10 reasons: The 2024 Kiwanis International Convention 

10 reasons: The 2024 Kiwanis International Convention 

From education and inspiration to fellowship and voting, a lot of opportunities are packed into our list. 

By Julie Saetre 

The 2024 Kiwanis International Convention will be July 3-6 in Denver, Colorado, U.S. Register now to join your fellow Kiwanians for the most dynamic event on the Kiwanis calendar.  

Here’s why you don’t want to sit this one out: 

  1. Insights and education. No matter what you and your club need to thrive, we’ve got the expert advice and inside information to help you reach — and surpass — your goals. Choose from a diverse lineup of workshops in key categories: 
    • Growing club membership and expanding club reach. Help members take ownership of club growth. Reduce conflict, eliminate apathy and reenergize your club.  
    • Financial stability and fundraising. Ramp up grant-writing techniques to secure key funding for more impactful service projects. Take a fresh approach to fundraising as clubs share how they reimagined stagnant fundraisers or created successful new ones. 
    • Succeed in cyberspace. Maximize your impact on social media. Combat cyberthreats and safeguard club information. Level up your Kiwanis experience through our new membership platform, Kiwanis Engage. 
    • Amplify your service. Learn club secrets for creating more meaningful, effective and sustainable service projects.  
  1. Leadership your way. Wherever you are on your Kiwanis leadership journey, you’ll find motivation and mentorship for your current role — and preparation for the next levels. For leaders at the club, division, district and international levels, our targeted workshops will send participants home feeling inspired, prepared and empowered. 
  1. Kiwanis family fellowship. Reconnect with Kiwanis friends and make new connections from around the world. The Kiwanis International convention provides plenty of opportunities to relax and socialize — from the Welcome Reception to the Convention Kickoff to the grand finale, Kiwanis Dancing Through the Decades. And be sure to stop by the Circle K International booth in Kiwanis Marketplace. Our university/college members are holding their convention alongside Kiwanis, and it’s a great opportunity to learn about their amazing service work. 
  1. Kiwanis Launchpad: Embracing Change. Explore what’s possible when you and your club embrace change. Four internationally known speakers share secrets on nurturing lifelong club members and incorporating new ideas. Kiwanis Launchpads are short, high-impact and sure to leave you full of ideas. 
  1. Kiwanis Marketplace. Find inspiration, fellowship, products and more at this convention hotspot. Here, you can register for the convention, browse booths from vendors and partners, shop for Kiwanis merchandise (including convention-branded items), ask questions, participate in service projects, pose for fun photos and visit Kiwanis candidates’ campaign booths. New to the Marketplace this year is the Membership Fair. Pick up tips from clubs that have added members! (Interested in exhibiting? Apply by April 15!) 
  1. Inspiration. From the triumph of love over hate to the power of perseverance, our captivating conference speakers will motivate and move you. The opening session features Chris Singleton, a former professional baseball player who was 18 when his mother died in a racially motivated mass killing. He has dedicated his life to sharing his message of resilience, forgiveness and unity. In 2015, Diana Nyad achieved her 35-year quest of becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida. She will inspire you to navigate your own challenges and opportunities during the convention.  
  1. Annual meeting. Make your voice heard. You’ll be informed about the business of Kiwanis International, and delegates from clubs around the world will elect our next leaders and vote on amendments. Be in the room where it happens! 
  1. Celebrations. From the Welcome Reception and the Convention Kickoff to the Dancing through the Decades last-night gala, you’ll have plenty of time to celebrate Kiwanis and the amazing work our clubs and members accomplish every day. You can personalize your experience by having breakfast with our Signature Project Contest finalists (and seeing who wins the big prize), enjoying lunch while celebrating the accomplishments of our Service Leadership Program participants and discovering what’s possible through the Kiwanis Children’s Fund. Then hit the dance floor with your fellow Kiwanians — in clothing that reflects your favorite decade. The eight-piece band Your Generation in Concert will perform songs from five decades of hits. 
  1. Extras for early birds. The first 1,000 registrants for the full convention package will each receive a free ticket to see the Colorado Rockies take on the Milwaukee Brewers July 4 at Coors Field. After the game, stay for a special fireworks display. (Note: Transportation to or from the game will not be provided.) On Wednesday, July 3, a lucky group will go on a field trip with Landscape Structures to an amazing playground near Denver. Act fast — only 50 spots are available! (Transportation and lunch are included. Book the tour through your conference registration confirmation email.) 
  1. Destination Denver. In the Mile High City, you can dine at award-winning restaurants, sip craft beer in one of many breweries, tour historical sites, join an ATV tour, take the family to Denver’s world-class zoo or its downtown aquarium — design your own adventure! Or use Denver as a starting point for exploring the Rocky Mountains, only two hours away from the city. 
How to publicize your club in local media

