Kiwanis Club of Scripps Ranch member Jim McGinn participates in a club trash pickup event along Pomerado Road. (courtesy of Kiwanis Club of Scripps Ranch)
Kiwanis Club off to a good start
One of the newest members in the Kiwanis Club family is the Scripps Ranch chapter. While not yet a year old, its members are already living up to the Kiwanis reputation as stewards of the community by embracing their motto: Improving the world one child and one community at a time.
“We’ve only been around for a couple of months, and we’re just getting our feet on the ground,” said club President Holt Mebane. “One of the projects we’ve done was a voter registration drive, which was quite successful. Then our members organized and participated in a Park Clean-Up Day. On Nov. 20 we held our first big project – a fundraiser to benefit Rady Children’s Hospital and other community programs in Scripps Ranch.”
“This year, going into the holiday season with COVID being such a challenge for our health care institutions, the Kiwanis fundraiser was particularly appreciated and needed,” said Alexandra Loker, senior director of philanthropy at Rady Children’s Hospital. “The hospital has to be fully staffed to deal with this pandemic; we’ve had a very difficult year. So, we are very appreciative of what the Kiwanis are doing to help raise those needed funds at a critical time.”
“The fundraiser was one of many such venues that we are looking forward to doing in the future,” Mebane said. “The Rady event was done using Zoom. We charged $20 per screen. The way it worked, people paid on our website, then an hour before the event, we mailed out a Zoom link to everyone who had registered. This worked out fine because the star of our event was an expert at performing using live streaming.”
The headliner was magician Paul Draper, who has performed around the world and was a fixture at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles. Draper, a pioneer in the field of live online magic shows, regularly does his act-using Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic, making him the ideal person to star in this unique fundraiser.
“We also have two Key Clubs that we sponsor: the Scripps Ranch High School Key Club and the Mira Mesa High Key Club,” Mebane said. “A Key Club is sort of the high school version of Kiwanis Club. … There is a college version called Circle K. It’s really been a pleasure working with the Key Clubs.”
It is difficult enough to kick-start an organization like the Kiwanis on a good day, but when you add COVID-19 to the mix, the local Kiwanis president had to once again think outside the box. Mebane had to get creative.
“We’ve been meeting on Zoom and it’s worked out pretty well so far,” he said. “Of course, it’s not as good as meeting in person because you can’t connect on a personal level when everyone is on a separate TV monitor or computer. But with that said, people are enthusiastic and showing up for meetings, and we are moving forward.”
Still in the process of organizing the club, Mebane is focusing on letting everyone in Scripps Ranch know that Kiwanis is there to help the community, and all it takes to get the ball rolling is a phone call or an email.
“What we are trying to do now is to find out who needs our help. I’ve reached out to a few community leaders to build awareness of the club, not only to get additional members, but find out who needs our help and to find out what we can do for them,” Mebane said. “Kiwanis is primarily focused on helping children, so we try to find projects for that agenda. It can be fundraising to come up with money to give an organization like Rady, or it can be constructing and building things. We are ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work and start helping.”
With a current cadre of 20 members, the Kiwanis Club of Scripps Ranch is looking to fill its ranks with a few civic-minded volunteers. If interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org.