Spirit of service

Local service clubs continue tradition of caring the year around         

Brad McCloud
Brad McCloud

  Few communities in Colorado are better served by their Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions’ clubs than Grand Junction. And even with the difficult economy this past year was no exception. Their donations, of which nearly all of the monies donated stays local in Mesa County, tallied nearly $300,000 in 2011.

      The Kiwanis Club’s annual pancake breakfast raised $38,000 that went to local non-profits within Mesa County. Additionally, the group hosted its first “Kids Against Hunger” event in April of this year where volunteers packaged over 3000 high-protein meals for local children along with hungry kids around the world. “We truly embrace our goal of changing the world one child at a time,” says Vikki Bell, Kiwanis President, “We think globally and act locally.” This year the club assisted CASA of Mesa County, Marillac Clinic, Riverside Educational Center and Mesa County RSVP among many other recipients.

            The Kiwanis Club also honors local high school students with a “Student of the Month” program, holds quarterly food drives for the Community Food Bank, held a Trick or Treat Street which resulted in 2000 pounds of food donated and holds an annual golf tournament which raises funds for college scholarships for local students.

             The Grand Junction Rotary Club donated in excess of $155,000 to local charities in 2011. Their donations went to local non-profits such as the Salvation Army, Mesa Developmental Services, Food Bank of the Rockies, Western Slope Honor Flight and the Colorado National Monument Association to name but a few. The group also donates for dictionaries and schools supplies as well as other non-profits through its Robin Hood Committee.

            “We were able to give over $35,000 to The Rotary Foundation as well this year, bringing our total contribution to over $730,000.” says Chris Unfug, Immediate Past President. The Rotary Foundation helps the club support its mission of Serving Humanity Through Rotary on a worldwide basis.

            The Lions Club Carnival brought in over $100,000 in 2011 bringing its fundraising total over 85 years to over $4 million for Mesa County, helping to serve over 300 community projects. This year the club’s dollars went to help Hilltop, Hospice and Palliative Care, Mesa County Search and Rescue and many schools and educational facilities in Mesa County.

            “What we are most proud of is the fact the 100% of the funds donated to Lions stays right here in Mesa County,” says Brad McCloud, Club President of the club initially started to help fund then Mesa College. Additionally the Lions are about to roll out their “Random Acts of Kindness” program, now in its tenth year, where members in good standing are given one hundred dollars each to “pay forward” to a deserving individual, family or small group in need. Finally, the Lions are forming an idea committee to look toward funding a new, signature project in the valley added McCloud.