The Kiwanis Club of Concord may put in a lot of hard work to support the community, but there’s fun and games too — literally.
“Kiwanis is an Indian name that roughly translates to ‘We like to party,’” said Ken Georgevits, communication director of the club, and party they will at their 59th annual Spring Fair, running from Thursday, May 15, through Sunday, May 18, at the Everett Arena in Concord.
“It’s our major fundraiser, and ... we try to make it very family-oriented,” Georgevits said. “It’s free admission and free parking, and between this and our annual car show we can generate $25,000 to put back into the community to support the holiday food program, college textbook scholarships and for Camp Spaulding in Concord.”
What started out as a simple trade show has turned into a full-fledged carnival over the years, with food vendors, rides and games transforming the Everett Arena parking lot into a fair.
“It’s good fun, and we like to say it’s the start of summer in Concord. When the kids start seeing the signs pop up and you hear them say, ‘Oh, the fair is coming!,’ we like that. A lot people don’t have the money or can’t travel, so this is like their trip to Disney World,” said Georgevits.
Georgevits will be at the fair whenever he can, handing out tickets and hanging out with the Salvation Army, which will be collecting its own donations.
“It’s really neat when you see these little kids taking money out of their own pocket to put in [the donation box]. It gives you hope and that’s a good feeling. That’s the best treatment out there,” he said.
The 40-member Kiwanis Club, which just celebrated its 90th anniversary, is completely volunteer-based.
“We are a service that is non-denominational and non-partisan. We are solely for the service with a focus on young children being priority No. 1,” Georgevits said.
The money from the fair will help with the holiday food program. Georgevits noted that 1,500 families will get food baskets that the organization helps fund and make.
“A lot of organizations do service just by writing out a check. We do service by rolling up our sleeves,” he said.
On an international level, the organization has helped with funds to supply pediatric trauma training in Boston for EMT’s and to provide help to children with Iodine Deficiency Disorder and Neonatal Tetanus.
“For those diseases, it’s not rocket science, it’s an easy fix — you just need money and an organization,” Georgevits said. “We picked up the torch. We raise the money the international fund uses to buy the vaccines and distribute them.”
As seen in the May 15, 2014 issue of the Hippo.