Our friends and neighbors from the South Orange/Maplewood Kiwanis Club joined us on February 9 for a joint meeting. The men wore their green Kiwanis jackets (PDG Janice wore her blue Governor's jacket). 

As we opened the floor to discussion it was clear that we have many things in common when it comes to service. Members of both clubs discussed why they made the choice to join either Rotary or Kiwanis. Service was a predominant reason for many. While Rotary has a wide-range of service interests, the major one being the eradication of Polio in the world, Kiwanis focuses on the youth - in fact their website describes Kiwanis' "raison d’être is helping children. Children at risk. Underserved children. The children who need help most".

The major fundraiser for South Orange/Maplewood Kiwanis is their Duck Race, held annually on Memorial Day - after all the speeches.

Okay - the are not real ducks - rubber ducks - but they do float through the pond in Memorial Park and the winners get great prizes. This popular event has attracted as many as a thousand participants who urge on the ducks through six races.

The local Kiwanis meets at the Maplewood Country Club and we've been invited to visit for their lunch meeting which has soup and dessert!.

At the end of the meeting it was clear that Rotary and Kiwanis can come together for joint projects. Already we've planted the thought of how young people that they work with can take advantage of some of the youth-oriented programs Rotary offers. And of course there is helping out at the Duck Race.