Aktion Club reaches for the stars

Aktion Club members paint letters for A Night Under the Stars

Aktion Club members paint letters for A Night Under the Stars
Gary Dove | Special to The R-C


Kiwanis International is a service organization dedicated to “Improving the world one child and one community at a time” (kiwanis.org) and is the official sponsor of Aktion Club, “Where development has no disability” (aktionclub.org). The mission of Aktion Club is “to provide adults living with disabilities an opportunity to develop initiative, leadership skills, and to serve their communities.” With hundreds of chapters across the globe, Kiwanis’ Aktion Clubs currently boast a roster of more than 12,000 individuals worldwide.

Locally, the Kiwanis' Aktion Club of Carson Valley continues to expand both its membership numbers and community service outreach efforts. Now in its sixth year, the KACCV roster has grown from 7 to 25 members age 18 and above. Meetings are held on the first and third Monday of each month and run by the club’s annually elected officers and CV Kiwanis member and Aktion Club advisor Gary Dove.

Dove said Aktion Club provides the opportunity to teach members “the Kiwanis way” and encourages participants to be pillars of their community through generosity and acts of service.

The club actively engages in their own fundraising while also supporting the efforts of CV Kiwanis. Early on, Aktion Club members decided they’d “pass the donation can” during meetings and collect a $1 donation from each attendee as a way to raise money. Each Fourth of July, the club sells beverages at the Town of Minden’s celebration, and members also pitch in to help with the annual bike parade.

Votes are held to determine where and how Aktion Club allocates their funds. Past recipients include local-area non-profit organizations and other Kiwanis districts impacted by natural disasters.

KACCV members collectively donate more than 60 hours of community service per month. Activities and events where they’ve given time include working the annual Tip-A-Cop fundraiser, helping with the Kiwanis’ Thanksgiving Turkey Bingo and Easter Ham Bingo at the CVIC Hall, crafting handmade cards for homebound seniors, ringing bells for the Salvation Army during the holidays, and assisting with the annual Project Santa Claus event.

In May, Aktion Club members helped gather and dispose of more than 200 bags of leaves and trash during Genoa’s annual cleanup day. In response, the club received a thank you letter from former town manager, JT Chevallier, which read in part, “The Town of Genoa is founded off the ideals of volunteerism and community, and Kiwanis and Aktion Clubs personified these values.”

The club collects coins in UNICEF boxes each Halloween and has raised more than $2,500 over the past three years in support of “The Eliminate Project” sponsored by Kiwanis. The project provides maternal and neonatal tetanus inoculations to at-risk mothers and babies in a number of countries across the globe. For their efforts, the KACCV has received the revered recognition of two “Elimidallions” (Eliminate + medallion) from Kiwanis International, and they are in the process of receiving a third medallion for 2021.

Aktion Club has also contributed to the Kiwanis’ “Sleeping Children Around the World” initiative, which purchases mosquito net bed kits, clothing, and school supplies for children in need.

Locally, the organization was recognized as Douglas County’s 2019 Service Club of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce. In January, Aktion Club received a $5,000 donation from the DC Sheriff’s Office to help them continue their service mission.

Dove recently presented a talk about the KACCV to the 2021 Leadership Douglas County class (carsonvalleynv.org/leadership-douglas-county/). Every year, LDC participants coordinate a special project to benefit the community. Following Dove’s presentation, the Aktion Club served as inspiration for this year’s LDC event.

On Sept. 11, LDC hosts a free prom for developmentally disabled adults age 18 and older, with each attendee invited to bring two guests. The event takes place in the Grandview Room of the DC Community Center from 5-8 p.m. and is open to individuals in the Carson Valley and surrounding areas (including Carson City, Reno, and Lake Tahoe).

The evening’s theme is “A Night Among the Stars,” and LDC member Michele Brown said organizers look forward to giving attendees a red carpet prom experience; something they may have missed out on when they were younger.

“LDC wants to recognize (Aktion Club’s) efforts and contributions to the community by providing them with a special celebratory night,” she said.

Each LDC class is responsible for raising all the funds needed to complete their chosen project. Brown said although they’ve already secured a number of prom sponsors, opportunities to support the event are still available and additional monetary or material donations will help make the prom vision a reality.

Sponsorship and volunteer opportunities are available through Chris Foxcroft-Hibbs at chris@carsonvalleyaccounting.com or the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce. Look for the Sept. 11 event on the Chamber of Commerce events calendar at business.carsonvalleynv.org/events/calendar/2021-09-01 and locate the registration tab for ticket inquiries or sponsorships.

Contact the Chamber at 775-782-8144 or via email at info@carsonvalleynv.org with questions or for information.


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