The Kiwanis Club of Ottawa initiated and sponsored the first ever Aktion Club in Canada and we held the opening meeting in Ottawa in August 1999.
We modeled this Club after similar Clubs that Kiwanis sponsors in the United States. The nature of the club requires hands on work by several volunteers comprised of our own club as well as other Kiwanis Clubs in the area.
The whole experience has proved to be very rewarding to all involved and makes one appreciate the things in life we tend to take for granted. The purpose of the Aktion Club is to provide a setting for its members to meet on a regular basis, have a variety of programs from guest speakers to a demonstration of the police canine unit -- which was a big hit. Our membership is composed of individuals who are physically and/or mentally challenged. Some of our members are very musical and we have nights when they entertain the group with songs and guitar accompaniments.
The delight our members experience is very refreshing. We meet on alternating Tuesday nights at the Legion Hall at 330 Kent Street. For many of our members it is one of the only social outings in which they participate and to have dinner is an added bonus especially when it is a meeting for celebrating birthdays with a cake!
At the first meeting in August we had 11 attendees. The club has grown to 34 members and they keep coming back. The official charter night was October 5, 1999 and Citizenship Court Judge Suzanne Pinel presided with the media recording the event.
One of our members, Scott McEwen, participated in the snow showing competition at the Canadian Special Olympics 2000 Winter Games. He won a bronze medal in the 100 metre race and a silver medal in the 4x100 meter relay. The membership was very supportive of his efforts and after the games finished he proudly wore his medals to our meeting and was received as a celebrity!!
Although the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa is the official sponsor, five other clubs are sharing in this venture: Southenders, Ottawa-Vanier, Carleton, Nepean and Rideau.
A group from North Bay has heard of the Aktion Club and we will be welcoming their delegates at our next meeting so they can experience first hand what this is all about with the thought of duplicating our efforts in their area. We have had very positive feed-back from the community of counsellors and social workers about what a positive impact the Aktion Club is having on the members - what more needs to be said.
Please come out and join us at one of our meetings and you will be assured of a memorable evening.
Val Wilkins General Insurance Broker sponsored by Pierre Laurin in 1993