Kiwanis Club renews chapter in Southampton, Easthampton

George Delisle, who in addition to being the membership chairman for the New England and Bermuda Districts of Kiwanis and president of the Northampton Kiwanis Club, will act as the Easthampton-Southampton Kiwanis Club’s secretary.

George Delisle, who in addition to being the membership chairman for the New England and Bermuda Districts of Kiwanis and president of the Northampton Kiwanis Club, will act as the Easthampton-Southampton Kiwanis Club’s secretary. CONTRIBUTED

By Alexa Lewis

Staff Writer

Published: 06-09-2024 11:51 AM

Modified: 06-10-2024 8:58 AM


EASTHAMPTON/SOUTHAMPTON — After four years out of operation, the Kiwanis Club of Easthampton and Southampton is back, and celebrated the presentation of its new charter on Friday.

The club was brought back to life by George Delisle, who in addition to being the membership chairman for the New England and Bermuda District of Kiwanis and president of the Northampton Kiwanis Club, will act as the Easthampton-Southampton Kiwanis Club’s secretary.

“We already have 18 members, but obviously we hope to grow far beyond that in the near future,” said Delisle. “I’d really like to thank Mayor (Nicole) LaChapelle for being one of our charter members. She was extremely encouraging … When I went to her office to ask about the club, she wrote a check for her dues right on the spot.”

Kiwanis is an international service organization established in 1915 that helps improve the lives of children across the globe through volunteer projects on many scales — from fighting disease and poverty to hosting local events. Kiwanis has thousands of local clubs of dedicated volunteers who seek to address the struggles of their communities.

The Easthampton-Southampton Kiwanis Club is still regaining its footing after years of dormancy, seeking to forge community relationships and feel out the local issues that most need attention.

“We’re trying to take a look at the community and see where the needs are,” said Delisle. “The club is deeply committed to volunteerism, so we want to start getting involved with other local service groups. We’re actively looking for these kinds of partnerships.”

One of the staples of the Kiwanis presence in any community is the creation of service organizations in local schools. These student-led organizations foster volunteer-driven change throughout the local community and beyond, encouraging people of all ages and backgrounds to get involved in the larger mission of Kiwanis.

Kiwanis Kids allows elementary-aged children to make a difference in their school community, and Builders Club encourages middle school students to explore both service and leadership. In high school, Key Club offers students the chance to do meaningful work in their communities, charter their own volunteer efforts, and get involved in service leadership at all levels.

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“We plan to sponsor service leadership clubs at local schools. There used to be a Key Club at Easthampton High School, and we hope to get that back up and running,” said Delisle. “We call them service leadership programs because they work within the educational framework by teaching students leadership skills, organizational skills, and the importance of volunteer work … it enhances the leadership learning experience.”

The new Easthampton-Southampton Kiwanis Club is part of Division 17 of the New England and Bermuda District of Kiwanis, which also includes clubs in Lee, Northampton, Pittsfield, Sheffield, Springfield, Westfield, West Springfield, Agawam, and the greater Holyoke area.

Alexa Lewis can be reached at alewis@gazettenet.com or on Instagram and Twitter at @alexamlewis.