Jim Swinkola was recently presented with
the Kiwanis International Centennial Award for his faithful service to the civic organization.
"As a Kiwanian, I'm able to encourage adolescents to develop leadership skills," Swinkola has been a 33-year member of the Kiwanis Club of Banner Elk, and currently serves as an advisor to the Avery High School Key Club. Retirement from his position as CEO with Grandfather Home for Children opened his schedule to work with the oldest and largest service program for high school students in the world - Key Club International.
Avery Key Club has been a successful model of how students can not only volunteer their services to improve their community, but also develop leadership· skills."What could be more Kiwanis-like behavior than helping others while sharpening your own leadership skills?" Swinkola added.
Kiwanis International celebrated a century of
service to the children of the world in 201,5. The Kiwanis Club of Banner Elk has worked to impact children and children's programs in Avery County since 1968. It was the Centennial celebration of the parent organization that caught Swinkola's interest. He assisted a successful member recruitment effort during the centennial year, growing the Banner Elk club's net membership by 26, resulting in growth of 76 percent. The club was presented with the Kiwanis Eagle Award to recognize the membership growth.
"The more Kiwanians, the more service to the
community," Swinkola said.The membership increase recognized the club within the Carolinas District and also recognized Swinkola with the Centennial Award for his efforts.
"The honor for the club and for me personally is dwarfed by the increased positive impact on the children of the community,"
Referring back to his role as an advisor to the ACHS Key Club, Swinkola pointed out
that in 2016 a record number of AveryHigh students recently attended the District
Convention in Durham. Students returned with numerous honors, including the coveted Diamond Club Award.
"It is my hope that a goodly number of the key
club members will translate their leadership skills into strengthening nonprofit organizations whose mission it is to serve children. The more skilled the agency's staff leaders, the better the service delivery. Enhancing leadership skills within Kiwanis' Key Club model caught the eye of the High Country Charitable Foundation in 2015,"
A private grant was awarded to work specifically with the Avery High School Key Club membership. "This financial grant is the perfect example of how to positively impact the leadership skills of future nonprofit directors," Swinkola added. "The results, outcomes and measurable improvements I witness within the Avery High Key Club leadership are impressive.
"Few things in life make me feel better than being an active Kiwanian. The Centennial Award is nice, but the impact Kiwanis and Key Club makes on the children of Avery County is tremendous. That's where the action is, working to better the lives of children, which is what Kiwanis does."
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The Avery High Key Club garnered numbers of awards this year at the Carolinas District Key Club Convention. There are 242 clubs in North and South Carolina that makeup the "might" Carolinas District. Out of these clubs, Avery High's Key Club has become a force to be reckoned with.
Recognition for Contribution and Support of Major Emphasis Projects:
1. The Eliminate Project
2. March of Dimes
3. Children's Miracle Network
Recognition for Contribution and Support of Carolinas District Project:
1. NC Boys and Girls Home at Lake Waccamaw
1. Club Video - 3rd Place
2. Major Emphasis Project - 2nd Place
3. Single Service Project - 2nd Place
4. Non-Traditional Scrapbook - 1st Place Individual Competitions:
5. Digtital Poster - 1st Place 1. Oratorical Contest: Brett Haas; Runner-Up 2. Essay Contest: Jessica Tufts; 2nd Place
1. Elisabeth (Ellie) Kitchin - Elected as a Lt. Gov. for Division 25 2016-2017
2. Reagan Dellinger - Retiring Lt. Governor Division 3 for 2015-2016
Special Recognition Awards:
1. Robert F. Lucas Notable Service Award to a Lieutenant Governor - Reagan Dellinger
2. Outstanding Faculty Advisor of the Carolinas District - Teresa H. Shadoin
3. Distinguished Diamond Club Service Award - 2nd year in a row. Only 2 clubs from the Carolinas District were recognized as a Diamond Level Club. In 2015 only 62 clubs out of over 5000 Key Clubs worldwide that received this award. Avery High Key Club will go on to compete at the International Level for Non-Traditional Scrapbook and Digital Poster in Atlanta, Ga. in July 2016.
