The Kiwanis Club of New Canaan met at the New Canaan YMCA on Friday to give $16,000 to 16 local nonprofit organizations serving youth, thanks largely to funds raised at the Zerbini Family Circus last June.
According to Kiwanian David Hoyle, an attorney who sits on the club’s Allocations Subcommittee, just three years ago the club was only able to give away $2,000. “I think it is just a wonderful thing to be able to give this much money away,” Hoyle told the New Canaanite. “You feel like you’re making that much more of a difference. It’s really great and it’s wonderful because of all of the work that the folks and [Kiwanian] Kathy [Holland] and [YMCA Marketing Director] Kristina [Barrett] do for the service. They work their tails off and they make all of the money to give away so it’s really great.”
Kiwanian and chair of a committee raising money for Thorpe Family Residence Ann Wronski, was one of the many recipients of the grants and was thankful for the support from the Kiwanis Club. “The connection between Kiwanis and Thorpe is very cool,” Wronski said. “It invites opportunities for the kids. [For example], they are going to be coming [toNew Canaan] June 20 for the [Zerbini Family] Circus and would never have [if not for the Kiwanis Club]. It’s been a really nice partnership.”
The money given to the Thorpe Family Residence will help homeless women and children in this homeless shelter in the Bronx.
Other organizations that received allocations from the club were the Silvermine Arts Center, ABC House of New Canaan, Future Five, Summer Theatre of New Canaan, New Canaan Land Trust, New Canaan Nature Center, Slow Down in Our Town, Child Guidance Center, New Canaan Historical Society, Fresh Air Fund, New Canaan Cares, the YMCA, New Canaan Youth Group, Person to Person and New Canaan Police Department.
“We’ll put a notice in the bulletin newspapers and we’ll ask people to mail requests for money so we’ll say tell us how much you want and what you want it for,” Hoyle said. “Once we collect as many as we can we’ll sit down at somebody’s house and we’ll say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ because the big deal Kiwanis is serving the youth of the world so we really try to do things that are child oriented.”
The club makes sure to start with helping out local organizations in New Canaan, before moving into those in need in Fairfield County, and then in the greater Fairfield County area. Kiwanis also does its best to help those organizations in need nationally, he said.
Make sure to stop by the Annual New Canaan YMCA and Kiwanis Club Zerbini Family Circus on June 19 and 20 at Saxe Middle School to benefit next year’s allocations. The shows will run at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. “Our big fundraiser is the [Zerbini Family] Circus so the more successful that is, the more we can give away next year,” Hoyle said. “There is a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that go into it behind the scenes that people don’t see. We have folks that do it just because they want to do it. It’s a great thing. It’s fulfilling from our end and hopefully the money is used to help other people as well.”