The Kiwanis Club of Wabash recently discovered that it ranked first and second in its district in two major membership growth statistics, said board vice president Eric Seaman.

Seaman said the Kiwanis Club of Wabash saw significant relative gains in its membership when compared to its cohorts in the Kiwanis Indiana State District. Out of the 153 Kiwanis clubs in the State District, the Wabash club is ranked first for growth with a net gain of eight members. That gain took place between the start of the Kiwanis Club of Wabash’s previous year in October 2020 and the start of its current year October 2021.

The Wabash club also ranked second statewide for percentage growth at 20.5 percent.

“There are some clubs in our district, like many service organizations around the country, that have struggled with membership the past couple of years due to the pandemic,” said Wabash Kiwanis Club Board president Kyle Dubois. “We’ve been fortunate to be able to still meet this past year after taking a few months off in early and mid-2020. And not only that, but we’ve been able to still have good programs during our weekly lunches and have three successful fundraisers this summer.”

Seaman said the Kiwanis Club of Wabash currently stands at 47 members, with a 48th member pending approval from their board this month.

“My year as president was essentially cut in half in early 2020 with COVID, and when I stepped down after my year in that officer position, it made sense for me to take on the membership chairperson position with our Club because membership was the No. 1 priority of my presidency,” said Seaman. “I’ve noticed a steady decline in membership since I joined this awesome organization six ago and it’s great to see that our aggressive membership goals are paying off. We’re only as strong as our membership numbers and our individual members’ drive to benefit our community, one child at a time. And in that light, we’re only getting stronger.”

Seaman said the Kiwanis Club of Wabash organizes multiple annual fundraisers “that benefit causes and organizations not only locally, but statewide and globally as well.”

These include support of Key Clubs at Wabash and Northfield high schools, support of K-Kids clubs at Sharp Creek Elementary School, sponsorship of the Wabash County Spelling Bee, renovating local park playgrounds, continuing their fifth grade book program, supplying the Kate’s Kart book cart at Parkview Wabash Hospital and more.

Earlier this month, Sharp Creek Elementary School fourth grade teacher Kelly Ross said students at their school’s K-Kids club constructed hand-made cards to show appreciation to local veterans.

Wabash Kiwanis also supports youth- and community-focused initiatives like Riley Hospital for Children, the Eagles Theatre renovation, FAME Festival, the Honeywell Foundation’s Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) and Arts in Education programs, the Wabash County Scholarship Pageant, Founder’s Day, Wabash Area Community Theater, the Wabash High School volleyball team’s Kills for a Cure fundraiser and more.

For more information, email eseaman@honeywellarts.org or call 260-274-1432.

Rob Burgess, Wabash Plain Dealer editor, may be reached by email at rburgess@wabashplaindealer.com.