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Donor Spotlight: The Kiwanis Club of Kirkland

Kirkland Kiwanis serving Community Supper pre-COVID-19

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the Kiwanis Club of Kirkland has donated $5,000 to Attain Housing. This very generous donation covers revenue lost since the crisis first hit in early March. Kiwanis joins a growing list of local supporters stepping up in a huge way and donating to Attain Housing.

The charitable relationship between the Kiwanis Club of Kirkland and Attain Housing goes way back. Kiwanis member and Kirkland local legend Bill Petter was a huge early advocate for Attain Housing, known back then as Kirkland Interfaith Transitions in Housing (KITH).

Established in 1947, the Kirkland Kiwanis continue to bring local business owners and community leaders together to rally behind the International Kiwanis mission: “Serving the children of the world.”

“Our club exists to give back to the community and while our primary mission as Kiwanis is to serve children, we believe that Attain accomplishes this in a huge way as they support mothers and children in need of temporary housing following whatever crisis put them there in the place of need,” said Bill Badgley, former Club President. “All of us at Kiwanis appreciate what Attain Housing does for our community and we feel it is one of the best outreaches that we have.”

Michael Marquess took over as Club President in October 2019 and he shares Bill’s sentiments regarding the club’s partnership with Attain Housing.

“Kiwanis is all about helping the less fortunate kids in our local area and Attain Housing does exactly that by housing families,” Michael said. “We all know that for the children to be strong, the family as a whole needs to be strong and Attain provides that support.”

Historically, the Kiwanis Club has hosted a large Pancake Breakfast every spring, which is a tradition that Kiwanis member and former Attain Housing board member Walt Krueger was instrumental in starting. The club would then use part of the proceeds as their donation to the 7 Hills of Kirkland bike ride, Attain Housing’s spring fundraiser. This makes the club’s Rental Relief donation all the more significant to us, as we know they won’t be able to hold their usual Pancake Breakfast due to restrictions on large group gatherings. And since we’ve had to shift gears and make 7 Hills an online fundraiser, Kiwanis is pitching in on that front, as well. The club created their own fundraising team on Classy.org along with all the other 7 Hills riders and fundraisers out there. You can find them on our 7 Hills Classy.org page.

The Kiwanis also have a long history of supporting Attain Housing’s Community Supper program, in which volunteer groups provide a free, hot meal open to all community members every Tuesday evening at Holy Spirit Luther Church. The program is currently suspended due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Kiwanis members Mark Tillman and Reddith Ross co-ran the program and coordinated volunteer groups for many years. In recent years, Bill Badgley and his reliable crew of Kiwanis members have been serving up their classic meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and beans about once a quarter. The made-from-scratch meatloaf is always a big hit with attendees.

“The suppers are a project that all of us can work at together on and we can see the results directly as we prepare and serve the meals,” Bill said. “We always have a great time and cherish the opportunity.”