Since chartering in 1949, the East Lansing Kiwanis club remains dedicated to improving lives by "Serving the Children of the World." And since its establishment during the 1971-1972 academic year, the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities has been devoted to maximizing ability and opportunity to ensure the fullest participation of students with disabilities in everyday life. This past spring, the connection and outreach that the RCPD sought to make within the same community was further solidified when its director, Michael Hudson, became a Kiwanian.
(Newly inducted member Michael Hudson receives an East Lansing Kiwanis hat from his sponsor Jerry Nilson.)
Encouraged to join Kiwanis by member and realtor Jerry Nilson of Tomie Raines Inc., who saw his determination in spite of a disability, Michael enthusiastically did so, hoping to not only become a better leader, but to teach others that people with disabilities can overcome any obstacle with determination. When asked to reflect, he said, "During my introduction to Kiwanis, I was impressed with both the mission and leadership qualities of the organization. I was honored when they asked me to join and was further flattered when they offered me a leadership role involving youth recognition. Today, I am developing a plan to ensure our local Kiwanis Club identifies, celebrates, and fosters the accomplishments of area youth including students with disabilities." Because Kiwanis is dedicated to serving children, he anticipates showcasing examples of success to prove that students with disabilities can break stereotypes too. Responsibility for coordinating the "Kiwanis Student of the Month" award, which recognizes the outstanding achievements of high school and middle school aged students, will be his first opportunity to inject awareness into the surrounding community by ensuring that proper recognition is also given to deserving students with disabilities.
In an effort to raise awareness that children with disabilities can also achieve educational success, the RCPD became a gold level sponsor of an upcoming family favorite. A long-standing regional attraction, the Kiwanis club's annual Community Chicken Barbecue to be held Thursday, July 16th from 4:30 pm until 7:30 pm at Patriarche Park will provide the center an opportunity to receive publicity for the opportunities it can provide students choosing to continue their education at Michigan State University. Monetary support will be provided by the Harold F. and Phyllis N. Wochholz Endowment for Persons with Disabilities, which seeks to develop a continuous promotional program that displays the benefits of the assistance that Harold, a proud 1958 graduate of the College of Engineering, received as a student.
Around the globe, Kiwanians are ordinary people performing extraordinary work. Through guidance and example, Kiwanis works to develop future generations of leaders by participating in projects to better the lives of children and the communities in which they live. Michael's passion for service will also teach his local Kiwanis club that extraordinary people can do extraordinary work too. For additional information about Kiwanis International, please visit www.kiwanis.org, or the www.kiwanis.org/club/eastlansing to learn more about the local chapter.