New Kiwanis Club taking 'Aktion'
New Aktion Club officers pose for a photo after being sworn into office after the new club was chartered. Pictured, from left, are Randy Heller, president; Jessica Sierant, vice president; Chris Painter, secretary; and Jamie Seth, treasurer.
Staff Writer | February 1, 2023 1:00 AM
Community members are taking 'Aktion' to help the community through a new club formed as part of the Sandpoint Kiwanis Club.
"The Sandpoint Aktion Club is moving forward," said Dick Vail of the Sandpoint Kiwanis Club. "Aktion Club is where development has no disabilities."
The club reached out to the community this past fall to see if there is enough interest to charter a club, via the Sandpoint Kiwanis Club and part of Kiwanis International.
"Everyone should know the fun — and the rewards — of being a part of Kiwanis," Vail said.
Vail said Aktion Club provides opportunities for members to discover that service is an exciting and important part of one's life and to make a positive diﬀerence regardless of any potential challenges they may face.
"The Aktion Club provides opportunities to discover their desire to serve," Vail said. "When people discover their desire to serve, they come to a conclusion that serving others isn’t just something they do - it becomes a way of life. The experience of service leadership is the primary objective of Kiwanis leadership programs.
Vail said the club provides adults with disabilities an opportunity to develop initiative, and leadership skills as well as to serve the community. Through service, a member lives a life of participation rather than isolation, he added.
"At 12,000 members nationally, more than ever, adults with disabilities are becoming active in their communities," Vail said.
Kiwanis Club members said that point was emphasized at an initial meeting regarding the formation of the club.
“I’d just like to be active in service and give back to the community instead of being told to go home and watch TV all afternoon," Vail recalled the woman saying.
The Aktion Club is for adults, 18 years and older, of all abilities giving through service and developing community leaders, Vail said. "More than 11,000 adults with disabilities are involved in this Kiwanis family program, developing leadership skills while working with others to help those in need," Vail told the Daily Bee. "Aktion Club empowers members to be themselves, work together with friends, and implement plans through action."
Coeur d’Alene has had an active club for years and when Gary Jones, a longtime Kiwanian moved to Sandpoint and learned there was no club in the greater Sandpoint area, he suggested one be chartered.