Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009 | 11:56 a.m.
As one of the longest-running service organizations in the Las Vegas Valley, the Kiwanis Club of Las Vegas has been striving to enrich the lives of children since the chapter was founded in 1925.
The 60 members of the club are just one part of the larger, global effort known as Kiwanis International, said Jerry McElroy, a Summerlin resident who has been with the club for 27 years.
"Our goal is to serve the children of the world," McElroy said. "Our emphasis has always been toward kids."
The Kiwanis Club of Las Vegas hosts a variety of events each year, including home repair projects in low-income housing areas, an "Educator of the Year" award ceremony, a golf tournament fundraiser and a varsity quiz program that is open to all schools in the Clark County District.
McElroy said the club's members are passionate about the community but also interested in networking with one another.
"We have a wide variety of folks. Attorneys, doctors, dentists and all kinds of different people," he said.
Membership to the Kiwanis Club of Las Vegas costs $150 per year. The club holds a meeting every Wednesday at noon in the Marie Callender's restaurant at 4875 W. Flamingo Road, near the corner of Flamingo Road and Decatur Boulevard.
Each week's meeting features a guest speaker, and past topics have covered everything from cancer research to local politics and sustainable energy.
Summerlin resident Connie Ballard, who joined the Kiwanis Club of Las Vegas in 1998, described the club as a tight-knit group that is passionate about its community service projects.
"The majority of our members are retired and they have a very strong bond," Ballard said. "They've seen things change in Las Vegas and now they feel a need to contribute even more so than when they first started."
For more information about the Kiwanis Club of Las Vegas, visit www.kiwaniscluboflasvegas.org.
Jeff O’Brien can be reached at 990-8957 or [email protected].