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  The Presidents Korner

This is my last message to you as President of the Club, and I have to say it’s been an exciting year to be the leader of this great club.  To start with, it’s been an honor to help celebrate Kiwanis International’s 100th birthday at the mid-winter meeting in Seattle and at the Kiwanis International Convention in Indianapolis this summer and our own banquet in September.  Looking back on the accomplishments of the past 100 years was fascinating and looking ahead to what we can accomplish together in the next 100 years is a great challenge for all of us. 


Over the past year we have seen a great deal of change in our club, but a lot remains the same.  Our club is financially sound and we have active, strong member participation.  We have lost a few members but we have gained even more.  We have new leadership for our Lakefair Food Booth (John Zuroske) and Harbor Days (Mary Hall), while we say a heartfelt thanks to those they are replacing (Terry Kirkpatrick and Russ Carstensen).  Our food bank gardens continue to grow remarkable amounts of fresh food for the Thurston County Food Bank thanks to our club members, volunteers, interns and of course our gardener extraordinaire, Don Leaf.   Because of that signature effort, out club was one of only 40 clubs in the country to be invited to participate in a White House Community Briefing in May 2015.  Our club and our Waterfront group provided support at numerous functions throughout the year, from YMCA Kids Day to Capital City Marathon to Sand in the City and many more.  Our Key Clubs continue to excel at providing high school students with wonderful ways to contribute to the community and learn valuable skills that will last a lifetime.


After careful consideration, we made the decision to transfer management of our Educational Endowment Fund to The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound.  Although their investments are fairly conservative, the ups and downs of the financial markets make us all nervous but we believe it will be a good, safe investment leading to growth over the long haul.  I encourage all of our club members to consider making year end donations to the Endowment Fund and/or including it in your estate planning so that we can increase our scholarship awards in the future.  Participating in the high school awards events and announcing our scholarship winners were highly inspirational moments for me.


As your President, it has been my privilege to preside over the Club and Board meetings.  We have had some great programs and speakers and a few surprises and burps along the way.  I have relied extensively on the knowledge and skills of our officers, committee chairs and members, and I thank all of you for your help and assistance.  I wish my successor, President-Elect Debra Seeman, the very best. [More]

  Recent Programs
Dr. Purce
Dr. Purce
Retiring TESC President - Dr. Purce
6/08/15 12:15 PM

Dr. Thomas L. "Les" Purce, the outgoing 15 year president of the Evergreen State College, spoke at the June 8, 2015 meeting of the Olympia Kiwanis Club.  Dr. Purce thanked the community for their support of this 1,000 acre college, which was before it's time when it was created to consider the ecological effects of an institution. [More]

Charles Shelan
Charles Shelan
Community Youth Services Executive Director
6/01/15 12:15 PM

Charles Shelan, a Past President and longtime (34 years) member of the Olympia Kiwanis Club spoke at the June 1, 2015 club meeting. Charles will be retiring the end of July from Community Youth Services after a 36 year career there as their Executive Director.

Originally called the Thurston Youth Services Society, there was confusion that this was the “correctional” institution for youth in Thurston County. Once the name was changed to Community Youth Services – AKA CYS - this private, non profit organization was able to continue it’s mission to work across the continuum of care for children youth and families.

Charles remembers a bumpy, but productive, career with CYS. [More]

Kiwanis Koir
Olympia Kiwanis Club members had the Kiwanis Koir entertain them for the December 22nd, 2014, meeting of the Olympia Kiwanis Club.  After some rousing renditions of some favorite Christmas Carols, the whole club joined in to welcome in the holidays.  
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All!
Jan B


Washington State Historical Society
SSeymour History (furry with glasses) and Kimberly Ketcham from the Washington State Historical Society visited the Olympia Kiwanis Club on August 25, 2014, to discuss the 125th Anniversary of Statehood celebration that is coming up on November 11, 2014.  This quasquicentennial celebration will be at 1 pm on the Capital Campus. Events will include:

¨Flag ceremony and National Anthem

¨Tribal Blessing

¨Kim Wyman and Jennifer Kilmer

¨Capsule Keepers

¨Musical Performances

¨Dance Performances

¨Children’s Activities

¨Centennial Memorabilia


¨Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of George Washington

¨Capitol Tours

¨Retrospective Slide Show

Everyone is invited!


