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Kiwanis plans anniversary ceremony





Kiwanis International will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2015.

The Hays chapter is getting the party started early, celebrating its 60th anniversary Tuesday at Fort Hays State University's Robbins Center. There will be a social at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. The master of ceremonies will be Hays City Commissioner Eber Phelps.

"I was surprised and of course very honored to be asked," said Phelps, not a member of the volunteer service organizaiton Kiwanis.

The local Kiwanis club was founded May 7, 1953. Presently, there are 95 members, and there are 39 charter members. Approximately 20 past presidents are expected to attend Tuesday's celebration, where notable past projects will be detailed.

Jerry Ubert is a past district governor for Kansas for the organization, a position currently occupied by another Hays resident, Mary Hammond.

The local Kiwanis club has been involved with several projects through the years, said Ubert, a board member and past president. They take care of a couple parks in town, help with funding of the Ellis County Ministerial Alliance and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ellis County, as well as raise money for scholarships.

Kiwanis has an academic breakfast for local high school and middle school students.

"It's kind of a neat way of saying keep up the good work, grades are important; we want to see you do well in school," Ubert said. "We kind of encourage them to keep up the grades."

The local Kiwanis club also sponsors the flag project, where American flags are flown on holidays, and there is the annual Easter egg hunt, which started in 1974.

"All the money (raised) stays back in the community for various projects," Ubert said.

"Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time," Ubert said. "That's kind of our mission statement."