Club News

Tom Schaber, the Newest Member of the Kiwanis Family

(6/11/2024)Tom Schaber, retired professor of the Miami Department of Systems Analysis, is now a  Kiwanian. He began his teaching career at the University of Cincinnati in 1965 and joined the faculty at Miami University teaching Systems Analysis in 1973, Tom retired from the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at Miami in 2007. With more than 40 years of investment experience, he founded Investing for Retirement, LLC. In 2012. He and his wife Carol are well known for their volunteer contributions to community causes which resulted in their selection as Couple of the Years in 2009. We look forward to Tom’s contributions to the mission of the Kiwanis Club of Oxford.

Back to School Bash initiative Receives Award

(6/4/2024) The Oxford Kiwanis Club was pleased to receive a $2,000 grant from the Ohio District Kiwanis Foundation for the club’s “Back to School Bash” initiative celebrating the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year. The program was initiated in 2022 and will occur again this year on August 11. Jennifer Marston, Program Coordinator is pictured with Mike Rudolph, Ohio District Kiwanis Foundation VP.

Pictured: Kiwanis representative, James Michael, Anna Warner, her mother Karen Warner and THS counselor Kelly Stark.

Anna Warner Receives the Kiwanis Scholastic and Citizenship Award

(4/30/24) Talawanda student Anna Warner was recognized at the Kiwanis meeting on April 30 as the recipient of the Kiwanis Scholastic and Citizenship Award for the academic term. The award is presented to a Talawanda High School student in recognition of the student’s efforts and accomplishments in facing and overcoming challenges.

To be considered for the award a student must demonstrate significant academic improvement, attend class regularly, show respect for other students and teachers, participate in class and be willing to help others.

 Anna is a shining example of the type of student who is so deserving of this recognition. She demonstrated incredible strength and determination despite some significant personal issues as she stayed focused on her studies and made the Honor Roll. She now serves as an inspiration to others facing difficulties and looks forward to a promising future.

Dennis Johnson Old/New Member

(3/19/24) Dennis Johnson has returned home! After originally joining Kiwanis several years ago, he took a brief hiatus from the organization and has now become an old/new member. Dennis first came to Oxford in 1994 to become the Director of Human Resources at McCullough-Hyde Hospital and retired from that position in 2012. He and his wife raised their two daughters here and now that the kids have grown and are focusing on raising their own families, Dennis has decided to return to Kiwanis service. Welcome back to the fold Dennis!

Pictured: Emily Zoldy, THS Counselor; Bradly Adkins, Recipient; Jim Michael, Kiwanis Rep; Jim Kehr, Kiwanis President-Elect

Bradly Adkins Receives Kiwanis Scholarship and Citizenship Award

(2/27/24) Each school term the Kiwanis Club of Oxford honors a Talawanda High School student who has overcome challenges and demonstrated significant scholarship improvement as confirmed by teachers and guidance counselors.

Bradly Adkins has met those qualifications during the current grading period. Through his self-reflection and adoption of a renewed effort, Bradly has worked hard to better himself and those around him. He has managed to make the honor roll and stay on it and seek help as needed from his teachers, his counselor and peer support specialists and is to be congratulated for his efforts.

Oxford’s Citizens of the Year(s) Honored by Kiwanis Club

Pictured L to R: Citizens of the Year Tom Farmer and Mark Boardman; Couple of the Years Dick Munson and Libby Burch; Citizen of the Years Ann Wengler; and Citizen of the Year, Dr. Bryan Hornfeck. (Citizen of the Year Steve Nimis was unavailable)

(2/20/24) On February 20 the Kiwanis Club of Oxford held a special recognition luncheon to honor those citizens who have provided exemplary volunteer service within the Oxford area in 2023 and through the years. Each year the Citizen of the Year(s) program recognizes individuals who extend a special effort to make our community a better place.

Welcome New Member Margaret Smith

New member Margaret Smith; Kiwanis president, John Skillings; sponsor, Sarah Michael; and Membership chair, Jack Tills.

(1/9/24) Margaret Smith became the newest member of the Oxford Kiwanis Club on January 9. Margaret attended college in Raleigh N.C. majoring in math. She received her MBA degree which led to a career which focused on budgets and managerial accounting. After several relocations and marriage to husband Jeff, Margaret arrived in Oxford seventeen years ago. She has been active in the community and has focused her energies on such organizations as TOPSS, NAACP, the Audubon Society, and the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. She enjoys her flower gardens, crocheting, travels and attending ILR classes.

