Clubs join forcesDespite the snow falling outside, children at the Boys & Girls Club of Superior got a taste of spring Saturday.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Despite the snow falling outside, children at the Boys & Girls Club of Superior got a taste of spring Saturday.
Members of the Kiwanis Club of Superior teamed up with the kids to decorate four mobile planter boxes that will be used to grow tomatoes this summer.
Kiwanis is a kids-oriented club, said co-president Amanda Lindsey, and they try to keep it local.
“It’s all about kids,” she said.
Greg Mattson built the four planters out of lumber with five-gallon pails inside them. Mounted on casters, they can be wheeled out in nice weather and pulled inside at night. Campbell Lumber donated material for the boxes, and Menard’s offered a deep discount for the service group, he said.
The project was constructed as part of a national Kiwanis work day.
“I’m very proud of the Superior club right now for taking the initiative and doing a ‘Kiwanis One’ event,” said Darren Peterson, the lieutenant governor for the local region Kiwanis clubs. He said the Superior group is very involved in the community.
Kiwanis members were inspired to build the planters after learning about the Boys & Girls Club. The program serves children between the ages of 6 and 18. About 35-50 kids stop by the club, housed at the Virginia Deetz Center, each day for food, fun and education.
“We aren’t just a community drop-in center,” said Program Director Ali Bilden. The kids follow a strict schedule. They can get involved in an array of programs, from a Math Masters group and a drama club to a fitness club.
“We are big on clubs,” Bilden said.
Homework help is always available, and yes, they do play dodge ball.
Members come from every walk of life, not just poor kids or tough kids. Many have been coming for years.
“Honestly it’s a positive, safe place for kids,” said Amanda Brown, 18.
Sabrina Topping, 10, said she likes the variety of activities available at the club. The Drama Mama Mamas club is Jasmine Thundercloud’s favorite activity. The young thespians are putting the final touches on their original production “The Fourth Little Pig.”
“I get to hang out with friends I don’t live by,” said Kiley Goodell, 11.
“It’s just fun,” said her sister Kyra, 10.
The planter boxes dovetailed nicely with the Boys & Girls Club’s plan to create their own community garden at the Catlin Green gardens. The project will kick off June 1.
“We’re going to have teams building fences and tilling the soil and actually planting,” Bilden said. Volunteers are needed and the club is seeking plant donations.
Although community members are welcome to drop by the Boys & Girls Club any time, this week there will be special programming during National Boys & Girls Club Week. Tonight, University of Wisconsin-Superior hockey players will hang out and play games with the kids. Wednesday will feature a family dinner and the drama group’s skit. Thursday, swing by to help plan the garden with the children. Friday will feature a dance. The club is open from 3-8 p.m. weekdays during the school year, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the summer. There is a $10 membership fee, but there are no other charges for activities.
New members and volunteers are always welcome.
“If you have a talent, we have a kid for you,” said Branch Director Tim Stratioti.
For more information on the Kiwanis Club, stop by one of their weekly meetings at noon every Thursday at Perkins Restaurant or go to http://superiorkiwanis.org.