Kiwanis gives $30,000 to children’s organizations

Kiwanas Club member Annette Abeyta stands next to Sue Edson, president of ARVD Heart for Hope, as she thanks the club for $1,455 in funding. The money will be used to purchase an AED device for a local school.

The Grand Junction Kiwanis Club gave thousands of dollars to a variety of local organizations at their annual allocation luncheon Thursday at Two Rivers Convention Center.

This year, the club received a record amount of grant requests totaling more than $70,000 from nonprofits who serve the needs of children in the Grand Valley.

The club was able to fulfill $30,000 of that need, said Stacey Mascarenas, allocation chair for the club.

After careful and thoughtful decisions by the allocation committee, 31 local agencies were selected to receive grant funds this year.

“We have such a high respect for every single one of you and what you do for the children,” Mascarenas said, adding she wished the club could sell enough pancakes at their annual Pancake Day event to fulfill every need in the valley.

The recipients of the funds were grateful for dollars they were given.

“This is the most caring and sharing community that I have ever lived in,” said Donna Bennett, representative of How are the Children?, a community initiative dedicated to preventing child abuse through education, “It’s because of caring and committed groups like these that we live in such a special place.”

Other recipients explained their uses for the funds which included a wide range of children’s services including assisting victims of child abuse, fighting poverty, parental education, sports equipment purchases, books for preschoolers, early childhood education, and healthcare. 

The recipients are: Camp Hope at Camp Kiwanis, $1,000; CASA of Mesa County, $1,000; Clifton Christian Church Food and Clothing Program, $750; Counseling and Education Center, $1,000; Desert Edge Therapy, $700; Fruita Thrift Shop, $1,000; and GANG: Giving Adolescents New Goals, $500.

Also: Girls on the Run, $750; Girl Scouts, $1,000; Grand Junction Imagination Library, $1,000; Grand Valley Catholic Outreach, $1,000; Grand Valley Children’s Choir, $500; Heart of Hope, $1,455; Hilltop: Family First Program, $1,050; and Hospice and Palliative Care: Child and Teen Program, $1,250.

In addition: How are the Children?, $1,250; Kids Voting, $1,000; Mesa County Health Department Healthcare Respit Program for Children with Special Needs, $1,250, Mesa Developmental Services Infant and Toddler Intervention, $2,000; Mesa Developmental Services Crisis Fund, $500; and the Parenting Place, $1,000.

And including: Partners, $2,000; Play Back Sports, $550; Riverside Education Center, $1,000; Special Olympics Colorado, $2,000; St. Mary’s Foster Grandparent Program, $250; The House, Karis, $1,000; Western Slope Suicide Prevention Foundation, $1,000; and Western Slope Center for Children, $1,245.

The Grand Junction Kiwanis Club is a chapter of Kiwanis International, a service organization dedicated to serving children around the world.

“We serve one community, one child at a time,” Mascarenas said.

Their annual Pancake Day is the largest fundraiser for the group each year which attracts a variety of community and corporate sponsors. 


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