Kiwanis Club, Church thrive to help community

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By Max King
Holt Journal staff writer

HOLT—The Kiwanis Club of Holt hosted its twice yearly barbecue on Friday, Sept. 28 at the First Presbyterian Church from 4-7 p.m.

Kiwanis Club President Eric Grasse said the barbecues are the club’s largest fundraiser of the year.

“We roughly raise somewhere between $3,000 and $4,000,” said Grasse. “It is our largest fundraiser to fund all of the community service projects that we do throughout the year.”

Grasse said other projects include: an Easter egg hunt, giving a scholarship to a graduating senior at Holt High School, and providing dictionaries for all third-graders in the school district.

The club also hosts multiple blood drives every year at the church, according to Grasse, but the organizations are not associated with each other.

“The church is gracious enough to let us use their kitchen and general assembly hall,” said Grasse, whose one-year term as club president ended Oct. 1.

Grasse said he plans on staying active in the club, just not as president.

The barbecue included: chicken, a baked potato, applesauce, a roll and a cookie.

Ron Venner, an 18-year club member, said the club has been doing barbecues for decades.

“We started doing (barbecues) in the late fifties,” said Venner.

Venner said helping out kids in the community is the Kiwanis’ focus.

The church was also raising money by selling pumpkins to barbecue passers-by for its youth mission trip to Mexico next summer, according to church member Trudy Smith.

Smith said the group is teaching Bible studies and building a basketball court for a small Mayan village.

“We helped build the Presbyterian Church down there over the last several years and so we are going back,” said Smith.

Smith said the group will be staying with the families of the village and learning the culture.

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