Kiwanis Teams Up for Community Center

Working on the new building construction are (from left) Nick Berkuta, Al Magee, Clyde Hemphill, Dr. Joel Smith, Mary Gant and Chuck Trehune.

Members of the Noon Kiwanis Club of La Cañada teamed up this Sunday to build another addition to the La Cañada Flintridge Community Center.

Members of the club have been involved in providing labor in many projects in the past for the center. This project involved the building of a second storage building to accompany an adjacent shed built by the Boy Scouts. Their contribution saved the center close to $1,000 in labor costs.

Led by Dr. Joel Smith, who is the past chairman of the center and past president of the Kiwanis Club, Kiwanians erected the new storage building that now covers a fence and a drainage ditch. Smith, a long time volunteer, said that despite all the labors of love contributed by volunteers, the city’s community center is inadequate for the needs of the community. He noted that drawings and a model sit waiting for a future fundraising effort to build what is projected to be a new $20 million center.

“We keep hoping that we can rally the community to help construct a modern, state of the art community center worthy of our great city,” said Smith. “We now serve over 2,000 people a week, one thousand from La Cañada Flintridge alone.”

Smith is optimistic that in the near future the current center, which was built in 1946 by volunteers, can be replaced with a center that will serve the growing need. Smith served two terms on the board of directors, which is now headed by Tom Reynolds. Two other members of the Noon Kiwanis Club serve on the board, Dr. Carl Christianson and Jim Smith.

“We continually keep adding to and patching this 65-year-old building, but what the city needs is a community center built to serve the needs of the people of 2011 and beyond,” he added.

Contributed by Al RESTIVO