Kiwanis winds down a successful year

Maureen Chodaba
Special to the Eagle

The Kiwanis Club of Marco Island has enjoyed a remarkably busy year. Under the leadership of Co-Presidents Mike and Barbara Murphy, President-Elect Donna Dubey, Treasurer Lucky Lang and Secretary Cindy Crane, the club has embraced their motto, “Serving the Children of the World” by successfully improving the world one child and one community at a time, beginning with the beautiful community we call our home.

Our fundraising efforts and generous sponsors have empowered us to support several programs including Toys for Kids in the holiday season, our Terrific Kids program, MIA Key Club, Reading is Fundamental, and the scholarship program which awarded $20,000 to graduating MIA Key Club students this year. We have awarded gifts to the MIA Cross Country/Track and Baseball teams and supported Meals of Hope along with scholarships for Camp Mackle and donation to Camp Able. Yes, it has been a very productive year!

MOREMarco’s DAR annual scholarship rewards an outstanding student

ANDNow You Know: Star chef visits White House (again)

ALSOA gift for the future: Marco Island Woman’s Club awards 63K in scholarships

We closed our active season with two dinner meetings at the Cape Marco Tennis Center. We enjoyed the Kiwanis Interclub experience at our April 27 meeting with Naples Kiwanians Carol Fries and Kathy Carpenter in attendance. Guest Speaker Amanda Nelson, Executive Director of Our Daily Bread Food Pantry, explained the operations and needs of the pantry to feed hungry families right here in our community. The needs are significant, and the pantry has been meeting those needs with drive through food distributions and other services. There is an urgent and ongoing demand for resources and volunteers. To learn how you can help, visit or call 239-259-5188.

Our May 4 meeting brought forth the election of our new board officers and appointments of committee leads. We look forward to a new year of continued service to our community.

The 2023-24 Board members are: President – Donna Dubey; President-Elect – Jill Sandberg; Vice-President – Barb Murphy; Secretary – Cindy Crane; Treasurer – Lucky Lang; Past President – Mike Murphy; Publicity/Media – Maureen Chodaba; Financial Oversight Committee – Dennis Hess, Mike Murphy; Officer-Key Club – Marie Lynn McChesney; Officer-Terrific Kids – Jill DiZio.

The Kiwanis Club of Marco Island will pause from our weekly meeting schedule for the summer months, but we will continue with monthly social activities and plans for future events, including a 30-year anniversary celebration of the club’s inception, currently scheduled for Nov. 19 at the Island Country Club along with installation of the new slate of officers.

Watch for more information as we seek out previous members to join in this celebration.  Remember, the Kiwanis Club welcomes the talents and strengths of new members to help serve our children! For more information, visit

Kiwanis welcome new members

The Kiwanis Club of Marco Island is delighted to announce and welcome their three newest members, Annette Mennella, Maureen Gold, and Helen McCullough. They are familiar faces at various community events and organizations, sharing a friendship that began years ago in the Newcomers Club. They have continued their comradery through Just Friends, and now bring their abundance of talent, energy, and enthusiasm to Kiwanis.

Annette Mennella originally hails from Brooklyn, New York and later moved upstate to Orange County in the beautiful Hudson Valley. She enjoyed life as a stay-at-home mom, raising two daughters. After chaperoning many of their school trips, she decided to obtain a Commercial Driver License (CDL) so she could drive the bus! Annette drove a school bus for a private company serving the Newburgh, New York school district for seventeen years, retiring in 2009. The following year, she moved to Marco Island. Annette is an amateur actor in the Charm City Players. She joined Kiwanis to help children as they navigate the road to becoming productive members of the community. She looks forward to reconnecting with old friends and making new ones.

Maureen Gold is originally from Hull, Massachusetts. She has been enjoying retirement here on Marco Island for eleven years. “I wanted to become a member of Kiwanis, because I wanted to donate my time to a worthwhile organization, especially one that benefits children. Kiwanis has a reputation in the community for doing just that. I am looking forward to many rewarding years with the Kiwanis Club,” said Maureen. Kiwanis thanks her for her kind words as we look forward to many years with her!

Helen McCullough was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, went to St. Joseph’s University, and taught second grade at St. Anthony’s School. She and her husband, Tom, have been married fifty-six years and have called Marco Island their home for the past twelve. They raised their five sons in north central Pennsylvania’s dairy farm country. Helen once served as a Chaplain at CMC Medical Center in Scranton, PA. She has been a member and officer of the San Marco CCW, participating in their scholarship fundraising efforts, and has volunteered with Al’s Pals, Lunch with Friends Over 60, and other outreach programs. Helen embraces the opportunity to help children, in her words, “to ensure they not only have necessities, but also the opportunity to qualify for scholarships.” She adds, “One never forgets the look on a child’s face when they are given what so many others take for granted.” 

Serving the children of the world! That is the motto of Kiwanis International. We are so glad that Annette, Maureen, and Helen have joined us in our mission to improve the world, one child and one community at a time, beginning right here in the beautiful community we call home.

Wouldn’t you like to join us, too? We would love to have you! For more information, contact club secretary Cindy Crane at or visit