Local Kiwanis Club Awards Scholarships

Vero Beach, Fl. August 12, 2020


On June 11, 2020 the Kiwanis Club of Vero-Treasure Coast awarded college scholarships to Indian River county high school graduates Joey Dominguez, Valerie Fodor, Victoria Fodor, Katherine Garafalo, Luke Sammartino , and Jennifer Studsill.


The scholars all achieved honors at their schools and also averaged more than 300 hours of community service.  Nearly all participated in Kiwanis Youth in Action county-wide service initiatives as well as in Kiwanis-sponsored beach and island clean-up projects.


Over the years, The Kiwanis Club of Vero-Treasure Coast has given out more than $200,000 in scholarships. For more information about Kiwanis go to www.verokiwanis.org.


The Kiwanis Club of Vero-Treasure Coast mission in our community is to



help support children’s education, activities and charities. Besides giving annual college scholarships, our club actively sponsors Key Clubs in Vero Beach High School, Indian River County Charter High School, and Sebastian River High School. Since 1998 Kiwanis Youth in Action has performed community service work days involving teenagers from schools and churches. Since 1991, we have sponsored the Annual Take-a–Kid-Fishing Tournament.


Kiwanis of Vero-Treasure Coast also sponsors an Aktion Club for children with special needs.


Kiwanis International was founded in 1915 and is dedicated to serving children. Today, there are nearly 600,000 members in 80 countries. The first Kiwanis Club in Vero Beach was organized in 1935 and today serves Indian River County children with programs, scholarships and events to serve their needs and goals.



For more information about Kiwanis, its programs and events, contact Doug Vitunac

at 772-231-4343 or dvitunac@verolaw.com

Kiwanis leads teens in community service

Community service can be the most rewarding “job” you will ever have without being paid. We know that as adults. Imagine if kids felt the same way.


Imagine no more. The Kiwanis Club of Vero-Treasure Coast has made it their mission to involve teenagers in service to the community through a program known as “Kiwanis Youth in Action.” Hundreds of kids participate each year on projects to help the needy, the elderly and non-profits – and they love it!


Kiwanis Youth in Action (KYIA) began 25 years ago when two long time Vero residents and Kiwanis members, Richard Schlitt and Al Sammartino, started a program designed to engage area teens in community service projects that filled a need and taught them a valuable lesson. According to Schlitt, “Our projects were designed to help those in need, one family at a time, whether it was to repair a fence, paint a room, or anything residents could not afford to take care of themselves or were physically unable to do it.”


Schlitt and Sammartino recruited volunteers from church groups and high school, especially from the Kiwanis high school equivalent, the Key Club. Typically, each Kiwanis Club in a town sponsors a Key Club at the local middle or high school. In Indian River County, there are four Key Clubs, each enthusiastically volunteering on KYIA projects.


Teen volunteers often engage their parents and other adults to help. Upwards of 150 of them gather at 8 a.m. on Saturday mornings in the parking lot of St. Helen’s Church and receive their assignments – pressure washing and/or painting houses, general hammer and nail repairs, removal and replacement of shrubs, replacing windows, doors and essential home fixtures, building ramps for the wheelchair bound and a host of other tasks. Additionally, KYIA efforts have expanded to perform beach clean-ups and many other work projects for non-profit organizations. For instance, they recently removed weeds and non-native growth at the Environmental Learning Center, did beach clean-up projects for Keep Indian River Beautiful and painted group homes at the Hibiscus Children’s Center.

Each work group is accompanied by a Kiwanis member and/or parent. All projects are typically completed before lunch, which is then provided by Kiwanis members during a hamburger and hot dog cookout.


Kiwanis Youth in Action has extended beyond our local communities in emergencies. They have performed adult-supervised projects in the Bahamas, providing needed supplies and materials after last summer’s hurricane. And in Puerto Rico, they rebuilt a 150-student preschool after the recent disasters those residents endured.


All of these projects are funded through donations and Kiwanis project funds.  Needless to say, the program has grown significantly from its roots 25 years ago as different social service agencies advise where this kind of volunteer work is needed.

The Kiwanis Club of Vero-Treasure Coast recently participated in the Centennial Chili Cookout held on Saturday, October 27th  at Riverside Park in Vero Beach.  Special thanks to everyone that helped prepare the delicious chili and support the event.  Pictured at the Kiwanis tent are L-R Elke Fetterolf, Al Sammartino, Richard Schlitt and Kevin Brown.

Kiwanis Puerto Rico Team

Recently several members of the Kiwanis Club of Vero-Treasure Coast along with members of the local high school Key Clubs traveled to Puerto Rico .  They worked on a pre-school that serves 150 students. The building was rebuilt by our team using about 80% of the old roofing material and nails. Key Club members participating on the trip included Richard Schlitt, Al Sammartino and Jack Leahy.  This is another example of the service work of the Kiwanis Club of Vero-Treasure Coast and the Key Clubs in Indian River County, Florida.



On Saturday, May 5th Kiwanis members along with Key Club and youth volunteers participated in an island clean-up along the Indian River in Vero Beach.  This represents another example of Kiwanis helping to engage youth in meaningful volunteer opportunities throughout the year.  The Kiwanis Youth in Action Project is lead by Richard Schlitt and Al Sammartino, both longtime Kiwanis members.  Pictured below are Kiwanis members and teens involved in the clean-up.  Special thanks to all.

On June 13th Kiwanis presented the Indian River Golf Foundation a check in the amount of $500.  Pictured are


Left- Roger Van Dyke, CEO of Indian River Golf Foundation along with Kiwanis President Kevin Brown and Kiwanis Golf Chair Matt Hamilton.  Indian River Golf Foundation introduces youth to the benefits of golf and lifelong learning skills.

Special Recognition to Al Sammartino for organizing the recent Pancake Breakfast

to raise funds for the Haiti trip.



Eighty members of the Kiwanis Youth in Action (KYIA) recently swooped down on a number of households and locations in Vero Beach. Assisted by 20 Kiwanis club members, they painted three homes and added a handicap access ramp to a fourth, quickly and efficiently changing those locations for the better and improving the lives of the people living there.

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