Kiwanis Club Donates to New Senior Center

The Kiwanis Club gifting $50,000 to Clovis and senior center representatives (left to right: Luke Serpa, Shonna Halterman, Eddie DeLeon, Kathy Hamlin, Bill Costelow, Jose Flores, and Amy Hance) on Thursday, July 22, 2021. (Anthony De Leon/Clovis Roundup)

The Kiwanis Club of Clovis presented a $50,000 check supporting the new Clovis Senior Activity Center on Thursday, July 22.

“This group [Kiwanis Club] is now part of our major donor team, and we’re just so excited to start to get some momentum with our fundraising,” said Kathy Hamlin, a member of Friends of the Clovis Senior Activity Center.

Eddie DeLeon, director for the Kiwanis Club, says the club decided to raise money to go toward the senior center last year, and in May, agreed on the amount given.

“We thought $50,000 was a worthwhile investment to make. For the majority of the City of Clovis to have something to enjoy, somewhere to go and some resources,” DeLeon said.

DeLeon, a Kiwanis Club member for 30 years, said many of the club’s members utilize the senior center, and the club has been an active partner with the senior center for 30 years.

Before the pandemic, the club would hold its meeting at the senior center. Members also participate in the Meals on Wheels program and throw an annual Christmas dinner feeding up to 500 people.

Hamlin said most of the money donated would be going toward outfitting the senior center with furniture and a billiards room in the center named for the Kiwanis Club.

“It’s a great day for us to know that we have that kind of support in the community, that civic organizations want to contribute to the efforts of the city,” said Clovis Mayor Jose Flores. “We appreciate what they do.”

The Kiwanis Club is now alongside the Smittcamp Family Legacy, who pledged to donate $1 million in honor of Earl and Muriel Smittcamp.

However, Hamlin said the senior center is still looking for sponsors who will donate and raise an additional $2 million.

In addition to outfitting the debt, additional donations will pay down the debt liability the City has accrued by borrowing to construct the building.

The Landmark Square project, where the new center will be located, cost the City of Clovis upwards of $19 million.

“So, part of this is going to be paying down the debt to make the debt more reasonable and save the city money in the long run,” Hamlin said.

Hamlin said the anticipation for the planned 2022 completion is starting to gain momentum, and once completed, will allow all aspects of the senior center to grow.

“People who utilize the current senior center on our board … are saying that they can expand with the new center,” Hamlin said. “There are more people who want to participate with the new senior center. So, all of our wonderful programs are going to be able to grow.”

Flores said the City recognized that expansion of the center was needed.

“We’ve had this in our mind to grow it [senior center],” Flores said. “The fall of 2022 can’t come any sooner because we know there’s a pent-up demand for more services and activities.”

In addition to the senior center, the six-acre, 29,000 square foot facility will house the William “Harry” Armstrong Transit Center, a health clinic run by Saint Agnes Medical Center, and a new Clovis branch of the Fresno County Public Library.

“We believe our investment into the new center will provide sustaining resources that will be needed into the future,” said Bill Costelow, President of the Kiwanis Club.

For its donation, Flores provided the Kiwanis Club with a proclamation honoring its contribution.

Anthony De Leon is a journalist who started his career in 2017, covering sports for the Fresno City College Rampage, earning his Associate Degree in the process. He then moved on to Fresno State, working for The Collegian serving as Sports Editor, Managing Editor and Editor-in-Chief. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in print journalism. In August, he will begin attending Reynold’s School of Journalism Master’s program at the University of Nevada, Reno.