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2022 Signature Project Contest winners

Erin Chandler | Jun 09, 2022

Kiwanis members worked harder than ever over the past year to bring their communities together through impactful service, fundraisers and events. On June 9 at the 2022 Kiwanis International Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, Kiwanians gathered to celebrate the best of Kiwanis clubs’ signature projects.

Out of a record number of 415 contest entries, this year’s six winning projects were notable for both reuniting communities and reaching out to form new connections following a turbulent year that included COVID-19 lockdowns, natural disasters and violent conflicts. Through fun outdoor events and hands-on service, these clubs promoted health, education and fellowship in creative and effective ways.  

For contest details, visit the Signature Project Contest webpage.

Tier One (clubs with 27 or fewer members)

Bronze

Kiwanis Club of Greater Swedesboro, New Jersey District:08085 Run/Sit/Walk

A New Jersey District Kiwanis club chartered in 2015 is already making a big difference in the community. The Kiwanis Club of Greater Swedesboro, New Jersey, quickly figured out a way to make an impact for kids in the community and grow its ranks. Soon after being chartered, the club got to work on creating its signature project: the 08085 Run/Walk/Sit, named after the ZIP code for the community the club serves. Participants choose whether to run or walk on a paved, dirt or wetland path. It's quickly becoming a popular event. The club has raised more than US$21,000 in five years and added 25 members to the roster.

Silver

Kiwanis Club of North Port, Florida District: Children's Community Clothing Closet 

Families from 11 schools can turn to the Children's Community Clothing Closet in North Port, Florida, for help. Created for area families who might not be able to afford school uniforms or dress clothing, the closet is managed by the Kiwanis Club of North Port. In 2021, club members increased their outreach and met more families at community events. They even provided clothing to families in Louisiana and Tennessee when those states dealt with natural disasters.

Gold

Kiwanis Club of Chelsea, New England and Bermuda District: Track & Field Day

signature project web 1 After a year of pandemic lockdowns, members of the Kiwanis Club of Chelsea, Massachusetts, say it was great to see kids being kids — running, being silly, having fun and smiling. Each year, the club hosts Track & Field Day in the community. Any student from kindergarten through grade 12 can compete in any of nine challenges. Participants also have fun with Hula-Hoops and water balloons. Every member of the 24-person Chelsea Kiwanis Club gets involved in the project, which also raises money for four scholarships or apprenticeships. 

Tier Two (clubs with 28 or more members)

Bronze

Kiwanis Club of Appleton Fox Cities, Wisconsin-Upper Michigan District: Kiwanis 'n Cops 'n Kids Reading Together

When COVID-19 caused most of the community to shut down, the Kiwanis Club of Appleton Fox Cities, Wisconsin, still found a way to meet a need. The club created the Kiwanis 'n Cops ‘n Kids Reading Together project. The club organized times for police officers to read to kids with appropriate social distancing, such as outside at Little Free Libraries. The club also distributed books focusing on stories about Hmong and Latino characters so the young readers could see themselves represented. The project was such a success that the club plans to continue to schedule more readings in the months and years ahead.

Silver

Kiwanis Club of South Central Indiana, Indiana District: Balloon Fest

The Kiwanis Indiana Balloon Fest — created by the Kiwanis Club of South Central Indiana — has quickly become one of the most popular annual fall festivals in the Bloomington and Monroe County communities. Every September, thousands of people come to see the hot-air balloons’ myriad colors, shapes and sizes. Proceeds from the festival support six Little Free Libraries in underserved neighborhoods and youth programming by the club's nonprofit partners.

Gold

Kiwanis Club of Olympia, Pacific Northwest District: Food Bank Gardens Greenhouse

A crowd of people stand behind a pile of pumpkins. The Kiwanis Club of Olympia, Washington, raises, harvests and donates from 25,000 to 35,000 pounds of produce every year. What started as one garden on a small plot in 1990 has grown to three gardens, the largest of which fills about two acres. The produce — including carrots, peas and potatoes — is sent to the local food bank where the need for fresh fruits and vegetables is insatiable. The club is working to build a greenhouse on one of the farms to provide fresh produce year-round.

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