The Capital Lakefair Royalty Court
The Capital Lakefair Royalty Court presented the program for the June 30, 2014, Olympia Kiwanis meeting.  These smart, lovely ladies gave us a brief glimpse into their lives and why being a part of Lakefair is important to them.  We were also delighted to hear the first public announcement of the "Grand Marshall" for this year is our own Kiwanian - Sam Reed!  And, did you know, the Lakefair Queen this year is Madison Murphy - a Key Club member - from Olympia High School!  (center, or third from Right in photo with Sam Reed). [More]

Olympia Parks, Art, and Recreation

Stephanie Johnson, from the City of Olympia Parks, Art, and Recreation office, spoke at the May 19, 2014, meeting of the Olympia Kiwanis Club.  Stephanie described the art pieces currently located throughout the city, together with the "Vote for Art" at Percival Landing.  During the month of August, the public can vote on the next piece of art the city will purchase!  For more information, check out their website at:


Jan B


Timberline Regional Libraries

Cheryl Heywood, Director of Timberline Regional Libraries (TRL), spoke at the May 12, 2014, meeting of the Olympia Kiwanis Club.  This was an "encore" presentation for Ms. Heywood.  She reminded us that the Timberline Regional Libraries serve 5 counties, a population base of 425,000 people, with 27 libraries, 314 employees and a $21 million dollar budget.  

But, the basis of today's presentation was all about library RESOURCES. [More]

Implications of generational differences in recruiting new members

Pam Peters, a Human Resources Consultant, spoke at the May 5, 2014, meeting of the Olympia Kiwanis Club.  Ms. Peters spoke about generational differences and what we need to know about them to recruit new members.

Millennnials - people born in 1980 or after, also known as the "9 1 1 " generation, are our new Kiwanians!  They want to leave their mark on the world by working for organizations that benefit society, encourage innovation, and provide them the opportunity to expand their skills. [More]

Secretary of State Kim Wyman

Secretary of State Kim Wyman spoke at the April 21, 2014, meeting of the Olympia Kiwanis Club.  Ms. Wyman stated that her three goals as Secretary of State are:

* to make it easier to do business in our state
* to modernize and simplify voter registration
* to protect and preserve our heritage and archives

Fortunately, the Corporations Division is on course with an analysis of it's computer system and is set to have a new, updated program in place in 2015.  This should make it easier for businesses to operate in our state.

The original federal Help America Vote  grant will expire in 2015. [More]

Olympia High School "Wired Baby" program

Katie Turkot, a teacher of sophomore health classes at Olympia High School spoke to the Olympia Kiwanis Club about their "Wired Baby" program on April 14, 2014.  Each high school sophomore takes a "baby" home for a night, after receiving instructions on it's care and feeding.  The "baby"(s) cost about $1,000 each, and are programmed with up to 15 different infant cycles.  The baby will need to be rocked, burped, fed, and have it's diaper changed.  Based on the computer within the "infant", it will register neglect, not enough neck support, shaken baby syndrome or missed care. [More]

Lots of Love as Secretary of State
Sam Reed

Olympia Kiwanian, and former Secretary of State  Sam Reed presented a program he calls - Lots of Love as Secretary of State at the March 10, 2014, meeting of the Olympia Kiwanis Club.

Sam said one thing he never anticipated when he first ran for Secretary of State, was how often he would be sued.  Sam was in office for less than a day, after his first (of 3) election as the Secretary of State, when, at 2 pm, he received a lawsuit naming him as a defendant in the Washington State primary election process.  This case was eventually decided at the U S Supreme Court, which gave us our current "top two" primary system!

While on a trade mission to China, the busload of Washington business delegates was giving Sam a hard time about being a "Cougar", versus a "Husky". [More]

Olympia Postmaster

Olympia Postmaster Dean Jack spoke at the March 3, 2014, meeting of the Olympia Kiwanis Club. 

