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NR Kiwanis Club plans

One of New Richmond's most established service organizations is in the midst of a membership drive to find new members.

The Kiwanis Club, which celebrated its 90th anniversary last year, currently has 33 members.

But one of the organization's newest members, Erin Eneboe, would like to see those numbers grow.

As a relative newcomer to New Richmond, Eneboe and her husband, Dirk, were looking for ways to connect better with the community. They found the perfect connection when they joined Kiwanis, she said.

"I learned more in the first week at Kiwanis than I had during the three previous years," she said.

The Kiwanis Club meets weekly at 6:30 p.m. Mondays at New Richmond Family Restaurant.

Business and community leaders gather to conduct business of the club, plan community projects and socialize.

"The diversity is the interesting part of the club," Eneboe said. "You can meet a retired teacher, or the former mayor, or a banker. That kind of diversity is what we want more of."

The common goal of each of those members, Eneboe said, is to give back to the community. The club and its members are very involved in sponsoring a Boy Scout troop, offering an annual Easter egg hunt and providing children's games at the Fourth of July celebration, among other things.

The Kiwanis Club has been an integral part of New Richmond's history over the years. Historically, the community's leaders were always members of the organization.

Today, that tradition lives on, Eneboe said, with quite a few members having joined many years ago.

"They've all been active in the community for so many years," she said. "It's a very proud organization."

David Schnitzler, former mayor of New Richmond, has been a member for more than 20 years and continues to be active.

"It's a great organization," he said. "And it's a good place to meet and talk to people."

Schnitzler said he's especially proud of the organization's ties with youth organizations.

"Kiwanis is all about kids," he said. "I think that's really important."

Another longtime member, John Soderberg, agreed.

"The Kiwanis helps make leaders out of kids," he said.

Soderberg said he followed his father's footsteps when he joined the club.

"I wanted to belong to an organization that gets things done," Soderberg explained. "And the Kiwanis always got things done. There were and are a lot of great people involved with them."

Even though many of the members have a long history, Eneboe said the hope is to strengthen the club even more by bringing in new blood.

"We haven't done a membership drive for quite some time," she said. "And bringing in new members helps bring in fresh ideas. The club is very welcoming to new members, which doesn't always happen with service organization."

The Kiwanis Club is planning a special open house from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20, at the New Richmond Family Restaurant. Informational presentations will be conducted at 7:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

The Kiwanis Club's charter was approved in 1919 at a time when the city had just 2,100 residents (the smallest community to have a Kiwanis charter at that time). Yet the club has 70 founding members, exceeding the 50 required.

For more information, or to join, contact Charlie Cadenhead at 715-246-0060.