Q&A: Meet the Kiwanis Club of New Canaan

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Today, we catch up with Susan Serven, who heads the Kiwanis Club of New Canaan’s communications efforts. (As a member of the club these past three years, I speak from personal experience that it is a terrific group of people and we have a lot of fun together.)

Some members of the Kiwanis Club of New Canaan with guest speaker Lauren Patterson of the New Canaan Community Foundation (C) at a recent meeting.

New Canaanite: Is the Kiwanis Club of New Canaan part of a national or international organization? If so, please provide details of that organization, such as the year it started, its size and scope.

Susan Serven: Kiwanis Club of New Canaan is a chapter of Kiwanis International, which is a global non-profit founded in 1915 in Detroit, MI. It’s an organization of members of every age, who are dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time.

The Kiwanis Club of New Canaan raises money throughout the year by hosting events and then distributes the funds to worthy organizations that apply for grants. The Club is always interested in service projects geared toward youth.

Please tell us a little about the Kiwanis Club of New Canaan itself. When was it founded, how many members does it have and how often do those members meet? Also, please let us know how members may inquire about joining.

We currently have more than 40 members, of whom about two dozen are active. Currently the Kiwanis Club of New Canaan meets the first, second and third Thursday’s of each month at noon for meetings at the New Canaan Library and for lunch at the South End on Pine Street.

Talk to us about local impact. What project or projects can you highlight to give our readers an idea of what the Kiwanis Club has accomplished here in town?

Over the many years of its existence, Kiwanis Club of New Canaan has worked on dozens of events and service projects geared towards youth. Recent projects include the annual:

  • Holiday Stroll S’mores and Firepit
  • Patrick’s Day Event at St. Aloysius School
  • Clean up of Kiwanis Park
  • Grant allocations to local nonprofits
  • Scholarships to local high school students
  • The Zerbini Circus with the New Canaan Y

To name just a few.

How does Kiwanis raise funds?

We raise funds through planning and hosting events, sometimes with other organizations, and through member dues.

What does the organization support?

Kiwanis supports organizations that support youth.

Now tell us something about what you all do that might surprise the average New Canaanite.

It might surprise some that we actually say the Pledge of Allegiance at Kiwanis luncheons. It might also surprise everyone that some members (who shall remain nameless!) do most of the cooking, from scratch, at some of our events, including the annual St. Patrick’s Day dinner! Lastly, it would probably impress most that our longest-serving member is currently David Borglum, who has been a Kiwanis member for more than 50 years.

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