Committed to  serving youth in  the community

Hibbing Kiwanis Club typically serves up between 750 to 950 pancake meals between breakfast, lunch and dinner at its annual pancake feed. This year’s feed has been postponed until September. 

HIBBING — A local non-profit dedicated to youth in the community recently celebrated its 100th anniversary, outside Palmer’s Tavern in Hibbing.

“We just did a small, social distancing gathering outside,” Robin Cicmil, the current club president said earlier this week.

The 25 members of the Hibbing Kiwanis Club have been looking at having a combined dinner celebration with their counterparts at Chisholm Kiwanis sometime next year. The Hibbing based club is looking to grow its membership. In conjunction with its 100th anniversary, the club is offering memberships at a discounted rate of $100 per person. Applications can be found on the club’s Facebook page.

“It’s usually $120 per year,” Cicmil said.

Employers sometimes cover the cost of a membership, so prospective new members are encouraged to check with their employer.

Hibbing Kiwanis meets at noon every other Wednesday. The club is currently holding its

meetings online due to the coronavirus crisis. Their regular meeting location is at Sammy’s Pizza.

“Our mission is, we help the children, one child at a time,” Cicmil said. “So, we support the youth and children in the community. Anything that has to do with children we try to donate or help.”

The club is active in a variety of activities in town, including volunteering twice yearly to pack backpacks for the United Way of Minnesota Buddy Backpack program. They also organize the Jubilee parade and the holiday parade in Hibbing, and assist with the City Auto Glass Foundation walleye tournament.

Every August, the club donates to the Hibbing High School Student Council Fill the Bus school supply. They also contribute to the school supply drive at The Salvation Army.

The club members also volunteer their time to ring the bells for The Salvation Army holiday Red Kettle drive. In addition, the club makes a $250 monetary donation.

At graduation time, the Hibbing Kiwanis Club also helps out with the Hibbing High School All Night Graduation Party. In recent years, the chemical-free graduation event had about an 85 percent attendance rate, Cicmil noted.

Hibbing Kiwanis Club also supports an active Key Club group at Hibbing High School.

Cicmil said the Key Club group, led by HHS teacher Ross Harvey does many projects throughout the year, including helping Kiwanis Club members sell tickets for the pancake feed.

“They’re a big help,” Cicmil said. “This is gearing them for service and leadership — we support them, and they support us.”

Due to executive orders from Governor Tim Walz put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, this year’s All Night Graduation Party was canceled.

Kiwanis International has partnered with the local club on ventures to benefit youth in Hibbing. Cicmil cited the Miracle Field project at Bennett Park as one example. Hibbing Kiwanis is also part of a project to bring an inclusive playground to the Greenhaven School.

“There’s just so many things that people don’t know we do,” Cicmil said

Some of the regular fundraisers for Hibbing Kiwanis have also been put on hold, or canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hibbing Kiwanis Club members along with their counterparts from the Chisholm Kiwanis Club normally park cars at the St. Louis County Fair as one of its annual fundraisers. This year’s fair was canceled due to COVID-19.

The club’s annual pancake feed fundraiser, normally held in April has been postponed. They are hoping to reschedule it for sometime in September, and are deciding between a dine-in event, or if it will be strictly take-out, Cicmil said.

Each year the Hibbing Kiwanis Club presents scholarships to Key Club students. Donations from the City Auto Glass Foundation help support this effort. Despite the cancelation of the popular City Auto Glass Walleye Tournament fundraiser, the City Auto Glass Foundation made a $3,000 donation to Hibbing Kiwanis this year.

“This year there were five seniors and we gave each $600,” Cicmil said. During normal times, she added that would have been about double.

Cicmil said the club does have some funds on hand, and is also looking at planning one more fundraiser for this fall to continue its work in the community.

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