By Lynn Van Lenten
The term “O.G.” has been used a lot in the media, especially in sports and music. But no matter where it is used, it is always prefaced with respect and awe. For this month’s We Are Delray article I am going to use it to describe two organizations held in deep respect and admiration here in Delray Beach. Two organizations that are working hard to make Delray the best village ever.
Let’s start with Rotary International. Founded in 1905 in Chicago, what began with one club has, over the past 118 years, expanded to over 46,000 clubs worldwide. Their mission includes promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, sanitation & hygiene, supporting mothers, babies, education, and the environment. Truly an “O.G.” of giving!
The Rotary Club of Delray Beach was chartered in 1948 and has served our community for the past 75 years! Each year, the club provides dictionaries to all 3rd graders in Delray’s elementary schools. They also provide school supplies and host food drives, toy drives, and clothing drives for the Achievement Centers for Children and Families, the Milago Center, the Drug Abuse Foundation, and other local organizations. They have planned beach clean ups, planted trees, and helped restore the community through Love Delray. Over the past 75 years, the club has also awarded over $750,000 to graduating seniors in Delray Beach, providing ten $1,000 scholarships annually.
As club President Nick Basiaga explains Rotary’s vision statement, “Rotary is a global network of 1.4 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.”
Our second, but no less important “O.G.” in town is Kiwanis Club. Started in 1915, the name “Kiwanis” was coined from an expression in an American Indian language “Nunc Kee-wanis,” which means, “we trade” or “we share our talents.” And boy do they! Now in their 50th year, the Delray Beach Kiwanis Club is one of fastest growing Clubs in the state, at a time when other service organizations struggle to remain vibrant.
“All of us in the Delray Beach Kiwanis Club are grateful to members of the community for its support of our efforts to make the place that we care deeply for stronger,” said Pam Davidson, the current president. “We take pride in knowing we are making a difference in the lives of children and families one child at a time.”
Local Kiwanis partnerships include Achievement Center for Children and Families, EJS Project, High School scholarships and support of the Delray Beach Police. The club’s current “On a Roll” campaign collected several thousand dollars’ worth in paper towels, wipes & other papers products and school supplies for Orchard View Elementary School.
With respect and admiration let’s cheer on these two O.G.’s. Thanks for helping make Delray GREAT!