There’s a new Kiwanis club in town.
Donna Furey, an Astoria community leader, founded the East River Kiwanis Club, which will serve the Long Island City area.
“There was no Kiwanis club there before,” Furey said. “There’s so many people there and lots of kids, I thought it was a place that could use a Kiwanis.”
The group is active in 80 nations with a mission to help communities in various ways.
Furey knew she wanted to start a Kiwanis club, but she wasn’t sure if anyone else would be interested.
“We had an interest meeting, just to see if anyone would even be interested in joining a Kiwanis,” she said. “Every Kiwanis needs at least 15 people and at that first meeting, we had people signing up left and right.”
Furey estimated 30 people showed up to the interest meeting.
The East River Kiwanis had its first official meeting on Wednesday, where members will begin to hammer out details, including nominating board members and drafting bylaws.
“At the interest meeting we already started with our fundraising,” Furey said. “We raised $500 that would go toward sending a care package to the troops. Right away people were interested and began donating $10 at a time.”
Furey said she wants to wait for board members are selected before starting to work with community groups, but she said she’d be interested in partnering with Hour Children in Long Island City. The organization provides services to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and their families.
“We could have a clothing drive or something,” Furey said. “They have a thrift shop, it could be something nice to do.”
As the East River Kiwanis has yet to develop a Facebook page or official website, Furey said anyone interested in joining can call her office at (347) 448-2549.