“Cool bike!” “Wow, I want to ride that.” South Pasadena Kiwanis Club Elementary School Scholarship Chair Jeff Graham overheard that and similar whispers as he wheeled a brand, new Schwinn Classic series black beach cruiser to the dais in Arroyo Vista’s courtyard on Friday, May 30, 2014 during the end of the year Awards Ceremony. After asking the audience to acknowledge by applause a uniformed soldier in attendance at the event and thanking her for her service, Graham turned to the business at hand: plugging the club’s annual 4th of July Pancake Breakfast at South Pasadena’s Fire Station at 817 Mound Ave. “Actually, the business at hand is awarding an awesome bicycle to a deserving student selected by the faculty based on his or her possession of the kinds of character traits and actions that typify an excellent student role model. But the funds we raise from the community’s ticket purchases for the Pancake Breakfast and our other fundraisers are put right back into the South Pasadena community to fund this and other projects that serve our community and local youth, “ said Graham, “like sponsoring youth clubs at the middle and high schools to foster leadership skills and instill the value of community service, or organizing a recent new event , the “Shred It” day following tax season. For that event, Kiwanis partnered with Ability First, an organization that provides job training and opportunities to disabled persons that allowed our citizens to drop off boxes of their documents bearing sensitive information to be securely shredded. We give a bike to a student at each of the elementary schools, 2 iPad minis at the middle school and 3 scholarships at the high school. And that’s just a taste of what Kiwanis does here in town.”
Similarly, Friday’s presentation focused on recognizing in front of the student body, teachers and parents in attendance the kinds of behaviors and character traits that makes the world and a school a better place. “I’m here to to award a bike, a helmet and a lock to a student that I’m told tries hard in school, has a good attitude, is kind to classmates, is helpful to teachers and loves animals,” announced Graham. Ruben Villela Gibbs come on up and get your bike!” From the back of the assembly, Ruben, a youngster with a gleam in his eye and a smile on his face ran up quickly to receive the bike.
Purchase your tickets to the Kiwanis 4th of July Pancake Breakfast early to avoid the ticket line the day of the event. Pre-event tickets can be bought at South Pasadena’s Senior Center, Chamber of Commerce, or Fire Department, and these local businesses: Reimagine Your Home, Mission Framing, Busters, Bristol Farms, Dinosaur Farm and The UPS Store or from any Kiwanian. Cost is $ 7 per person and free to uniformed service or law enforcement members and children 6 and under.