Holiday traditions from Kiwanis

By Pat Bennett-Forman

Kingston Kiwanis invites the community to share in two holiday service traditions in the coming weeks. First, on Dec. 7, members welcome families to attend the annual Santa’s Workshop at the Kingston Cove Yacht Club from 1 to 4 p.m. The Club also welcomes participation in its annual teen Christmas gift drive, going on until Dec. 19.

Santa’s Workshop has been a Kiwanis tradition since 1993 when the club hosted pictures with Santa in a trailer near the Kingston Chamber office. Six years ago, they moved the event to the Yacht Club and added numerous craft and ornament making activities. There are still pictures with Santa and Mrs. Santa, hot cider and cookies for everyone’s enjoyment and plenty of holiday excitement. After visiting Santa, families can wander over to the Port of Kingston’s Tree Lighting ceremony for more fun.

Some families have been coming for many years and that is exactly what we hoped for when we began Santa’s Workshop. Making memories and establishing family traditions for the whole family is one of the best parts of the holidays. Seeing dads gluing ornaments with their little ones and moms helping with painting is just priceless. It is these kinds of activities that build strong families, which is the goal for Kiwanis in sponsoring the event.

Kiwanis also has a goal of supporting and building resilience in at-risk children and youth. The club is pleased that it can purchase gifts for at-risk teens so their holiday may be brighter. This year, the Club was fortunate to receive a $500 grant from the Windermere Foundation to augment its purchases. Members of Key Club, the high school service club affiliated with Kiwanis, help with the purchases since they have the best ideas about teen gift lists. Together, Key Club and Kiwanis are contributing to the welfare of at-risk youth and sending a message that these teens matter and are cared for.

Speaking of care, the Kingston Community showed its caring spirit once again by supporting the Kiwanis Apple Cup Food Drive, held on Nov. 23. The club was able to collect thousands of pounds of food for the ShareNet and Kingston Food Banks, helping to restock their shelves and contributing to holiday food boxes. Thanks Kingston! You are wonderful neighbors.

Kingston Kiwanis is always looking for folks interested in sharing its commitment to community service and, especially, to improving the lives of children. New members are always welcomed. Join members for breakfast Thursday mornings at 7 a.m. at the Kingston Village Green Community Center or contact the club via its web page: Greater Kingston

Picture attached: 1. Santa’s Workshop fun with crafts and “elf” Dave Muller.

2. Santa’s Workshop ornament making with “elf” Rob Shoaf.