Why members have joined

You may want to join in our efforts to help our community.

Read what others have said about why they joined Kiwanis of West Seattle.
I joined Kiwanis after thirty-three years of public service in the Federal Government. I retired in 2000 and after a couple of years of retirement, I felt the need to fill some of my time with service to my community. After looking at several service clubs in West Seattle, I talked to a couple of Kiwanians staffing the Kiwanis tent at the West Seattle Farmer’s Market. They invited me to a meeting. I was impressed and joined shortly thereafter.  Mike LaFranchi

I joined Kiwanis in 1991 because I was relatively new to West Seattle and I wanted to become more involved in the West Seattle Community. My high school key club experience suggested this could be rewarding— it has been so……. The best thing about being a Kiwanis member is joining in with the club on the service projects. The pancake breakfast is fun.  Dr Steve Leifheit

I grew up on a wheat and dairy farm in south-central Kansas. My family was very active in the community and both my Dad and Mom were members of clubs and service organizations. I was a Girl Scout. I grew up with a family model of service to one’s community.
Ever since I moved to West Seattle, I wanted to contribute to the on-going efforts to make our neighborhood the great place it is. Each individual needs to contribute. I had not been to the Farmer’s Market. One day I decided to stop by and see what it was all about. The Kiwanis booth at the Market was attended by jovial members laughing and having a good time. They invited me to attend the next breakfast. After asking some questions, I joined soon after that. The year was 2006.
I like that there are many ways for each member to contribute. I like the goals of Kiwanis: “Helping Communities One Child at a Time”; and the spirit of kindness, warmth and camaraderie that permeates the group. Some of my favorite memories include fund raising events such as our Pancake Breakfasts and Motor Cycle Rally; the Pirate’s Landing on Alki to celebrate Seafair; Assisting the High School Key Clubs, attending our sponsored Boy Scout Troop’s Eagle Scout ceremonies, and raising funds for local projects. Linda Ann Cox

I have been a member of Kiwanis since 2004. I joined the club because their main focus is helping children. Their involvement with programs in our local community struck a chord in me. I have been involved with other mentoring organizations in the past, but felt Kiwanis had successful programs in place, mainly the high school Key Clubs, to work with youth to guide them to greater success. My favorite Kiwanis activities are the hands-on community service projects we participate in. Shari Sewell

I have been in Kiwanis for over 40 years. The short answer is that someone asked me. I was living in Florida at the time. I had been in Key Club while in high school. In the old days it was only a mens group, and the community I lived in was a very tight knit community. There were a lot of young folks in the Kiwanis club and over 50% of the members had children. One of my favorite memories was when I was a Key Club Advisor for one of the high school groups. When my wife and I moved to Wisconsin in the 1980’s we joined the Kiwanis Club there. And, when we moved to Atlanta, I joined the club. It had over 300 members! Folks of both political parties were members of that club including “Newt” Gingrich. But, politics were never discussed at meetings. A luncheon could have 150 folks show up. I have many very fond memories of Kiwanis clubs and love being a part of a community group. I continue to be very active and help when I can with the International Convention of Kiwanis.  Joel Draper

Several years ago, as Dean of Automotive and Body Shop (including truck driving, welding and heavy duty diesel division) at South Seattle Community College in West Seattle, President Brockey said all the administrators must belong to a service organization. He chose Kiwanis for me and I have been a member ever since. I found good people in the group and liked the focus of helping communities one child at a time; and providing service to the community. I wanted to be with like-minded folks. I had never heard of Kiwanis before that. I have been President of Kiwanis of West Seattle, President of Kiwanis of Rainier Valley, and honorary member of Seattle Central Area Kiwanis. I am a Past Lt Governor. Currently, I am President of the Rainier Valley Club. Henry Nelson

In 1971, I was a leader in a Scout Troop needing a sponsor or it would have to close. My principal of the school where I was teaching suggested I ask the Kiwanis Club. They were willing and I joined Kiwanis in return. I have stuck with Kiwanis because of the people I meet, the projects we do, and the fun we have. The contacts I have made helped me build my business. Denis Sapiro

In our 80’s my husband and I finally joined Kiwanis! My father, an immigrant from Norway, joined as a businessman and had our family participate in Kiwanis events. My son, Karl, joined Key Club, CKI, and Kiwanis. He had fun and invited us to many projects and events. We decided to join and help the youth of West Seattle through Kiwanis. I even asked my sister to join! Sonja Sutter

For me, the short answer is that someone ask me to join. They ask me to be the Public Relations person for Kiwanis of West Seattle. I was working at the West Seattle Herald at the time. Warren Lawless

I joined Kiwanis in 2011 because Karl Sutter asked me! …The best thing about being a Kiwanis member is the camaraderie of fellow neighbors joining in a common cause.  Karl de Jong

I visited Kiwanis for the first time in 1965 as the guest of my high school principal, who was a member of the Auburn Kiwanis Club. He invited me to attend the group’s noon luncheon to speak about the activities of our Key Club at Auburn High School. At the end of the school year, I was invited back again, and to my surprise and great pleasure, was given a $100 scholarship check as the outgoing President of the Key Club.
In 2001, I happened to stop at a carwash fund-raiser by the West Seattle High Key Club, talked to the Kiwanis Advisor to the group and was invited to the West Seattle Kiwanis breakfast meeting. Impressed by the group’s energy and enthusiasm for community service, I joined shortly thereafter. Besides enjoying the camaraderie of the group, my favorite Kiwanis’ activity is helping out at the Kiwanis booth at the Pirates Landing at Alki Beach to kick off the Seafair celebrations. Larry Kirchner

I joined Kiwanis in West Seattle because Dick Kennedy served many years with Kiwanis and was truly a pillar of this community, along with his wife, Arlene. They will long be remembered for their giving ways and I want to try to keep their tradition going.  D. Scott Quilici, Funeral Director, Howden-Kennedy Funeral Home of West Seattle

I joined Kiwanis in 1983 because it met the goal I had to be of service to the community with the emphasis of helping children. ….The best thing about being a Kiwanis member is the camaraderie among its members while serving the community of West Seattle.  Ken Norton

I joined Kiwanis in 2011 because I have found the networking and fellowship of Kiwanis to be wonderful and exciting. I look forward to each meeting and event. … The best thing about being a Kiwanis member is making wonderful friends and learning from fantastic mentors.  Katey Enslein