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Kiwanis Club of Greater Turlock: Growing and giving
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Members of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Turlock pose with students as they wait for their dinner at Chilis after a big evening of shopping on Wednesday.

A community reflects its residents and the Kiwanis Club of Greater Turlock have demonstrated the connected and charitable nature of local society members through its consistent, generous contributions.

The Kiwanis Club of Greater Turlock has seen a recent surge in membership from 28 to 58 members in the past two years, with 30 of those members donating their time Wednesday evening to take part in the club’s annual Christmas Shopping Spree. A testament to the club’s mission of serving each child in the community, the annual Christmas Shopping Spree provided 30 fourth, fifth and sixth grade students $150 each worth of clothing and a sit down dinner at Chili’s.

“This event sets a nice example for our kids and for the community. It’s a time of giving and Kiwanis, being a part of it, that’s what we do — all we do really, that is why we’re here — to give,” said Eric Frahm, a Kiwanis member and volunteer shopper of eight years.

The Kiwanis Club of Greater Turlock does not limit its charitable giving to the holiday season, but is also a year-round supporter of local youth sports, agriculture programs, sober grad nights, California State University, Stanislaus, as well as high schools in Turlock, Denair, Hughson, Hilmar and Delhi among other organizations. Kiwanis also annually donates pumpkins to Cunningham Elementary in Turlock. Donations are funded by three major events including the Spring May-tini event, beer booth at the Stanislaus County Fair and summer fireworks booth.

“We have so many events and so much community support,” said Mike Staack, President of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Turlock who attributes the club’s growth to an increase in community presence. “People see what we’re doing and they like it, they can’t help but be a part of it.”

The Kiwanis Club of Greater Turlock was founded in 1973 and has met at the same spot, Latif’s Restaurant located at 111 N. Golden State Boulevard, at 6:45 a.m. on Fridays for 40 years.

“The best aspect of the club is the camaraderie. We’re not only getting together, but we’re getting along, raising money, and forging lasting friendships and community support and passing that on,” said Staack.

New members are encouraged to attend the Greater Club of Kiwanis meetings and those with questions can contact Mike Staack at 604-6884.

“The more people we have the more successful events we put on and the more we are able to give back,” said Staack.