BAXTER SPRINGS - Many people have asked what do the local Kiwanis do? Let me start with the motto: "A man never stands as tall until he steps down to help a child."

This motto continues locally by serving the children of our own community. The local chapter is an area community club with members from Riverton, Galena, and Baxter Springs.

This year the Kiwanis are bringing back the local Easter Egg Hunt to the BHS football field. This Easter season we will be giving individual packaged candy eggs to all the student participants Pre-K through 4th grade. The hunt begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 31.

The mission of Kiwanis is to serve children with needs in the community. The last several years the local Kiwanis have sponsored a T-ball team, and provided shirts and hats for coaches and athletes. We have given money to the local Linus Organization for their Weighted Blanket Program that provides weighted blankets through the Southeast Special Education network for autistic children. They have provided over 300 blankets from Lowell Chapter as far as Colorado Springs,Wichita, and Joplin.

The purchase of playground equipment for both Central and Lincoln grade schools during the remodeling stages was a major outlay for the club. At the high school, money was given for the beginning of the Pantry Program for needy students. The Vocal Music Program was needing funds for a special trip to a special contest and this was also provided by the Kiwanis Club.

Each year Post 206 of the local American Legion gives a deserving senior the American Legion Leadership Medallion, and this year the Kiwanis went in to help with the purchase and giving of the award. The award is given for leadership, and citizenship is also a strong belief of the members of the Kiwanis. Each year two $1,000 scholarships are given to seniors who apply and are selected by local Kiwanis for their leadership and need in their first year of college. With the help of the high school counselors, each year we also sponsor the Hugh O'Brian Leadership Award for outstanding leadership in the present year.

Kiwanis continue to provide time and energy to the local grade school program, "Trunk or Treat", by providing candy for each student on their dress-up day. The Kiwanis also provide books at Christmas time for grade school students in the district. Kiwanis members enjoy going to each classroom and passing them out. Kiwanis have provided Christmas gifts to needy families at Christmas time during tragedies such as tornadoes, floods, and fire damages.

For more information on the Local Kiwanis Club or even wanting to donate to this special organization please contact Larry Crozier 620-856-3092.