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Photographs: Kiwanis Club of Opelousas

The Kiwanis Club has been serving the Opelousas community for over 86 years. They are known for their service projects and all the activities they provide for the city. The club is looking for new members. See the following information about the club sent to St. Landry Now by Kiwanis Secretary Shelly Fontenot.

Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world, one child and one community at a time.

The Kiwanis Club of Opelousas was chartered in 1936.  Our focus is to build up the children, the future of our community. 

Our Signature Project, known as “Kiwanis Kids,” supports our mission to encourage academic improvement, whether it be improving grades, doing homework that wasn’t typically completed, increasing participation in class, etc. We have community partners such as Dairy Queen, Mama’s Fried Chicken, Jimmy Johns, and Raising Cane’s that provide each kid recognized with a gift card or kids combo.  At the end of the school year, all of our “Kiwanis Kids” recognized are put into a drawing for a chance to win brand-new bicycles (3rd graders from Grolee, Park Vista, Port Barre, and Northeast Elementary) or a $100 VISA gift card (Creswell Middle has fifth and sixth graders and Hope for Opelousas has kids ranging from elementary to high school). We also have some community partners, such as Automotive Gear, Dr. Freddie Fandal with Port Barre Family Medicine, Kings Truck Stop, JD Bank, Spirit of Elijah Life Institute Church, St. Landry Bank that have donated funding for some of the bicycles or gift cards.  

Annually we choose a service project. Last year’s project was to assist Park Vista in setting up a sensory room for students to decompress. Though open to all kids, this room was envisioned as an outlet for students with special needs. We donated for the purchase of some of the items on their wish list, but also donated a labor of love to get the room ready. We are currently open to ideas for a service project for this year.

Our meetings often feature guest speakers, in which we can learn about community organizations and upcoming events and make connections for future business and volunteer endeavors.  

Our club puts on community events as fundraisers, such as Krewe des Chiens des Opelousas, a softball tournament, and the Historic Holiday Tour of Homes.

We also produce free events, like our upcoming Gleaux Ride Safely on June 4th at 6 pm at the Opelousas South City Park, which will offer free food, a bicycle safety presentation, and end with a bicycle ride through the Historic District of Opelousas. 

We participate in local community events such as Safe Halloween, the Lighting of the Village, and Breakfast with Santa. We also donate to local organizations that work with kids. All of this is possible through the overwhelming support of individuals and the business community.

Want to get involved?  Membership is now open! 

Our current roster of members includes representatives from American Bank, Casa of St. Landry- Evangeline, Dupre Carriere Godchaux, Edward Jones (Scott Pitre), Elbert Guillory’s America, JD Bank, MedExpress Ambulance Service, Opelousas General Health System, Senior Village Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Spirit of Elijah Life Institute Church, St. Landry Bank, St. Landry Homestead, St. Landry Parish School Board, St. Landry Sexual Assault Center, Tout Doux Bakery, Educator Alexander Consulting, and Washington State Bank. We offer individual and corporate memberships at no extra cost, which is unique to our civic organization. 

Please reach out to learn more!  Email