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Bellflower Recognize Service Clubs Contributions

By Tammye McDuff

Congresswoman Linda Sanchez addressed more than 150 officers from 15 service clubs at the Joint Service Club Luncheon held at Simms Park in Bellflower this past week.

Sanchez thanked each organization by saying “Service oriented organizations are so important to each community, you step in when others cannot. You are part of the 61 million Americans that volunteer over 80 million hours to their community.”

Sanchez noted that the combined hours of service clubs are worth an estimated $162 million dollars. Sanchez continued to elaborate on the many contributions service organizations contribute from raising funds for public parks to donating glasses to those who cannot afford them. “The impact each one of your organizations contribute to this city is invaluable,” Sanchez said, “thank you for everything that you do!”

Special guest speaker Kevin MacDonald, Executive Director of ARC Southeast Los Angeles, also began his speech with applause to each and every one of the members of Bellflower service clubs.

MacDonald quotes their mission statement “The ARC’s vision is that every individual and family affected by intellectual disability in the United States has access to the information, advocacy, and skills they need to participate as active citizens of our democracy and active members of their community.”

He went on to say, “We work to ensure that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families have the support they need to live an ordinary, decent American life. Without organizations such as yours, we would not be able to support so many that are in need.”

ARC is the world’s largest community based organization of and for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It provides an array of services and support for families and individuals and includes over 140,000 members affiliated through more than 850 state and local chapters across the nation.

The Kiwanis Club of Bellflower was host to the luncheon with food service being donated by the Bellflower Unified School District. Kiwanis Clubs are located in 80 nations, stage nearly 150,000 service projects, devote more than 6 million hours of service and raise nearly $100 million every year for communities, families and projects. Key Club members pitch in 12 million hours of service each year, and CKI members another 500,000 hours of service

Service Clubs in attendance were: Kiwanis Club of Bellflower; Fraternal Order of Eagles, Bellflower Aerie # 2743; Elks Lodge Bellflower / Long Beach; Knights of Columbus; Noon Lions Club; Bellflower Family Lions; Masonic Lodge #320; Loyal Order of the Moose; Rotary club; Soroptimist Club of Bellflower; Women’s Club of Bellflower; Bellflower YMCA; Job’s daughters International Bethel; and the Bellflower Chamber of Commerce.