A Brief Club History

A Brief Club History
Our Club’s History is the History of Two Sarasota Kiwanis Clubs
 
The current Siesta Key Kiwanis Club was chartered in August 2001 with Clayton Thompson as the first President. The Club was sponsored by the Downtown Sarasota Kiwanis Club whose president at the time was Robert Pretschner.   We originally met at the Summerhouse Restaurant on Siesta Key, pictured here.   The weekly meeting was moved off the Key when the Summerhouse property was sold for condominium development.
 
For many years the Siesta Key club held galas to raise money for its Foundation.  At one point its Foundation made and fulfilled a $50,000 / five year commitment supporting construction of the children’s activity room at the Center for Hope. 
 
Our projects include “Hope Kids” school readiness, “Literacy Buddies,” Salvation Army Bell ringing, and work sessions at various non-profit organizations.  The Club was, and is, an active supporter of the Kiwanis branded Service Leadership Programs  (SLP) for students in elementary and high schools.  The South Sarasota Kiwanis and Siesta Key Kiwanis Clubs merged in October of 2014 as the Kiwanis Club of Siesta Key.
 
Chartered in October of 1961, the South Sarasota Kiwanis Club added its own rich history, traditions, and energy to the merged club.  It has a history of successful Pancake Breakfast fundraisers, active participation in All Faiths Food Bank’s “Back Pack” program.  The “Christmas Angels” project at Wilkinson Elementary, sponsorship of “Dial-a-Story” for the Sarasota County Library System, donation of funds and materials for the Art Program at Oak Park public school for the severely handicapped, and clothing drives for Mothers-Helping-Mothers are among the South Sarasota Kiwanis Club’s notable accomplishments.
 
In recent years, South Sarasota Kiwanis Foundation contributed over $25,000 to local and national charities and contributed $10,000 in scholarships to local deserving students.
 
The merged club continues support of the active projects of both clubs.  In our first year as a merged club we ran a BUGS (Bringing Up Grades) program at Wilkinson Elementary and increased the strength of partnership with that school.  An AKtion Club was sponsored and chartered at Suncoast Technical College, and the SLP program continues at Pine View and Riverview High, and Sarasota Middle School and Pine View Elementary. 
 
We were designated a “Kiwanis Distinguished Club” in 2013-2014 and again in 2014-2015.
 
 
 
 
Kiwanis Club of Siesta Key
PO Box 5485
Sarasota, Florida  34277