A 3rd generation postal employee, Dean Jack has been the Postmaster in Olympia since November, 2012.  He reminded us that Benjamin Franklin was the first postmaster in the US.  And, that the U S Postal Services handles 40% of the world's mail!  While there has been a 40% decline in 1st class mail since 2007, the USPS competes with other package carriers - UPS and Fed Ex mainly - for the parcel delivery business.  In the 985xx zip code, there are 5 postal stations and 257 employees. [More]

  Achieving By Believing
Brady Ritter
Olympia High School Principal, and Olympia Kiwanian Matt Grant introduced the club to November's Achieving by Believing student - Brady Ritter at the November 24, 2014, meeting of the Olympia Kiwanis Club.  
Together with OHS English teacher Deb England, Brady was described as:
"Persistent, resilient, and a student who represents Olympia High School in the best way.   Brady has worked hard to become a part of Olympia High School.  He is the team manger of the Women's Basketball Team.  He is hardworking and persisted, well organized and honest." [More]
YMCA Safe Kids Day
Bud Blake, Jan Britt, Lucille Carlson, Linda Myhre Enlow, Bob Lien, Victor Minjares, Linda Oosterman, Dave Peeler, Dan Seachord, and Tawni Sharp from the Olympia Kiwanis Club all participated in the South Sound YMCA's Safe Kids's Day on April 25, 2015, at the Briggs YMCA.  Thanks to the Safe Kids Foundation's donation of bicycle helmets and the help of our Olympia High School Key Club members, helmets were fitted and distributed, for free, to over 60 children.  Just one more way to make a difference and improve the world!


Harbor Days
Three top officers from Olympia Federal Savings, the main sponsor of HARBOR DAYS, were present at the September 15, 2014, meeting of the Olympia Kiwanis Club.  Shelly Lively presented Olympia Federal Savingsrepresentatives with a plaque thanking them for their sponsorship!  Meanwhile, Shelly gave a wrap of our HARBOR DAYS event that was held August 29-31, 2014.  250 small business owners were able to participate! [More]

Kiwanis Law Enforcement Youth Camp
The 2014 Kiwanis Law Enforcement Youth Camp graduated 25 high school juniors and seniors on July 26, 2014, at the WSP Academy in Shelton.  Each year, a selected group of students from throughout the Pacific Northwest are chosen to participate in a week long "police academy".  They learn teamwork, leadership, discipline, and even how to make a bed (properly)!  Volunteer law enforcement officials from city, county, state, and federal agencies teach the students how to join their agencies, and some of the nitty gritty of law enforcement. [More]

Harbor Days Maritime Festival & Tugboat Races

For four decades, Olympia has celebrated its long maritime heritage — and the big-shouldered working boats that made it happen — with the Harbor Days Maritime Festival and Tug Boat Races.  The 41st annual festival fills the last weekend of August with a fascinating mix of seafaring, food and fun you won’t want to miss. Brought to you by the Olympia Kiwanis www.olympiakiwanis.org

As many as 15 vintage and modern tugs are expected to participate, and most will be open for tours at Percival Landing all day Saturday, August 30th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. [More]

Ten Olympia Kiwanians (and two Kiwanis spouse - Dennis Carlson and Lars Urvina) spent 48 hours supervising the 25th Annual Thurston County CANCER RELAY FOR LIFE booth and tents of the Olympia High School Key Club June 27th and 28th.  This annual event was held at the Timberline High School track.  The OHS Key Club team was one of 61 teams that raised over $310,000 for cancer research.  4 male Key Club Members and 15 female Key Club members participated in the event. [More]

Tenino Police Chief John Hutchins
Tenino Police Chief John Hutchins
Thurston County Pat Sutherland Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Awards
The Olympia Kiwanis Club hosted the Thurston County Pat Sutherland Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Awards at their June16, 2014, meeting at Tugboat Annies. Tenino Police Chief John Hutchins gave the keynote address on “Ready, Relevant, Engaged”. He stated that no matter the size of the agency, all law enforcement officers are dedicated to public safety.

Voted on by their peers to receive this award, the following officers were recognized:

Olympia Police Officer Jeff Herbig was recognized for being able to do the right thing at the right time for the right reason.

