Sparta Kiwanis is 70 years old

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  • From clean-up day on Blue Heron Road, from left: Back row; John Kirkowski, John Klumpp, Jeff Mullen, Randy Earl, Larry Palmer, Ken Koneval and Stu Schwartz; front row, Stu Schwartz's daughters Olivia and Lily.

The Sparta Kiwanis reached their 70th year milestone in December.

The year was 1947; Harry Truman was president, Jackie Robinson made history, Meet the Press was aired, and Sparta was a sleepy rural township of 3000 when a special group of civic-minded citizens pledged service to their community and the Sparta Kiwanis was born.

The Kiwanians are celebrating seven decades of uninterrupted service to their growing community. And they have much to feel good about. Since the inception of the college scholarship program in 1982, they have awarded almost half a million dollars in tuition assistance to worthy graduates of our local high schools. Their monthly food drives at the Stop and Shop netted the yearly total of 136 carts of foodstuffs and $13,000 in cash for the Ecumenical Food Pantry at the Presbyterian Church on Main Street. And for the last 25 years Kiwanians have been the elves ringing Holiday Bells for the Salvation Army.

Their programs are not limited to fund-raising events. The Kiwanis displays their social side as well. Sponsoring picnics for senior citizens at Knoll heights, the annual family picnic at Station Park, the famous Duck Races all contribute to community fun. Planting the flowers annually at the library, monthly cleaning up the Blue Heron Road approaches to Sparta and assisting with the restoration of Sparta Glen are all ecological concerns within the purview of the Sparta Kiwanis.

The Kiwanians always stand ready to help at community events like the popular German Christmas market or for Santa’s visit to Station Park. And there’s much more; Forest Gump said it best, “Service is what service does.”

On their anniversary the Kiwanis is looking forward to continuing its many programs and finding new initiatives to continue the vision of the founders of seventy years ago. The Sparta Kiwanis meets every Thursday at 7P.M. at Homer’s Restaurant on the Newton-Sparta Road. Come meet them. All are welcome. All are needed and our Sparta is worth it. For information you are invited to call Stu at 973 459-0194.

and his daughters Olivia and Lily

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