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Bayside Kiwanis ends 70 yrs. of service with donation

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The Bayside Kiwanis Club will shutter its doors after 69 years in the community and the group has chosen Bayside’s St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children for its final donation, group members said.

The club, founded in 1940 as a neighborhood organization that would provide community service and aid to neighborhood students, will close due to a decline in membership, said member Judy Limpert, who is also president of the Bayside Business Association.

“It’s been winding down for a couple of years,” said Limpert, who has been a member since 1988. “The group focused on community service and children, giving them leadership skills.”

She said the club also sent underprivileged borough students to upstate Camp Kiwanis. The group was currently sponsoring three high school students, all of whom have been adopted by other neighborhood organizations, in its Key Club, she said.

In its heyday, the club had as many as 60 members, but it is now down to 12 members, Limpert said.

“We figured it was time to call it quits,” said Joseph Madden, a longtime member and former president of the group. “It was a great place to interface with a who’s who of Bayside.”

For its final donation, the Kiwanis club chose Bayside’s St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children.

“We wanted to make sure one of Bayside’s most worthy causes was our last recipient,” said Madden, a Bay Terrace resident.

Jan Mittan, vice president of communications and development, said the club’s donation would go toward providing care for the hospital’s 4,000 children with special needs.

Mabel Taylor, whose husband, the Rev. Donald Taylor, was active in the club for years before he died three years ago, said the Kiwanis club drew as many 100 youths into its Key Club at the peak of its popularity. She said the club had been on the decline for several years, but that it had provided a great service to high school students in northeast Queens.

“They formed a nice club with a lot of young people in it,” she said. “It was a lovely group.”

Kiwanis, which was founded in 1915 and currently has its headquarters in Indianapolis, is a nationwide group that focuses on community service and assistance for young adults, including recreation and sports programs, scholarship funding, promoting literacy and aiding the elderly.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e−mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 156.

Posted 6:35 pm, October 10, 2011
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