game begins at 6. There’s a $50 buy-in and $20 re-buys. All proceeds benefit the Kiwanis Children's fund. Seating is limited to 140 players. Reserve your spot now at or contact Lucky Lang for details at

If you would like to join us in our mission, Kiwanis meets the first and third Thursday of the month at 7 a.m. for our breakfast meeting. Meetings are held at Stonewall's, 551 S. Collier Blvd., and guests are welcome.