How to publicize your club in local media

Kiwanis member Brooke Davis has five tips for getting your projects in the news.

By Erin Chandler 

Your Kiwanis club is doing good throughout your community — but to have the greatest impact, you need to let your community know! Local print, TV and online media can increase attendance at your events, attract potential new club members and inspire other Kiwanis clubs looking for project ideas. 

Want to raise your own media exposure? Brooke Davis has some insights for you. Based on her experience with the Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos, New Mexico, U.S. — which consistently receives local publicity, appearing frequently in two online area newspapers — the suggestions below can help put your club in the community spotlight. 

  1. Know your news outlets. Read, watch and listen to local news so you can get to know each outlet’s style and how it presents information. Davis partially attributes her club’s publicity success to its place in a close-knit community with two online newspapers, one of which publishes a weekly print edition. For each event, she must consider which outlet and medium will help her reach the largest possible audience — or just the right audience. 
  1. Develop your messaging. Whether you are writing your own news release email for local publications or preparing to be interviewed, develop about three key, concise messages to convey, including the most important information about your event and the Kiwanis organization’s service focus. Find templates to help you write your key messages at “PR Tips and Tools” on the Kiwanis Branding and Marketing page
  1. Establish a relationship with local journalists. Davis advises clubs in smaller communities to contact the editors of their community publications directly. “In a small town, editors are usually eager to share stories about community members and organizations and their activities,” she says. If you live in a larger community, contact a reporter who covers stories involving children, philanthropy, education or service. Look for information on individual reporters and their contact details on the news outlet’s website or the reporter’s social media. 
  1. Offer to provide photos. “I realized early on that the editors really want photos of our speakers and activities and events,” Davis says. “I try to take enough photos so I can send different ones to each paper.” Photos of your club in action are best! 
  1. Remember to say, “thank you.” As part of building rapport with editors and journalists, Davis makes a point of thanking them for any coverage the club receives. A little courtesy goes a long way — especially for maintaining relationships as you look toward publicizing your next event or project. 

Looking for more tips, tools and resources? Check out the Kiwanis Branding and Marketing page. 

Stan Soderstrom receiving praise and official honors

Stan Soderstrom receiving praise and official honors

Heading into retirement, Kiwanis International’s executive director is being recognized for his work and service. 

By Tony Knoderer 

Kiwanis International Executive Director Stan Soderstrom has received multiple state and local honors in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S. — home of the Kiwanis International Office — as he approaches his January 31 retirement from the organization.  

During a dinner in his honor last week, Soderstrom’s current and former colleagues on the Kiwanis staff informed him that he had been awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash — the highest honor for Indiana citizens. 

In addition, January 31 has been proclaimed “Stan Soderstrom Day” in Indianapolis by the city’s mayor, Joe Hogsett. In its own recognition of Soderstrom’s work and service, the Indianapolis City-County Council praised Soderstrom for “lifelong service to others and empowering youth worldwide.” 

Throughout the day on January 31, Kiwanis leaders and staff members have also been sharing their professional and personal appreciation of Soderstrom, who has been Kiwanis International’s executive director since 2010 — after joining Kiwanis International’s staff in 1997. 

“Stan’s dedication to serving the children of the world has been an inspiration for more than two decades,” says 2023-24 Kiwanis International President Katrina Baranko. “While he’s retiring from his role as executive director, Stan will always be an important member of the Kiwanis family. I speak for all Kiwanis members and staff when I wish him a happy retirement.”