Kids need Kiwanis

The Kiwanis Club of Redondo Beach hosted its first ever community fair

On Oct. 16, the Kiwanis Club of Redondo Beach hosted its first annual community fair at Anderson Park. This fair included games, music, crafts and more and was completely free for those in the community. 

At the event, there were countless volunteers, many of which were from the Kiwanis Club, an organization part of Kiwanis International that is a small subsection of many clubs that are scattered around the nation, all focused on helping their respective communities.

Jeff Emdee, the Committee Chair, was one of the helpers and coordinators of the event. Emdee directed volunteers throughout the area to set up booths and made sure everything was organized and working properly. 

“Everything here is completely free,” Emdee said. “We spent about a thousand dollars on this, but it’s not a fundraiser. It’s for the people of Redondo.”

There were eight booths set up, some with crafts, such as carnival masks and turkey hands, and others with games, such as bean bag toss and sack races. Though this was the Kiwanis Club’s first annual community fair, it wasn’t the first thing they’d done for their community.

The Redondo Beach Kiwanis Club, their motto being ‘Kids Need Kiwanis,’ has 40 adult members and many others from K-12 schools, including RUHS. They meet twice a month for regularly scheduled meetings, and more for charity events and projects.

As well as adults, the teens of Redondo have been getting involved. There were many volunteers at the community fair from Key Club, the student-run Kiwanis Club at RUHS, at the event. One of these volunteers was junior Eva Lopez-Quintana.

“It’s been a while since I was able to do community service, so getting back in the saddle again and interacting with kids was amazing,” Lopez-Quintana said.

This is Lopez-Quintana’s first year in the club, and she’s already immersed in many volunteering activities. 

“I feel really happy because I know what I’m doing is making other people smile,” Lopez-Quintana said. 

Along with the Kiwanis, Key Club volunteers at events—such as the Hermosa Beach Music Festival, which was earlier in October.

“You can only learn through doing with community service,” said Lopez-Quintana. “For me personally, I feel so content after I do community service knowing that I helped my community. I got to make a bunch of little kids happy.”

At the community fair, RUHS volunteers were able to make real connections with those kids.

“There was a specific kid at my booth, and he was so sweet. I forget how kids are still so imaginative and they just want to talk,” Lopez-Quintana said. “They just talk to you, saying things like ‘I’m in kindergarten, I’m so strong.’ Kids talk like that, and while volunteering I remembered I used to be like that, talking to adults about absolutely anything. It was just very adorable.”