It might take a little while for members of the Lynnwood Kiwanis to blow out the candles on the club’s birthday cake this Saturday.
That’s because this year marks the 50th anniversary for the Lynnwood Kiwanis Club. A special birthday brunch is being held at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 8 at the Lynnwood Embassy Suites (20610 44th Ave. W.).
Lynnwood Kiwanis officially turned 50 years old on May 23 and the city of Lynnwood issued proclamation declaring that day as The Kiwanis Club of Lynnwood Day.
Larry Merwin, who has been a past president and held other positions in the club, has been a member for 26 years. Like most members of Kiwanis, a friend of Merwin’s invited him to attend a meeting.
“After a couple of visits, I joined,” Merwin said. “It’s a way of providing service to the community on a volunteer basis … I’ve established long-term friendships with folks who have a similar desire to give back to the community. Along with my family and faith, I consider my community as a part of the foundation for my life.”
Most recently, club members helped cook and serve breakfast at the recent Relay for Life cancer event at Edmonds Stadium. Every year the club awards scholarships to graduating seniors in the Edmonds School District. This year Lynnwood Kiwanis is awarding $13,000 to 10 students.
Another community project involved the cleaning out of English Ivy at Meadow Beach Park as part of a nationwide Kiwanis One Day Project in April. Seventeen bags of invasive ivy were removed by volunteers.
Current President David Little enjoys the different community service projects.
“For me, it’s the projects and doing projects with like-minded folks,” he said. “We get together and have a good time. There’s a lot of camaraderie and a lot of friendship and fellowship.”
Lynnwood Kiwanis also spearheads food drives for the Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace (Concern for Neighbors) food banks. The club also sponsors Key clubs in the Edmonds School District, which are student-led organizations under the Kiwanis International family.
The club has helped install playground equipment at two local schools and in the past has assisted with the Lynnwood Easter Egg Hunt and Civic Lights ceremony. In the 1990s, the club also rebuild a home, Lynnwood Kiwanis House, which provided housing for unwed mothers. The club eventually turned over operation of the house to the Volunteers of America.
The age of Lynnwood Kiwanis members is from the early 20s to 91. One of the older members, Bryon Gourley, is a charter member of the club.
“We span the range,” Merwin said.
Lynnwood Kiwanis meets weekly at 7 a.m. Thursdays at the Lynnwood Fire Station (18800 44th Ave. W.).
“We’d like to welcome anybody,” Little said.