Glen Ridge Kiwanis postpones OctoberFeast, continues helping neighbors

GLEN RIDGE, NJ — Due to COVID-19 pandemic concerns for health and safety, the members of the Kiwanis Club of Glen Ridge have postponed OctoberFeast until 2022; the event was originally scheduled for Oct. 25 at the Women’s Club of Glen Ridge. 

In the meantime, Kiwanis continues to support a number of youth programs and conduct other civic events that are safe, including the upcoming fall clothing and household goods collection drive on Saturday, Nov. 20, at Glen Ridge High School. The donations will benefit Goodwill NYNJ. 

As always, the club continues to be involved in several activities:

  • Most recently, Kiwanis purchased a kit of four EnChroma glasses for the Glen Ridge Public Library’s “library of things,” so that adults and children who suffer from colorblindness can experience the world in full color and try the glasses out before they buy their own pair. The GRPL is the first library in New Jersey to offer EnChroma glasses to visitors.
  • Also during the pandemic and in partnership with the Women’s Club, Kiwanis organized and coordinated all the volunteer organizations in town to run a food dropoff at which hundreds of pounds of food and nearly $1,000 in cash were donated and delivered to two Montclair soup kitchens: Toni’s Kitchen and the Human Needs Pantry.
  • In town, Kiwanis runs the Glen Ridge Memorial Day parade and picnic, participates biannually in the cleanup of Freeman Gardens, and each fall brews coffee for the 3,000 runners in the Ashenfelter 8K Thanksgiving Day Classic. In November 2020, with the assistance of Glen Ridge High School Key Club, members held their first food drive at Foodtown in Bloomfield to help needy neighbors who receive food from Toni’s Kitchen. Seven shopping carts overflowed with donations from store customers and friends. The Kiwanis Club of Glen Ridge publishes and hand delivers the Glen Ridge town and telephone directory, a 50-year tradition. Currently, Kiwanis has pledged to donate $12,500 over the next five years to help buy a state-of-the-art, new ambulance to serve Glen Ridge, Montclair and Bloomfield.
  • Kiwanis sponsors and mentors four youth groups: “K-Kids” at primary schools; “Builders Club” at middle schools; “Key Club” at high schools in Glen Ridge, Montclair and Clifton; and “Circle K” at Montclair State University. Kiwanis’ goal is for youth at all levels to experience leadership and feel the personal reward of volunteerism.
  • The club annually awards college scholarships to Glen Ridge High School graduating seniors in recognition of their community service.
  • As needs arise, Kiwanis offers timely support for projects both big and small. For example, in the past few years the club has given to hurricane relief in both Puerto Rico and the Bahamas, donated money to refurbish Glen Ridge High School’s field house and to Sea Turtle Recovery at Turtle Back Zoo, as well as supporting a local Eagle Scout’s project. During the COVID-19 crisis in 2020, Kiwanis voted to spend up to $1,800 to provide meals for first responders and health care workers, and another $2,000 to help feed the 100 families in town who suddenly found themselves in food shortage.
  • The Kiwanis Club of Glen Ridge exists under the aegis of Kiwanis International, a global service organization found in 80 countries with more than 550,000 members. Kiwanis International was created after World War I and dedicated itself to improving the lives of children as witnessed in its motto, “Serving the Children of the World.” One example of Kiwanis International’s impact is the “Eliminate Project,” where Kiwanis has partnered with the United Nations and raised more than $100 million to eradicate neonatal tetanus, a disease which kills both mother and child. To achieve this goal and contribute its fair share, the Kiwanis Club of Glen Ridge contributed $13,000.

For more information about the club, visit www.grkiwanis.com.

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