Kiwanis Welcomes Two New Members: Gary Haines & Jim Kiper

11/23/23 - Pictured are John Skillings, Gary Haines, and Jack Tills
Pictured are John Skillings, Gary Haines, and Jack Tills

(11/23/23) Gary Haines recently moved to Ohio from North Vernon, Indiana where he has served for five years as Pastor and previously served fifteen years in Youth Ministry. He is also a Safety Specialist with Fusion Safety Business Solutions in Blue Ash, Ohio where he consults, facilitates training, and completes multiple audits in the Cincinnati area. Gary brings a wealth of talents to the club, and we welcome him as our newest member.

11/23/23 - Pictured are Jack Tills, Jim Kiper, and John Skillings
Pictured are Jack Tills, Jim Kiper, and John Skillings

(11/21/23) Oxford Kiwanis welcomed Dr. Jim Kiper as our newest member on November 21, 2023.  Jim, who has been a resident of Oxford for many years, recently retired from Miami University where he served as professor of computer science and software engineering.  He additionally was department chair and associate dean of the College of Engineering and Computing.  Jim has a distinguished research career in the area of software engineering and software risk assessment and was honored with the Benjamin Harrison Award which is Miami University’s highest award for a faculty member.

Jim earned his undergraduate degree at Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois and his doctorate from Ohio State.   He and his spouse Beth have three children and 7 grandchildren.

Kiwanis Introduces a New Leadership Award to Recognize Exemplary Service

(10/10/23) David Belka received the new Kiwanis Leadership Award for his outstanding leadership of the Community Service Committee which has actively pursued a broad range of services to support community needs. Most recently Dave has organized the painting of the TOPSS building and the consolidation of the Senior Center handicapped storage facility. He was an obvious choice for being recognized as a citizen of the year in 2021. Pictured are Sarah Michael Secretary, Dave, and past president, Brad Cronk.

The Kiwanis Club of Oxford has also honored member Jennifer Marston with the presentation of the Kiwanis Leadership Award in recognition of her many contributions to the club including service as past president and her leadership in organizing the Back to School Bash, our signature project. Pictured are Sarah Michael Secretary, Jennifer, and past president, Brad Cronk.

Images from the Back to School Bash

Talawanda Schools start a New Year with a BASH!

(8/29/22) A celebration of the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year has become a tradition in Oxford. The event sponsored annually by the Oxford Kiwanis Club, with the support of a wide range of community groups, offers a final salute to summer break while generating enthusiasm for getting back into the classroom. Each year the festivities have grown in scope and participation. By any measure, this year set a new standard for both.

Estimated attendance at the event on August 13 exceeded 700 individuals and 600 meals were served. Local barbers were on hand providing 55 free haircuts for kids heading back to school. Thread Up Oxford handed out 84 pairs of socks,120 pairs of underwear and 597 items of clothing to 65 people. School supplies were distributed as needed along with water bottles, dental hygiene products, books and other items passed out to families who were preparing for the beginning of the school year. All this, plus games, swimming, inflatables and community interaction was enjoyed by all in attendance.

The Kiwanis Club of Oxford extends a sincere thanks to the following sponsors for their contribution to the 2023 Back to School Bash:

Oxford Parks and Recreation/Aquatic Center, Coalition for a Healthy Community Oxford Area, Talawanda School District, McCullough-Hyde Foundation, Primary Health Solutions, McCullough-Hyde Hospital/TriHealth, Ohio District Kiwanis Foundation, Thread Up Oxford, Kiki the Barber, Gini Combs at Rose Room Salon, and barber Joe Foltz.

8/18/23 - Pictured are Dave Belka, John Skillings, James Kehr, Sally Gieringer and Jim Forry
8/18/23 – Pictured are Dave Belka, John Skillings, James Kehr, Sally Gieringer and Jim Forry

The Kiwanis Club of Oxford continues to support the Talawanda Oxford Pantry and Social Services

Oxford Kiwanis has traditionally supported the Talawanda Pantry and Social Services (TOPSS) in a wide variety of ways and this year was no exception. During the summer, fourteen Kiwanis volunteers completed the exterior painting of the TOPSS food service building located at 5445 College Corner Pike, Oxford, OH. The task was complemented with the added cooperative support of the Oxford Rotary club which donated paint, rollers, and additional painting work while some members of the Oxford Lion’s club joined the effort as well. The collaborative project was accomplished with volunteers donating over 200 congregate hours of sanding, brushing, rolling, and sweating over a period of approximately six weeks. Work hours were typically confined to small groups in the mornings and evenings to avoid the midday heat and to take advantage of available shade when possible.

