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Kiwanis Club of Warsaw Serves the Community Year-Round

Writer/ Robert Noah Torres
Photography Provided

Kiwanis Club of WarsawKiwanis Club of Warsaw is a nonprofit organization that serves not only the children of its community but the children of the world. The club is part of the broader international service organization, Kiwanis, which is more than 100 years old and has roots in Indiana. The club first opened up in Detroit Michigan on January 21, 1915. Indiana followed soon after and is home to the Kiwanis international headquarters.

Kiwanis Club of Warsaw and President Jim Molebash are a part of more than 130 community-lead organizations in Indiana. Amongst many other duties, Molebash’s role is to oversee club meetings — meetings that follow a certain pattern. The club meets every Thursday. Molebash is an MC of sorts for the weekly meetings and makes sure they follow their common format. The Kiwanis Club gathers, has lunch, and then goes through their ritual opening. They pledge the flag, sing a song, and do the Kiwanis defining statement: “Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time.” 

From there, Molebash goes through announcements, welcomes the guests, and introduces what programs will be coming out and what projects they are working on. All of this lasts around a quarter-hour and is followed by what they call fellowship or ethics. What fellowship looks like in the Kiwanis Club of Warsaw is taking the time to check in, individually, with those in attendance as well as giving them space to announce their own personal news — birthdays, anniversaries, familial achievements, etc. Once this is over, a guest speaker gives a presentation which takes the meeting to its end time. Guests range from animal shelter workers to nonprofit organization heads to local businesses telling their history, which reflects how Kiwanis has a strong focus on community and fellowship.

In addition, Molebash is a key member of the governing board and what he calls his “president’s cabinet.”

Club meetings are social gatherings as much as they are for helping the children in Warsaw and the world. On the other end, the governing board that Molebash is a part of and that meets once a month works hard to smooth out the details that come with putting in practice the improvement of ”the world one child and one community at a time” as their mantra goes. 

Molebash also has a group of experienced Kiwani Club members on his side who meet once every other month and help Molebash make sure he stays on the right path. That group he calls his “president’s cabinet” and includes another key member to the Kiwanis Club of Warsaw, as well as Indiana State Governor-Elect for the greater Indiana Kiwanis chapter, Bruce Andrews. The cabinet and group at large work together in order to provide for the children of the community and the children of the world. Broadly, this is achieved through partnership with various companies, local governing boards, grant appeals and access to a large group of willing volunteers that make up the Kiwanis Club of Warsaw and greater Indiana chapter. 

Kiwanis Club of WarsawIn practice, the club is always trying to help. 

“We try to find something in the community that needs doing and we go do it,” Molebash says. 

Volunteers are not only members of the Kiwanis of Warsaw but high school students who are a part of the Kiwanis key club, a youth outreach group for teens. Key clubs exist around the country and reflect how Kiwanis aims to strengthen and improve communities.

Another way in which Molebash, Andrews and Kiwanis of Warsaw help in the community is through partnership with companies that align with their goals. Every year around Christmas the club volunteers participate in Bell ringing for The Salvation Army. 

In addition to partnerships with companies, Kiwanis helps promote organizations that aim to help their community. As Kiwanis has been around since 1915, it precedes and has helped promote wonderfully beneficial organizations such as Riley Children’s Hospital. Riley has become what it is today with the support of Kiwanis. The club is currently working to open a new department within Riley that will specialize in helping women safely deliver their children.

Kiwanis Club of Warsaw meets weekly for lunch on Thursday at the Connection Campus of the First United Methodist Church, 1692 W. Lake Street, Warsaw, IN. Lunch starts at 11:45 a.m. and the meeting concludes around 1 p.m. 

For further information, visit the Warsaw-Kiwanis International website warsawkiwanis.net and their Facebook @KiwanisClubofWarsaw. For more information on how to get involved with this historic service organization contact Jim Molebash by phone 574-527-8190 or via email molebashj@yahoo.com.

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