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Kiwanis is an adult club that’s all about kids

Kiwanis Club
Erin Flynn, of Kiwanis, invites the community to this Saturday’s pancake breakfast.
Photo by Liz Cezat
Kiwanis is a worldwide organization that launched a new club in Northville in 2012. It’s a youthful group, with 50% of its members under the age of 40, all of whom live or work in Northville city or township. Erin Flynn, an attorney at Kelly & Kelly, is vice president of the club and will take on the president’s role on Oct. 1, 2017.

The club is hosting a pancake breakfast fundraiser from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, under the tent on the lawn of the commons area adjacent to City Hall and the Northville District Library. Tickets are $6 for individuals and $25 for a household.

The menu consists of pancakes, sausage, coffee, tea, juice and milk, with food donated by Red Olive Restaurants and milk from Guernsey Dairy.

“This is the third year of the pancake breakfast and we hope to serve more of the community than ever before,” said Flynn, a Windsor, Ontario native who now lives in Plymouth. “It’s grown every year. We are counting on repeat customers and anyone who likes pancakes and wants to help us help the kids in our community.”

A big part of the breakfast excitement this year is a fundraiser to build a brand-new playground near the Oak Grove picnic site at Maybury State Park. People can buy a piece of a puzzle that, when put together, forms the blueprint of the new play area. Donation amounts are marked on puzzle pieces and range from $5 and up.

The playground build will be a community event that takes place in the late spring or early summer 2018. All are invited to participate. The group first got involved with Maybury in June 2017 when they coordinated the fishing derby. Maybury Park Director Traci Sincock asked if the club would be willing to raise funds for the new playground, and members readily agreed, knowing it would be a place where all kids, including special needs kids, could come and play.

Kiwanis helps kids in many ways. Kiwanis International and UNICEF have joined forces to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus through The Eliminate Project. The Northville chapter lends to that effort by holding a shoe drive – where used footwear and even ratty old sneakers are donated and converted into recycled materials. The club also holds a clothing drive and donates the collection to Vista Maria, a home for girls. For that event, students from Northville High School and Northville middle schools gave much of the clothing.

The club works closely with the Northville Township Firefighters Charity Fund to raise money for bike safety gear, such as helmets, bells and lights. The Fund holds a charity ball each year in February, donating a portion of the proceeds to Kiwanis. In the past, the club held a bike safety event at the Heritage Festival, but this year it will focus solely on the pancake breakfast.

Kiwanis began in Detroit more than 100 years ago. Now it’s worldwide. The Northville club meets for lunch at The Village Workshop at Noon on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Guests are welcome and can email with questions.

Dan Ferrara, owner of Northville Gallery, was a founding member of the group. “I’m proud to belong to a group that has such strong ties to Detroit and Michigan,” he said.

Flynn and Ferrara are co-chairs of the pancake breakfast. For more information or tickets to the event, visit the club’s website.


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