The project originated through the efforts of Kiwanis Community Service chair Dave Belka and Nicola Rodrigues, Director of the Family Resource Center.

John Moul, sponsor; Dave Belka, sponsor; Sue Forry, new member; Brad Cronk, president; Jack Tills, membership chair
6/13/23 – John Moul, sponsor; Dave Belka, sponsor; Sue Forry, new member; Brad Cronk, president; Jack Tills, membership chair

Sue Forry …Our Newest Kiwanian

Sue Forry was born in Cincinnati and spent her early years in Columbus and then in Indianapolis. She has spent the last 46 years in Zionsville, IN. and has served as a business administrator for 20 years in addition to her extensive volunteer church experiences.  She has focused on inner-city projects involving the reduction of violence in Indianapolis, supporting the local food pantry, and participating in a number of school and children’s activities.

Sue and her husband, Jim, moved to Oxford in 2021 to be close to her daughter and family.

They are members of Oxford’s Methodist Church and in her spare time Sue enjoys walking, gardening, and exercise.   Her passion is finding ways to help others. 

5/30/23 – Jack Tills, Membership Chair; Brad Cronk, President; Amanda Alexander New Member; Jim Michael, Sponsor

Kiwanis Welcomes Amanda Alexander

Amanda Alexander is the newest member of the Kiwanis Club of Oxford, having joined the
faculty of Miami University in 2022 as Chair and Professor of Art. She previously served on the faculty of the University of Texas, Arlington for ten years after earning a BS degree in Business from Indiana University in 2000 and a Ph.D. in Art Education with a focus in Arts Administration, Education and Policy from The Ohio State University in 2010. Her husband Jason is a chiropractic physician who has set up practice in Oxford as Peak Performance Chiropractic. Amanda and Jason are both committed to contributing to the community through civic service.

Savannah Schwegman, THS Counselor & James Michael, Kiwanis representative present Kiwanis Scholarship and Citizenship Award to Nicky Jewell.
1/7/23 – Savannah Schwegman, THS Counselor; Nicky Jewell, recipient; James Michael, Kiwanis representative

Nicky Jewell Receives Kiwanis Scholastic & Citizenship Award

The Kiwanis Scholarship and Citizenship Award is extended each term to a Talawanda student to recognize special efforts and accomplishments of those who have faced challenges and have been able to overcome them. Nicky Jewell is an exemplary example! Although being a very gifted academic student, Nicky has coped with family struggles throughout the high school experience. As a result, trying to balance an overwhelming employment schedule with the requirements of academic courses has been particularly challenging. Working with THS counselors, Nicky was able to arrange a schedule adjustment to accommodate some classes within the classroom while others could be addressed online. Credit for selected work experiences was additionally arranged. The adjustment has resulted in impressive academic excellence and Nicky looks forward to a promising future.

Kiwanis members present check for annual bell ringing to the Family Resource Center
1/20/23 – Kiwanis Vice President John Skillings and Kiwanis Community Services Chair Dave Belka present an initial check for $11,422 to Nicola Rodrigues, Interim Director and Client Services for the Family Resource Center

Oxford Kiwanis Bell-Ringing Project Is Truly People Helping People

This past holiday season marked the 21st year that the Oxford Kiwanis Club has sponsored the ringing of the bells for the Salvation Army in their efforts to help those in need. During this past season between Thanksgiving and Christmas volunteers were evident along-side of the obvious red kettles at each door of Kroger’s to extend greetings of the season and offer shoppers an opportunity to contribute. And did they contribute!  Customers extended their generosity to give a total of $11,422 during the ringing period adding to the sharing of Christmas cheer with those in need.

While this is a project FOR the community with 90% of the donations supporting the work of the Oxford Family Resource Center and 10% going to serve the broader needs of the Salvation Army, it is also a project BY the community including volunteers from throughout the Oxford area.  In addition to the faithful Kiwanians responsible for planning, organizing, conducting and ringing, community volunteers of all ages stepped up to help. Students from the Builders Club at the Middle School, K-Kids at both Kramer and Marshall Elementary Schools, Key Club at the High School and one Brownie troop volunteered. Additional volunteers emerged from parallel organizations as well as individuals who simply wanted to assist in any way they could. The number of volunteer hours totaled 343.

Special thanks to Kroger’s (and Manager Lauren White), LCNB Bank (gratis use of change counter and check writing for the counted amounts), First Financial Bank (gratis depositing and handling of donations), Kendra Fithen (Salvation Army liaison for communication and guidance), and Nicola Rodrigues (Liaison, The Family Resource Center).

Oxford continues to be a caring community where people help people.