When an organization can order and distribute more than 41,000 pieces of fresh ripened, directly shipped Florida citrus products to Fairfield County residents, something must be right. And when that effort raises nearly $33,000 for charitable purposes there are a great many additional winners as well.
“That’s right,” says Wilton Kiwanis president Paul Hannah. “That was last year, and our Citrus sale distributed nearly 1,500 cases of grapefruit, oranges and tangerines to local residents, businesses and charities. But now we start again, our 22nd year, with sights raised and added energy. Everyone who participates with us is a winner.”
The Wilton Kiwanis are kicking off their annual Citrus Sale, which has grown to broadened proportions as more local folks purchase personal supplies of exceptionally fresh fruit for family consumption. Businesses and other organizations buy quantities for gifting to their employees, clients, customers and associates. Multiple marketing “partners“ team with Kiwanis and sell the fruit to secure funds to help support their charitable efforts. Further, donations from generous friends and supporters enable Kiwanis to contribute a supply of fruit to needy local food pantries and shelters.
Kiwanis then distributes 100 percent of the net proceeds to local charities and causes. As Hannah says, there truly are a lot of winners.
Tree ripened pink grapefruits, Valencia oranges and honey tangerines are handpicked and packed in Vero Beach, FL per Kiwanis order, and shipped in a refrigerated vehicle directly to Wilton for immediate distribution. Over the years the fruit has met very high quality standards for flavor and freshness. Kiwanis stands firmly behind the product satisfaction. There are eight choices of packaging combinations ranging in price from $25 to $45. The average purchase quantity has grown over the years because, if the fruit is maintained at a cool temperature (45-60 degrees), it will remain fresh for multiple months.
Ordering, Delivery and Questions
Orders may be placed before Feb. 24 as follows:
- Visit www.wiltonkiwanis.org and order before Feb. 24 (Credit Card or PayPal)
- Mail Order Form with check or money order to Wilton Kiwanis Foundation, P. O. Box 204, Wilton, CT 06897.
- Give order to any Kiwanis Member
Fruit will be available for pickup at ECS Transportation, 390 Danbury Rd. opposite the Wilton High School on:
- Friday, Mar. 6, 12-5 p.m.
- Saturday, Mar. 7, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Sunday, Mar. 8, 12-5 p.m.
Delivery for 6-or-more cases can be arranged if desired.
Where Do the Sale Proceeds Go?
All 100% of the Citrus Sale net proceeds are distributed to local area charitable causes at the direction of the Kiwanis Board of Directors. Over the years, financial support has been provided to such established non-profit organizations as Visiting Nurse and Hospice, The Ambulance Corps, Domestic Violence Crisis Center, Mid-Fairfield Child Guidance Center, Wilton Youth Council, Norwalk Emergency Shelter, Trackside Teen Center, Wilton Social Services, the Bridgeport Rescue Mission and many more.
Kiwanis looks primarily to assist those in need, those discomforted and those suffering. Lesser contributions support civic and community resources maintaining the Kiwanis Club as a respected Town citizen.
In recent years, Kiwanis has partnered with a number of established charitable organizations to share proceeds from the fruit sales. This year, partners are the Joint Youth Ministry Group (Methodist, Episcopalian and Presbyterian), the Wilton Congregational Youth Mission, Grace Community Church of New Canaan (for the Bridgeport Rescue Mission) and the Wilton High School Wrestlers Booster Club. Each will work on marketing fruits in order to provide proceeds for their respective charitable endeavors.
What Motivates Kiwanis to Do This Work?
Wilton Kiwanis has a long tradition of serving the community since its founding in 1951. The Club stands on three mission pillars: community service, altruism and camaraderie. Men and women of all ages from all walks of life are active and serving members.
Early and substantial Club projects included the Kiwanis donation of land to establish the Wilton Family Y and Little League baseball fields, the purchase of Wilton’s first ambulance, the creation of Merwin Meadows, the Historical Records room at the library, and the Visiting Nurse & Hospice Pediatric Center. Sixty-four years of Wilton history are dotted with hundreds of Kiwanis projects, causes, functions and contributions.
Selling citrus to community-minded residents and sharing the profits widely is simply one way the Club affirms its citizenship and reaches out to help those less fortunate and those in need. Wilton Kiwanis is one the largest of nearly 200 Kiwanis chapters in New England, and supports Kiwanis International projects such as the recent defeat of Iodine Deficiency Disorder, and the current Eliminate Maternal Tetanus project. Members work together on a wide range of service projects, meet weekly for lunch and camaraderie, hear guest speakers on current and interesting topics, and plan upcoming service activities. The Club is always seeking new members with a conscience for their community. For membership information, please contact Jeff Turner at 203.981.6398.
Wilton residents and business community have supported the Club’s efforts in ever growing proportions. This combination of supporting, donating and caring reflects the respect for the Kiwanis efforts for more than 64 years and concern for those less fortunate. As stated at the beginning of this article, “Everyone who participates is a winner.” Please pitch in, help, and join our winning team.
For more information, email the Kiwanis club or call 203.981.6398.