Local Kinsmen Club members (l-r): Troy Douglas

Local Kinsmen Club members (l-r): Troy Douglas

Local Kinsmen Club does their part for the community

The local Lake Cowichan Kinsmen Club will be once again hosting their annual Kinducky Derby race.

On Sunday, June 10, the local Lake Cowichan Kinsmen Club will be once again hosting their annual Kinducky Derby race. This fundraiser generates approximately $5,000 each year, funds which are donated to Community Services’ Fusion and Kickster Summer Programs.

These programs are geared towards local youth who are already participating in the FUSE and KICK programs that Community Services offers. The donation made by the Kinsmen Club allows organizers of these programs to keep them going over the summer. They take the kids for trips to the beach, go for a camp-out, take them down to Victoria to visit Botanical Gardens and do things like a cooking day, art days,  and even a survival day.

The $5,000 makes up a good portion of the funds needed for these programs and Darlene Tully, a Family Development Therapist with Community Services, says she is “absolutely thrilled that the Kinsmen donate this money.”

The Kinducky Derby takes place on Sunday, June 10, at 1 p.m. Ducks are $5 each, and tickets can be purchased at Irly Home Centre, Footwear Centre, Riverside Beer and Wine, Home Hardware and during the parade.

The rubber ducks are dumped into the river at the Duck Pond, and the first one to make it to the car bridge wins $1,000. Second prize is $500, and third prize is $250.

The Kinsmen, who really are just a group of local guys who want to help make a difference in their community, are able, through fundraising endeavors such as the Kinducky Derby, to do just that. During one of their meetings, which took place on May 24, they sponsored the Lake Days Road Hockey Tournament to the tune of $200; talked about helping out with a new committee that is being formed to look into and possibly find government funding to build a new school in the area; updated each other on repairs that were made to the Duck Pond dock; approved three academic scholarships worth $100 which will be presented to students at Lake Cowichan Secondary on June 7,; talked about volunteering at the Lake Days community breakfast, and much, much more.

Keith McKenzie says that if the club were to close, it would mean a great financial loss to the community.

At one point, the club almost did close, says Dan Bingham. It went from having 93 members down to just three. “I was everything,” he says. “And I wasn’t going to be the last president.” So he and two others turned an old ambulance building sitting in the back of the public works yard into a meeting house and they began recruiting members.

“We’re building all the time,” says Bingham. “People join to be part of the community spirit. We love to see the smiles on people’s faces when we donate, and we help a lot of kids.”

Club members were especially honoured at the May 24 meeting because the Kinsmen National President, Dave Ronson, from Peterbourough Ontario, and another Kinsmen member, John Flinch, were able to attend the meeting.

This was the first time the national president had ever visited the Lake Cowichan club, and the men were delighted to welcome him into their humble club building. They even presented him with their mallet for keeping order during meetings and shared a meal of chili and homemade pies after the meeting was adjourned.

To become involved in this fun, friendly and very community minded club, contact Gord Roy at 250-749-4767, or Steve Nahirnick at 250-749-7786. And don’t forget to purchase your duck for the Kinducky Derby on June 10.