The local Kiwanis Club spent a recent Saturday morning ridding the West Orange Trail of trash and bicycle parts.
Donning gloves and toting extended grabbers and buckets, members of the West Orange Kiwanis Club met Saturday, Nov. 11, at Chapin Station, on the West Orange Trail in Winter Garden, for an early-morning cleanup along the popular recreational trail.
“This trail cleanup is an ongoing service project that several of our members are passionate about since they use the trail regularly themselves,” club vice president Susan King said. “We really get a good response from passersby each time we clean the trail.”
The volunteers walked from Chapin Station to Ocoee High School, about two miles to the north, and returned. They picked up such trash as snack wrappers, fast-food containers and cups, water bottles and other drink containers, bicycle parts and clothing.
Members tackle the trail cleanup twice a year.
The West Orange Kiwanis Club was chartered in 1974 and currently has 14 members. The service club, part of a national organization, has supported numerous school programs, including BUG (Bringing Up Grades) at Lakeview Middle School and Partners in Education at Maxey Elementary, as well as several events at Edgewood Children's Ranch.
The club transitioned to more of an “after hours” organization a few years ago to attract new members.
Besides cleaning the West Orange Trail, the club helps with Aktion Club, a Kiwanis group for adults with various disabilities, and occasionally serves meals with Matthew’s Hope. It also takes on philanthropic projects such as building a ramp at the home of a Winter Garden resident.
Fundraisers allow Kiwanians to help sponsor summer camp for children in need and the Winter Garden Police Department’s Holiday Gifts for Kids program.
West Orange Kiwanis sponsors Key Club at Windermere High School, and 25 students have joined. Teacher Mark Maxwell is the faculty adviser. They have participated in repackaging books for Just1Book and will be assisting with Southwest Food Bank’s Thanksgiving food program.
The Kiwanis Club meets at Melts On Main Street at 6 p.m. on the last Tuesday of each month. The owner, Matthew Erickson, is a member of Kiwanis. Nov. 28 is the next club meeting.
For information about the club or on joining, email vice president Susan King at [email protected] or go to the group’s Facebook page: West Orange Kiwanis After Hours.