Fleece Fandango

Contributed by Eva Cohnen-Brown

Spring time is making itself felt in many ways throughout the Valley, be it with warmer weather, melting snowpack and the beginning of trees budding out. Another surefire sign: school’s almost over for the year, which means the annual Kiwanis Fleece Fandango is about to occur.

What is the Fandango all about? This event is focused on creating soft and bright fleece blankets for needy children in the area. A “party” with a theme, in so many words. In this case, volunteers attend a very crafty get-together: measuring fleece material, trimming the rough edges, cutting the material into thin strips, and then tying the strips into knots. Students from high school Key Clubs as well as elementary school K-Kids take part in this worthy cause, as do adult Kiwanis members.

The end result is a lovely and functional blanket that is given to the Children’s Place, which will then give it to one of the children in crisis who come through their doors. This is sometimes the only item a child can take with him or her to their next home, and the blanket’s warmth and fuzzy texture, along with its bright and whimsical design, bring much comfort and solace to a wounded heart.

Now in its seventh year, the fleece project is one of Kiwanis’ main service events, and one of the only ones that include all local branches of this organization. It’s truly a cross-generational time of learning, fun and fellowship. There have been well over a hundred blankets donated during the program’s first six years, and many more are on the way. A big thank you to all who have helped make this program a success!

Kiwanis meetings are held weekly on Tuesdays at Turkey Red Restaurant in the Event Room, at 550 S. Alaska Street, Palmer. We have a variety of interesting speakers, representing local volunteer and business groups. The first few Tuesdays of each month are lunch meetings, held from 12:00-1:00 pm. The last two Tuesdays of each month are evening meetings, held from 6:00-7:00 pm. Meetings are open to everyone, and you don’t have to be a member to attend. For more information, please check out our Facebook site - Kiwanis Club of Palmer Alaska - and the Kiwanis homepage at http://www.kiwanis.org.