Kiwanis quietly helps community

The local chapter of the Kiwanis Cub has a simple and inspiring mission: Improve the lives of kids in our community. They do so in variety of ways and welcome your help.

“It feels good to do good,” said Bob Weiderrick,

Bob is the current president of Hailey Kiwanis and he’s one of those under-the-radar local heroes who help make our community so special. A welder by trade, Bob made the bike sculpture in front of Sturtos on Main Street in Hailey, created the kachina-style sun at the airport and the longboard bench on the bike path to honor his late son.

Bob has been a member of Kiwanis International for nearly a decade now, and he explained the impressive list of accomplishments the club has quietly accomplished.

Their most visible achievements include rebuilding a half-dozen local park play structures. They began in 2014 by replacing the equipment in Deerfield Park. Their latest success was installing a playground at Keefer park and erecting the pavilion at what was formally known as Balmoral Park. The Hailey City Council was so impressed with their efforts over the years, last fall they renamed the Woodside park after the Kiwanis club.

The parks are just part of the good Kiwanis is doing.  They have also donated over 1,000 new coats to kids in need in the past 5 years. They sponsor local sports teams, support traveling youth programs and student performances, and have even donated diapers to The Advocates. They also team up with other local non-profits like the Papoose Club and the Wood River Women’s Foundation to support worthy causes.

“It’s really rewarding to make these things happen,” Bob said. “We’re not good at self-promotion, but we want more people to know what we’re doing so that more people will get involved and help us do even more good things for our community.”

Kiwanis club is open to anyone interested in making a difference. Founded by businessmen in Michigan in 1915, the organization now has a diverse membership of over 550,000 in 80 countries.

“A lot of people have the conception that we’re a bunch of old guys, but our club is open to men and women of any age, “ Bob said, “We’d like to see more moms and parents join as they are often more connected to kids and their needs.”

Kiwanis will be holding an Open House on Tuesday, February 25th from 6 – 7:30pm at Mountain West Bank in Hailey. Check out HaileyKiwanis.org for more information.

If you can’t join you can still support their efforts by dropping off aluminum cans anytime at Wiederrick’s Custom Metal Works at 4051 Glenbrook Drive in Hailey’s Light Industrial Park. The can collect drive has raised over $15,000 to help buy park equipment.

“Kiwanis is a great club for people who want to be around other people who want to make positive impacts for our a community and our youth, “Bob said.

 

By Mike McKenna

This story originally appeared in the Chamber Corner for the Wood River Weekly.

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