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Kiwanis P.M. members hear about Bigs/Littles

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Kiwanis P.M. President Steve Smith welcomes Big Brothers Big Sisters Executive Director Lynne Carroll as the featured speaker for the meeting.

The regular meeting of the Kiwanis P.M. met Wednesday at Legends. President Steve Smith called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. with a Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence.

Julie Walters introduced guest speaker Lynne Carroll, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Eight years as director, Carroll related much of the history of the organization which started here in Marshall County in 1972. There have been 181 successful matches between “Bigs and Littles” since its beginning. Many fun activities have taken place. One of the most successful has been the bowling competitions. There were 166 teams in 2010 and at present 325 teams have participated in this fun event. Sponsors of teams have included many of Marshalltown’s leading businesses. Each year this special, fun event of the “Bigs and Littles” has brought new volunteers and sponsors into the competition.

Bigs are paired with Littles according to similar likes and common interests. Mentors, buddies, cheerleaders, Bigs become all of these and so much more to the Littles. The volunteers often remark they get more out of the association than expected. No special event needs to be planned mostly just spending time together talking and interacting is what is most beneficial.

Positive “Give it a Try.” Go for it.” And “Follow your dream.” All promoting a can do attitude in the Littles helping them to do better in school and in social situations.

There is a school-based program for volunteers from age 16 to retirement or the community-based program for volunteers from age 18 through retirement participate. Some of the Littles who participated in the program and grown up, now are volunteers themselves.

There is a need as there are 35 children ages 6-18 still waiting for that special Big to partner with so if you want to make a big difference in a young person’s life now is a perfect opportunity to participate. Contact Carroll at 641-753-6370. You may also choose to drop by and speak

to her personally at 31 S. First St.

The meeting continued and West End Park and the upcoming garage sale at the Fairgrounds in May were discussed. Next board meeting to be held at Pizza Ranch April 10. Next regular meeting is 7 p.m. on April 17 at Legends. Guest speaker will be nearly-new Park and Rec Director Geoff Hubbard. If you are interested in Kiwanis, come visit a meeting.