Kinsmen celebrate 95 years of community service

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February 10, 2015 9:08 AM

Earle and Gwen Swift received recognition at this year's Telemiracle Steak Night event on Feb. 7 at the Stockade Convention Centre for their 60 years of service with the Lloydminster Kinsmen and Kinettes. From left, Gwen and Earle Swift, Darcy Wildeman and national president of Kin Canada Ron Hanishewsky. - Jaime Polmateer Photo

Local group was chartered in 1928, one of oldest in the country

Since 1920, the Kinsmen Club has been helping communities across Canada through fundraising and service projects in their respective towns and cities. To honour their 95th anniversary, the Lloydminster Kinsmen and Kinettes will be signing a proclamation at city hall on Feb. 12, asking that it recognize the commitment of their clubs to the community.

The Lloydminster Kinettes will also be celebrating the anniversary on Feb. 19 at Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt with a portion of the proceeds from the event going to the local club.

Leanne Melnechenko, charter member of the Kinettes, helped shed some light on the Kin’s history.

“In Lloydminster, both the Kinsmen and Kinette clubs are thriving. The Lloydminster Kinsmen were chartered in February of 1928, and were one of the first seven Kinsmen Clubs in all of Canada,” she said.

“The original Lloydminster Kinette club folded early in the first decade of this millennium, but the current Kinette Club rechartered in November of 2004.”

The clubs have raised over $1 billion with their combined efforts since they were established. Although they do work for various national projects, the Kins national charity is cystic fibrosis. During their partnership with Cystic Fibrosis Canada, over half a century strong, the Kins have donated almost $50 million to research in finding a cure for the disease.

Both clubs also get together every year to host the Telemiracle Steak Night, which took place last weekend on Feb. 7.

“The event hosts about 500 people who enjoy a delicious barbecued steak prepared by our own club members, a live and silent auction, and a night of entertainment,” Melnechenko said. “For the last several years, proceeds from this one event have been around the $50,000 mark and are donated to Telemiracle 39, which will be held in Saskatoon on March 7 and 8 this year.”

Other events and fundraisers they do separately, including the Kinsmen hosting an annual hockey draft and selling Christmas trees during the holidays. The Lloydminster Kinettes have Kristmas with the Kinettes each November and a wine and beer tasting in the spring, among others events.

“In addition to a busy schedule of fundraising and service, both the Lloydminster Kinsmen and Kinettes are certain to make time for fellowship and fun with other members and our families. We do an annual Kin Campout each summer and plan social events throughout the year to relax and connect with each other,” Melnechenko said.

“I have often said people join to volunteer but they stay for the fellowship and friends.”

Anyone interested in further information about the Kinsmen Club can reach Darcy Wildeman at 780-872-5222 and those interested in the Kinettes can contact Melnechenko at 780-875-2643.

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