Kiwanis kicks off return to Tipp City


TIPP CITY — The first meeting of the new Tipp City Kiwanis Club kicked off Tuesday afternoon with seven community leaders in attendance.

“There is a great deal of satisfaction in helping out youth. We have to find the next generation of leaders — of volunteers — and this is what that does,” Club Coordinator Bill Pees of Kiwanis International said. “What’s in it for you is the gratification from helping out youth.”

Kiwanis International begain in Detroit, Michigan in 1915 and in 106 years has grown to include over 550,000 members across 80 countries, all of which focus on youth. A hallmark of the Kiwanis organization is service projects — nearly 150,000 service projects are hosted by Kiwanis clubs every year, which amounts to more than 19 million service hours. According to Division 4 Lieutenant Gov. Kelly Faas, her survey of the Tipp City area confirmed there was a need for a Kiwanis organization.

“We get to know the community and what the community needs. You have need here. You not only have kids who need weekend food, but they need clothes — they need everything,” Faas said. “We’re forming this club, and we’re going to help kids.”

Tipp City had a Kiwanis club previously that disbanded roughly five years ago; the process of returning to Tipp City began with Mark Wion, who is lieutenant governor of divison 3, serving Miami, Champaign, Darke, Shelby and Logan counties. He has been part of the Piqua club for eight years, where he currently serves as treasurer and will become president in October. Wion said it is his personal mission to get a Key Club in every high school in Miami County.

“I saw a need. It feels great, seeing it all come together,” Wion said.

In the Piqua community, Kiwanis has brought benefit through the school clubs such as the Key Club, Builders Club and K Kids. Projects through those clubs include making place mats for the Meals on Wheels program and writing letters and making cards for the elderly in nursing homes and care facilities during the pandemic. The organization as a whole has sponsored youth programs, scholarships, and a reading program at Head Start, among other things.

“We’re one of the best-kept secrets of Piqua,” Wion said. “With our service programs, we were active all during COVID. The Piqua City Schools had the staff to welcome us in. Of course, during COVID, we weren’t allowed in the buildings, but our programs were still running, even without us.”

The Tipp City club needs 15 members to charter a club and currently has five. To join the Kiwanis Club of Tipp City, visit or visit their Facebook page. The current dues for joining the club through Sept. 30 is $50.

The next meeting of the Tipp City Kiwanis Club will be Tuesday, Aug. 31 at 5:30 p.m.

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