"As a Kiwanian, I can put good works into my
belief that to be great in God's kingdom, you
need to be the servant of all," Roy Krege said. As
an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Banner
Elk since 1968, Krege recently received one of the most prestigious Kiwanis International recognitions. Krege was named a Zeller Fellow.
Known as the popular "Mr. Woolly Worm," Krege
annually promotes the October Kiwanis-sponsored Woolly Worm Festival. It can be argued that no one person has breathed more '
life into this major fund- raiser than Krege, changing it from a backyard party to an internationally recognized festival. While the festival is fun and a bit silly, there is no doubt that the monies generated have a major impact on the lives of others. Children's causes locally and across the world continue to benefit from
the work of Kiwanis, thus continuing to keep Krege fully engaged.
Special causes such as backpack food programs for school children, to books for Reading Is Fundamental program to the Eliminate Project's efforts to successfully eliminate maternal and
neonatal tetanus worldwide illustrate why Krege continues as an active Kiwanian, "As Kiwanians, we make communities better and positively touch lives," Krege said. "My favorite moments as a Kiwanian are when I get a sense that we
have made a difference in an individual or a group's life."
For this Zeller Fellow, those moments are many.
"God don't make no junk!" often is heard when Krege is speaking in front of a group. His active involvement in Kiwanis activities means that he devotes personal energy, time and talent to encourage all children to feel worthy and special.
When asked about the Zeller Fellow award, Krege said, "I feel that I have never done anything to strive to be recognized, but it is nice to be honored by fellow Kiwanis members." Those who know Krege are not surprised by his humble response. For Krege, life is about recognizing others; making them feel special and, perhaps most impor tantly, being of Christian service to them.
Whether you see him picking up a woolly worm
on the highway, calling out the words to the Hokey Pokey for dancing children or serving as an auctioneer to raise money for a community good cause, Krege is living his belief that to be great in God’s kingdom you need to be the servant of all. Kiwanis recognizes Krege as a servant to all, and honors him as a 2016 Zeller Fellow.
Kiwanis Club of Banner Elk
"I recall sitting at Avery High School and listening to a 16-year old girl explain that her main suppliers of drugs were her parents, " Kiwanian Bob Barinowski said.
That was Barinowski's Kiwanis moment. As a
three-decade member of the Kiwanis Club of Banner Elk and past distinguished President, Barinowski recently was honored as a Zeller Fellow, one of the highest possible Kiwanis International awards.
Barinowski expounded on his Kiwanis moment by sharing his experience when the Kiwanis Club was asked to help address drug use by students at Avery High School. He agreed to participate, and spent time meeting with students and school staff. The adolescent girl he especially remembered told them that her parents used drugs. When they would leave for a weekend, she would invite her friends over to the home. Finding the parents' drug stash would provide for their recreational drug use, Barinowski related.
Because of this newly recognized world for some adolescents, that of drug abuse, Barinowski donated his time and attention as a Kiwanian to listening to and working with high school students for the next 12 years - all under the name of Kiwanis. He helped channel that strong adolescent need to belong to a peer group into the successful Young Life program, an alternative to participation in the drug culture. That, and the other "good works" of Barinowski, were recognized during a recent ceremony where nine-year-old Sadie Grace Barinowski pinned the prestigious Kiwanis Zeller pin onto the lapel of her grandfather.
Service to others was instilled into Barinowski
by his father, a 50-year Rotarian. Joining the Kiwanis Club of Banner Elk in 1983, Barinowski, a retired Air Force Lt. Colonel, has developed close friends
and participated in many community "good deeds." Weekly Kiwanis meetings permit him to learn about the happenings in the community. "I learn what's going on!" Barinowski exclaimed.
When asked about his feelings related to be-
coming a Zeller Fellow, Barinowski's response
was quick and emphatic. "I'm not worthy!" he said. "There are-many others who work tirelessly to make the community a better place. I am only one member of the team."
Barinowski has long been a Kiwanian. He has long worked to make his community a better place for others. As a model for others to emulate, the Kiwanis Club of Banner Elk is proud to call Bob Barinowski one of its 2016 Zeller Fellows.