While many may recognize Kiwanis from fundraisers like Peanut Days and the Pancake Breakfast in the spring raising money isn’t the group’s main focus. Members of the Naperville Evening Kiwanis Club volunteer more than10,000 hours of service every year. Members view Peanut Days as a chance to do the rest of what they love.
“It’s a way for us to raise money to help give back to the community,” said Ed Rosenberger, Chairperson of the Naperville Evening Kiwanis Peanut Days. “It’s a very well recognized program in the community. Kiwanis are known for peanuts and I think people are generous because of that.”
Members of the Kiwanis are also generous. The group’s 104 men and women raise more than 40-thousand dollars every year for local nonprofits. They also spend their own time volunteering.
“I volunteer at the hospital in cardiac rehab and I enjoy that,” said Charlie Gravelin, Member of the Naperville Evening Kiwanis.
Founding members began Naperville Evening Kiwanis in 1955 as a service organization. While they’ve been doing their Peanut Days and Pancake Breakfast fundraisers since the beginning, members say what drew them to the club was the chance to serve the community.
“I figured well, I’ve had enough relaxing and it’s time to give back to the community for all the good things they’ve done for me,” said Rosenberger. “So I joined the Kiwanis about seven years ago and have tried to be very active since then.”
“I think as a group we make a difference in the community,” said Fred Jacobs, President of the Naperville Evening Kiwanis. “I think Naperville would be a little worse off it wasn’t for Kiwanis.”
Kiwanis members will host one final Peanut Day on Saturday, October 1st. They’ll be collecting at the intersections of Jackson and Webster and at Jefferson and River Road. Members are also beginning their third major fundraiser of the year. They’ll be putting together fruit baskets that businesses and individuals can buy as Christmas gifts.
For more information, visit www.napervilleeveningkiwanis.org.
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