Kiwanis Members -Abel Jaimes, Rita Greenberg, Kristin Greenberg, Daniel Washington, Danny Campos, Sandra Jaimes, Deneane Alfaro-Maldonado. (Submitted by Danny Campos)
Immokaleeans have big hearts. If there’s a need, members of the community will step up. Last year, a small group of Immokaleeans came together to form the Immokalee Kiwanis Club, bringing a strong commitment to area kids. Organized in August 2015, it was chartered last December and has been making its presence felt ever since. Actually, there was a Kiwanis Club in Immokalee years ago, started by Juan Medina, but it eventually folded. The Kiwanians’ mission is to help the community and its children and to build programs to better kids’ lives, according to Kiwanis Club President Danny Campos.
Left to Right Board Members: Nick Jaime, Ron Mosher, Abel Jaimes (Missing Deneane Alfaro-Maldonado). Officers Left to right: Treasurer- Elizabeth Montelongo, Secretary- Sandra Jaimes, President- Danny Campos. All members are founding members of the club. (Submitted photo)
Just since December the club has come forward to help at Friendship House and took over sponsorship of I.H.S. Key Club (It was being sponsored by the Pelican Bay Kiwanis Club.) The small group also sponsored the Halloween Trunk or Treat event at Winn-Dixie and an Easter Egg hunt with the Key Club. Recently the group supplied food and other assistance for the Special Olympics and I.H.S. Unified sports awards along with BETA Club. The support of the Unified sports helps foster friendship and a connection with special needs kids. The Key Club and Kiwanis are actively planning a garden at I.M.S. and RCMA, he noted. The club also participating in a national Kiwanis Christmas in July event to benefit homeless children. There are 567 children designated as “homeless” and the Immokalee Kiwanians have committed themselves to providing each with a personalized backpack stuffed with toiletries, a T-shirt, pants and underwear in their size. They’re working with the Collier County Homeless Coalition to make it all happen. Danny said the club is looking for a signature fundraiser that would involve the entire community. A Kiwanian for 12-13 years, Ron Mosher is a dual member of the Naples on the Gulf Kiwanis Club (where he is a past president) and the Immokalee clubs. A civilian deputy with CCSO doing crime prevention, he retired from the Naples PD in 2002. When the previous Immokalee Kiwanis Club failed it left the I.H.S. Key Club without a sponsor, so Ron stepped up as Key Club Advisor to keep it rolling, along with faculty advisor Sandra Jaimes.
Community Supporters at the Annual Trunk or Treat - DL Salon and Tina DelaRosa Allstate Insurance. (Submitted photo)
He said he’s seen kids go from shy to outgoing and involved in their community as high school seniors. Kiwanis lives up to its motto: Children: Priority One. Ron commented that Immokaleeans are just “trying to achieve what everybody wants” and notes that the Kiwanis Club is n integral partner in the community’s betterment. Members have a “feel for the community” and, as a club, can contribute immensely to the community. He added that the club provides a lot of opportunities local, state, national involvement. In addition to President Danny Campos, other officers are: Sandra Jaimes former president and secretary and Elizabeth Montelongo treasurer. The Board of Directors include: Nick Jaimes, Ron Mosher, Deane Alfaro Maldonado and Bernie Martinez. The club needed 15 members in order to be chartered. Currently the roster shows 16 members of the Immokalee club, but Danny said there are probably seven really active members. If you have a heart for the work Kiwanis does, the group would welcome you. Please call Danny at 239-503-4336. Like Danny said, “If you’ve got a passion for people and service, the Kiwanis Club of Immokalee would love to have you.” The Immokalee Kiwanis Club meets at 6 p.m. the first Monday of every month at Rib City.
Little Jessie picking up Easter Eggs at the Annual Easter Egg Hunt. (Submitted photo)