The Kiwanis Club of Las Vegas, Young Professionals hosted another Weekend of Youngness from January 17-20. During the weekend, they were joined by members of the Inland Empire Young Professionals (Kiwanis Club of Riverside) as well as members of both Key Club and Circle K International. The weekend was designed to provide multiple days of service and fellowship while promoting the Kiwanis name to the community.
The weekend began with a very informal social of playing video and board games while attendees arrived for the weekend. In addition to the Kiwanians from California, LVYP Kiwanis members currently living in Reno, NV and Phoenix, AZ were also coming to join in the weekend’s activities.
On Saturday morning, the group hosted Key to Life, a program geared toward high school and college students to help them learn about lifelong skills and tips from new professional on the transition from moving from a student to “the real world.” During the session, President Tudor Comanescu and Vice President Camille Alquilos presented topics ranging from “what we wished we knew before getting to the real world” to the importance of understanding coding in today’s world. The event was held in the state of the art facility at the InNEVation Center.
Following the Key to Life program, the group made its way to the Ronald McDonald House of Las Vegas. There, they treated the guests to a gourmet dinner. The menu included a marinated steak that was served with grilled onions and bell peppers as well as chipotle mashed potatoes. For dessert, the Kiwanis chefs created an amazing napoleon and individual fresh fruit tarts. A few of the members are currently taking culinary courses, so this event served as a great opportunity to showcase their skills and even help teach a little about cooking to the other volunteers.
Since there were so many volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House, there was no way everyone could fit in the kitchen. Anticipating the popularity of this project, there was a secondary project to avoid having too many cooks in the kitchen. LVYP Kiwanis organized the attendees in creating Valentines Day cards. These homemade cards would be distributed to the a local nursing home to brighten the day of some local seniors. Even though it was a Weekend of Youngness, there was still thought put in to helping the elderly.
A few members of the group chose to leave the Ronald McDonald House a little early to attend the Region 5 visit by the Kiwanis Governor for the California-Nevada-Hawaii District, Rae Whitby-Brummer. The dinner, held at the Las Vegas Italian American Club served as a time to both celebrate the success of the Region as well as look forward to the service work of Kiwanis for the remainder of the year. LVYP was highlighted for their increase in both membership, service hours, and the ongoing Weekend of Youngness program.
On Sunday, the group made its way to Mimi’s Cafe, where LVYP Kiwanis held it’s banquet. They recognized the current board of officers and officially inducted four of the new members from the Fall. They also gave out a special support recognition award to the Inland Empire Young Professionals for their continued support. The keynote speaker was Cesar Agreda from the First Person Care Clinic, a local nonprofit organization offering preventative and primary healthcare services to the Las Vegas community. First Person Care Clinic has been a great supporter of LVYP Kiwanis and provides the space for their monthly general meetings. Following the banquet, the members spent most of the afternoon continuing to work on the Valentine’s Day cards for seniors.
Monday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and instead of taking a day off, the members took a “day on” to serve the community. Working with the United Way of Southern Nevada, the members helped to renovate Craig Ranch, a park in North Las Vegas. Their main task was helping to prepare 65 plots that were part of a new community garden. Following completion of that project, the group helped create cards of encouragement for students in the Clark County School District who were preparing to take their proficiency exams.
All in all, the weekend was a great success and provided plenty of service, mentoring, and fellowship. It even garnered some interest in the Kiwanis organization, which members were more than happy to talk about. In total, there were around 180 hours of service completed during the weekend. Most importantly, the work during the Weekend of Youngness made a positive impact on the community, which is what Kiwanis is all about.