Group II finalists announced for the 2023 Signature Project Contest

Erin Chandler | May 05, 2023
The top 20 finalists have been selected for consideration in the 2023 Kiwanis Signature Project Contest. This year, more than 425 clubs from 42 Kiwanis districts submitted entries — a record-breaking number! Altogether, these projects will have a positive impact on the lives of approximately 315,000 kids throughout 27 countries. 

Communities around the world know their Kiwanis clubs through their signature projects. Some clubs hold festivals and fundraisers that are eagerly anticipated throughout the year. Others are always ready to hand out books to developing readers. Each signature project is tailored to the community it serves with the goal of making it a better place to be a kid. 

For the Signature Project Contest, each district selected its nominee to compete against clubs from other districts. The Service and Partnerships Committee of the Kiwanis International Board of Trustees then reviewed the district winners and selected 10 finalists in each of two groups based on club size. The finalists below were selected from Group II — clubs with 28 members or more. 

The gold, silver and bronze winners for each group will be announced on June 22 at the Signature Project Breakfast during the 2023 Kiwanis International Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. Convention registration ends June 5. Thank you to all the clubs that took the time and effort to apply! 

Here are the Group II finalists in alphabetical order by district: 

California-Nevada-Hawaii District 
Kiwanis Club of Huntington Beach 
Kiwanis Family Fun Day
For 20 years, Kiwanis Family Fun Day, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Huntington Beach, California, U.S., has served as the official Easter egg hunt for the entire community. Thousands attend the event, which also features many booths, a dunk tank and live entertainment. Thanks to a partnership with Huntington Beach Fire Outreach Foundation and Braille specialists, the most recent Family Fun Day also included an egg hunt with over 50 beeping eggs for children who are blind. 

Capital District 
Kiwanis Club of Arlington 
Annual Blueberry Sales 

When the Kiwanis Club of Arlington, Viriginia, U.S., first held its blueberry sale 10 years ago, members sold just 250 boxes — but word got around that these berries were, according to the club’s tagline, “so good you’ll think you picked them yourself!” Last year, they sold over 1,400 boxes, which adds up to seven tons of blueberries. On top of that, the club lets customers buy boxes of berries for a local food bank; over the past three years, more than two tons of blueberries have been donated. Proceeds from the sale benefit an array of nonprofits in the community as well as the club’s Key Club scholarship program.  

Illinois-Eastern Iowa District 
Kiwanis Club of Maquoketa 
Miles for Maizie 

When 7-year-old Maizie lost her leg in a lawn mowing accident in 2017, the community came together to support her. The Kiwanis Club of Maquoketa, Iowa, U.S., decided to hold an annual race in honor of Maizie that raises both awareness of lawnmower safety and funds for 50 Legs, the organization that gave Maizie her prosthetic. Many families struggle to afford quality prosthetics that might not be covered by insurance; 50 Legs provides custom prosthetics that they replace as recipients grow. The club’s Miles for Maizie event includes a petting zoo, a bounce house and a slushie truck. Over 400 participants run or walk the course that is lined with signs displaying lawn safety tips. 

 Indiana District 
Kiwanis Club of Valparaiso 
Valparaiso Kiwanis Ramp Committee 

Since 2007, the Kiwanis Club of Valparaiso, Indiana, U.S., has been involved in over 150 wheelchair ramp installations. Each ramp comes with a story of lives changed for the better and families brought closer together in times of need. Thanks to partnerships with the Porter County Council on Aging and the Porter County Community Foundation, recipients are not charged for the ramps. Currently, 56 Kiwanis ramps are in operation. Kiwanians inspect and repair the ramps every year, and when a ramp is no longer needed, it is refurbished for the next recipient.  

 New England and Bermuda District 
Kiwanis Club of Orono-Old Town 
Orono-Old Town Kiwanis Auction-Yard Sale 

Members of the Kiwanis Club of Orono-Old Town, Maine, U.S., spend over 1,800 volunteer hours each year preparing for their two-day summer auction and yard sale event. Club members collect donations weekly in their box truck and sort them into the six buildings the club purchased for this project. Generations of families in the community look forward to the annual sale, where they can purchase everything from household items and furniture to toys and bikes to books and antiques. After the event, nonprofit community partner organizations collect remaining items for their facilities and programs. Proceeds from the sale also go toward a broad range of community and youth service programs. 
Ohio District 
Kiwanis Club of North Ridgeville 
Trykes for Tikes 

The Kiwanis Club of North Ridgeville, Ohio, U.S., began “Trykes for Tikes” in support of then-Ohio District Governor Amy Zimmerman’s Ohio Kiwanis First Family Project of 2015-16. Since then, club members have given over a dozen Amtrykes, specialized tricycles adapted for people with disabilities, to kids in their community. These tricycles contribute to improved physical and mental health in children who receive them. Most of the Amtrykes have been customized to meet individual children’s needs, while five have gone to local schools, where they will enable many children now and in the future to exercise and socialize with their peers.  

 Pacific Northwest District 
Kiwanis Club of Canby 
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library 

In June 2022, the Kiwanis Club of Canby, Oregon, U.S., held a Dolly Llama Party to celebrate the club’s fifth anniversary as a sponsor of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The party featured games, crafts, snacks, live goats and llamas and, of course, free books for kids. Through the Imagination Library, the club has provided a total of 46,318 books to kids ages 5 and under in the Canby community. The club funds the project through proceeds from the Canby Kiwanis Thrift Store. Currently, 806 children are receiving one free book by mail each month through the program, and an additional 1,031 have “graduated.” 
Philippine Luzon District 
Kiwanis Club of Daragang Magayon 
KCDM-DNHS Reading Hub 

When the Kiwanis Club of Daragang Magayon, Legazpi, Albay, Philippines, saw teachers and students in the community struggling with a learning gap stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, they decided to help. The club transformed an abandoned room at Daraga National High School into a Reading Hub. Members created an engaging classroom environment by painting walls, fixing the ceiling, making tables out of recycled wood and providing books and school supplies. The Reading Hub has only existed for a year, and it has already helped a thousand struggling readers improve their literacy skills.  

Rocky Mountain District 
Kiwanis Club of Glenwood Springs 
Kiwanis Bike Rodeo Safety Fair 

When parents bring back a bicycle helmet that the Kiwanis Club of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, U.S., gave their child for free at the club’s annual Bike Rodeo Safety Fair, showing the damage it sustained in saving that child’s life, club members are reminded of why their event is so important. The club gives out hundreds of helmets at the fair, where local police provide bike safety instruction and volunteer mechanics perform bicycle inspections and repairs. Kids are then able to practice safe riding on a course set up with traffic signs and intersections, making for a day of fun and lifesaving learning. 

Texas-Oklahoma District 
Kiwanis Club of Denton 
Denton Kiwanis Children’s Clinic 

For 100 years, families in northern Denton County, Texas, U.S., have been able to turn to the Kiwanis Club of Denton’s Children’s Clinic for medical, dental, prescription and vision care for their kids, free of charge. This has been a literal lifesaver for families who might not otherwise have been able to afford these services. In recent years, the clinic has also begun to offer mental health care, and it has even been known to provide needed equipment like wheelchairs, crutches and knee scooters. The clinic is staffed and overseen by club members. Through fundraising, grants and partnerships, the current budget enables them to offer over US$100,000 in services.  


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