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Local kids benefit from new volunteer service club

Vicki Hermansen | Dec 06, 2019

Local kids benefit from new volunteer service club


East Fork Region

Kids in Ohio’s East Fork region will benefit from a new community group that helps kids when members volunteer at area events over the next two weekends.

The new club fulfills a promise Bob and Judy Raub made when they moved from Pennsylvania to Batavia, Ohio. The couple knew they wanted to continue volunteering to help kids, a commitment they loved. In fact, they were so dedicated to service that, as longtime members of Kiwanis clubs in Mount Joy and Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, they first looked for homes in cities and towns with a Kiwanis presence.  

Local kids benefit from new volunteer service club The Raubs had already told their friends that they would help start a new club if they found the perfect home in a community lacking a Kiwanis presence. They remained true to their words when they found their new home in Batavia and helped open the Kiwanis Club of East Fork Region.

“We’re already making an impact,” Bob Raub said. “We have about 19 members currently and have others who are interested in joining us as we help make this community an even better place and help kids who most need our help.”

Kiwanis International is a global organization of volunteers who give their time to projects and fundraisers benefiting children. Clubs select projects that help kids in their communities and hold fundraisers to make them possible. While in Pennsylvania, the Raubs’ clubs held pancake breakfasts and a holiday breakfast with Santa and sponsored Kiwanis youth leadership clubs in schools. Their clubs raised money by hosting a community bingo and charity auction and from sales of barbecue chicken.    

“Kids need Kiwanis in cities and towns around the world,” Judy Raub said. “Our clubs and volunteers step in to provide services and programs that kids need most. Our volunteers believe that kids deserve to grow up happy, healthy, safe and loved, and we’ll do whatever we can to help make that happen.”

The Kiwanis Club of East Fork Region will participate in Batavia’s Christmas in the Village from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. Club members will shepherd families through the local businesses and activities that culminate in a holiday party in the village hall.

On Dec. 14, the Kiwanis Club of East Fork Region will help Empower Youth stage a holiday party for 750 children and families. The club will assist with setup, games, activities, food distribution and gifts from Santa. Empower Youth has a special connection with the Kiwanis Club of East Fork Region — the Raubs’ daughter, Buffy Clements, has volunteered there in the past and is now a member of the new Kiwanis club.  

“I had talked with my daughter about Kiwanis and our new club. I had come to the realization that with her busy schedule, she would not have time to join us,” Bob Raub said, noting that Clements had served on a local school board and has other commitments. “And after telling me that she was not coming, she did come to our meeting, and brought a friend and her husband. And her 18-year-old son and 20-year-old daughter also joined.”

Clements provided the connection to Empower Youth and the volunteer opportunity to give area kids a holiday party. Bob Raub sees an ongoing relationship with the organization that provides food, clothing and mentoring to kids who need it most. “It’s a great fit for our club,” he said.  

Judy Raub said the club will assess other volunteer opportunities as it grows and attracts additional members.

“We’ll work where we’re needed to help kids in this community thrive, prosper and grow. It’s what we’re about.”

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