During the annual Kennewick Kiwanis installment this September, it was announced that Kennewick Kiwanis Young Professionals Club President, Megan Perry, was being honored as the recipient of the esteemed Kiwanian of the Year Award. Over the last year, Megan has been the driving force behind our new satellite club, aimed at providing young professionals with the opportunity to give back to the community in ways that are conducive to their busy schedules and blossoming careers. Growing from a small handful of members at its inception, to about 20 members by early 2020, our club’s vision was just beginning to take form – then COVID hit. The pandemic and subsequent shutdowns disrupted much of our momentum, and we were suddenly faced with obstacles no one in our young club had previously come up against.
However, this was not enough to deter Megan. Navigating challenges as circumstances changed week-to-week, she spearheaded the effort to take our meetings online; as well as the decision to hit “pause” on some of our larger projects in favor of more pandemic-friendly efforts. We charged ahead and held a successful fundraiser for Eastgate Elementary, the school we selected to sponsor, raising over $1,000 to go toward school supplies for the coming year. In the face of a global health crisis, Megan went above and beyond to get our club off of the ground and set a high standard for what it means to lead the Kennewick Kiwanis Young Professionals along the way. Her lead-by-example style will leave behind big shoes to fill – something that I appreciate both as a member and as the club’s incoming President.
To Megan, on behalf of the Kennewick Kiwanis Young Professionals, thank you for all you’ve done.
Looking to the future
With social distancing rules slowing down engagement with our members and the community, things are looking a little different this year. Megan and I have had multiple conversations to determine the best direction for our club; and with this being the first leadership transition that we have undergone, there will surely be a period of trial-and-error as we enter our second year.
It feels really rewarding to help those in need, but this past year has also shown me the lifelong bonds that can form when working together to benefit the community. It does not take much to have an impact on those around us, but it is what I enjoy most about our club and the vision that I will carry forward as I take on this new role in the midst of a particularly strange time.
My goals for the upcoming year are to assist the Kennewick Kiwanis club in improving their technological capabilities, and to establish a membership base that is strong enough to survive this pandemic. It has been difficult to further our cause and increase membership without the ability to meet in person. But I remain determined to find likeminded individuals to build a foundation for the Kennewick Kiwanis Young Professionals Club that can weather any storm.
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