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Lee, Hendry join forces for Kiwanis Peanut Day sales

By Staff | Mar 11, 2009

Kiwanis clubs in Lee and Hendry counties are trying to raise some money this weekend for area children.
The Kiwanis Peanut Day will combine the forces of eight separate clubs across county lines, as they sell bags of peanuts at grocery stores, Wal-Marts and other local hot spots.
Proceeds from sales will benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs, scouting programs and the Children’s Advocacy Center.
Kiwanis Division Lt. Kathy Woolston said the Kiwanians will accept any amount for the peanuts — as long as people are contributing something is all that matters.
“We’d like a donation of a dollar a bag. We’ve ordered 300 cases of peanuts with 1,000 bags per case, so if we got a dollar a bag it would be awesome,” she said. “But if people don’t have the money, that’s OK.”
Woolston said the event is twofold. Along with raising money for area nonprofits, the Kiwanis are raising their profile within the community.
Although not quite as old as the Kiwanis themselves, the clubs’ tradition of selling peanuts to raise funds dates back over a half a century. Started in Chicago in 1951, the peanut sale quickly became the organization’s premier, and most recognized, fund-raising event.
This will be the first time Kiwanis clubs from Lee and Hendry have banded together to try something on this scale.
They were, in turn, honored for their efforts with a special proclamation by Lee County Commissioners on March 3. The proclamation officially marks March 14 as Kiwanis Peanut Day in Lee County.
Woolston said this year will mark the beginning of many successful years to come, with passing years yielding higher and better results.
“It’s been somewhat of a challenge,” she said of her efforts. “But I’m really looking at it as community support.”
Terry Luster, the head of a new start-up club in South Fort Myers, said he is excited to be a part of the fund-raiser.
He said the clubs have been looking for a fund-raising idea, and the opportunity for all the clubs to unite is just too good to pass up.
“This is something to spur everybody and really get behind,” Luster said. “Here’s something we can do together to raise community awareness.”
Peanut Day Sale locations for the individual Kiwanis clubs vary, but will generally take place from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.Saturday. For more information, visit the Web site at: kiwanis19.com.