Lacey Police Officer Beverly Reinhold was recognized for her continuous efforts to prevent child sex crimes, her work towards community crime prevention, and her abilities as a detective and polygraph officer.

Tumwater Police recognized Lieutenant Jay Mason for being the consummate police officer who is hungry all the time and devours knowledge and information which he shares with others.

Thurston County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Tom Tomason was recognized for his leadership of the Civil Division and organizing and training a cadre of employees to serve warrants, writs, and evections while being respectful of people 

Washington State Patrol Trooper K. C. [More]

Happy Birthday Shelton Kiwanis!

Back in 1924, the Olympia Kiwanis Club sponsored the Shelton Kiwanis Club!  Eight members of the Olympia Kiwanis Club went to the Shelton Kiwanis Club's 90th birthday party on May 23, 2014.  Lynn Urvina, (current president of the Olympia Kiwanis Club), spoke about the history of both clubs and their service to their communities. 

Ron Pannell was named "Mr. Kiwanis" by the clubs in Division 38, for his 40+ years of service in Kiwanis in Mason County! [More]

Capital City Marathon

The Milepost 25 water stop at the Capital City Marathon on May 18, 2014, was a success thanks to the efforts of the Olympia Kiwanis Club and their main work force - Olympia High School Key Club members!  This water stop sees the folks from the "5 mile fun run "(is there really such a thing as a fun run?) (484 runners), the "Half Marathon" runners (1,005 runners), and the full "26.2 Capital City Marathon" runners (274 runners).

Six Kiwanians and 15 Key Club members provided the staffing to insure these healthy runners had a fun day from 0700 to 1300.  Just another way to support our community!

Jan B


March of Dimes for Healthier Babies
Olympia Kiwanians Jan Britt, Jane Field, Marla Kentfield, Dave Kirk, Bob Lien, Leslie Pryor, and Lynn Urvina all helped staff the registration desk for the 75th annual March of Dimes WALK AMERICA on April 27,2013, at Heritage Park.  This is one of over 800 WALK AMERICA's taking place nationwide.
The WALK AMERICA fundraising campaign raises 70% of funds raised by the March of Dimes to fight childhood and prenatal diseases and birth defect.
Our Waterfront Satellite Kiwanians also provided free hot dogs for the walkers when they returned from their 8 mile walk around Capital Lake.
Jan B


Welcome, Governor Greg!

PNW Kiwanis Governor Greg Holland visited the clubs in Division 38 March 18th and 19th, 2013.  Pictured speaking at the Olympia Kiwanis Club's March 18th meeting, Governor Greg reminded us that there are now a variety of types of memberships and clubs.  We need find the one that will work right for our members.  There is the 1) TRADITIONAL Kiwanis club, that meets every week for a meal and (normally) a speaker, there is the 2) NEXT GENERATION Kiwanis Club that may not meet very often but concentrates on service. [More]

February Achieving by Believing
Rebecca Downan was recognized at the February 11th, 2013, meeting of the Olympia Kiwanis Club for Achieving by Believing. Olympia High School (OHS) Principal Matthew Grant said that Rebecca is an incredibly inspirational student who is successful in whatever environment she is in. She is a transfer student from Ethiopia, and is also a track and soccer star at OHS. For her senior project, Rebecca chose to help 9 children in Ethiopia with school supplies so they would be able to get their education. [More]

Donation to Rosie's Place - Teen Drop In Center
At the October 22, 2012, meeting of the Olympia Kiwanis Club, President Jon Halvorson (left) presented a check for $2,893.64 to Community Youth Services Director Charles Shelan (right) for Rosie's Place - Teen Drop In Center. The money was a new fundraising effort that was part of the first annual Olympia Kiwanis Sponsorship of the Harbor Days Festival - held Labor Day Weekend each year.

Thanks to all Kiwanians and community members who bought a raffle ticket. Prizes were awarded at the September 17, 2012, meeting of the Olympia Kwianis Club, and included a $3,000 diamond necklace, donated by Panowitz Jewlers, a Kayak and a portable GPS device - donated by Cabelas Sporting Goods, and other prizes. [More]


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