Kiwanis (with permission of the Queens Chronicle)
Cambria Heights Kiwanis Get
Kudos For Membership Growth
By DANIEL HENDRICK, Assistant Editor, Queens Chronicle
The Kiwanis Club of Cambria Heights got some
well deserved recognition last weekend. After accepting a challenge by the president of
the Kiwanis International organization to increase membership, the Cambria Heights group
nearly quintupled its membership, rising from 15 as of last October to 71 at present.
We were number two in terms of growth in the
entire Kiwanis organization, said St. Albans resident C. Janet Banks, who is
president of the local Kiwanis. In return for posting such a steep boost, Nettles Brown,
the president of Kiwanis International, bestowed special honors on the Cambria Heights
group at a reception at the Sheraton Hotel in Jamaica on Saturday night.
Banks, who has led the local Kiwanis for five years, received a Tablet
of Honor, which is the organizations highest award, for her community service. Two
other members, Cambria Heights residents Lloyd Hicks and Morris Lee, received the George
Hickson award for their years of service to the Kiwanis. Hicks has been a member for 25
years and Lee has been a member since the local groups inception 30 years ago.
The group additionally extended honorary memberships to 11 sponsors and
community luminaries, including recently elected State Senator Malcolm Smith.
The Kiwanis is one of the largest service organizations in the world,
with over 300,000 members from 8,000 local clubs in 79 countries. The organizations
name translates as express ourselves in a Native American tongue. The
groups mission is to render service to the needy and elderly, and especially to
children, around the world.
On a local level, the Kiwanis Club of Cambria Heights focuses its
efforts on fund raising to treat iodine deficiency disease and on encouraging academic
performance. The group sponsors a Builders Club, based at I.S. 238 in Hollis, which
rewards students who have shown improvements at school. The Builders Club has also shown a
remarkable increase in membership, with the current number at 227.
The Cambria Heights Kiwanis also organizes two high-school-level Key
Clubs, based at Hillcrest High School and the School For Humanities Magnet School, both
located in Jamaica. Through these and other initiatives, Banks said that the local Kiwanis
have made a tangible difference to the East and Southeast Queens communities.
It is so important to create a world where people are aware of
each others problems, their needs and conditions, she said. We give our
young people leadership opportunities, too, where otherwise they might be involved with
Banks added that while she was pleased with the awards her group
received, she said she was optimistic that the group could continue to grow. We are
at the silver level, but we want to make it to the gold, which means we would have 100
The Kiwanis Club of Cambria Heights welcomes new members every Tuesday
at 7:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel, located at 151-20 Baisley Boulevard in Jamaica.
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