The following article was contributed.

“Everyone who participates in the 21st Annual Wilton Kiwanis Charity Citrus sale is a winner,” states Kiwanis Club president Nancy Pantoliano. “We are all winners because this sale offers Wilton area residents the opportunity to enjoy the best tasting and freshest Florida fruit; multiple partners secure funds to help support their own charitable efforts; and 100-percent of the net proceeds are distributed by Kiwanis to dozens of local not-for-profit causes.” Further, donations from generous supporters enable Kiwanis to contribute a healthy supply of the fresh fruit to local food pantries and shelters.

The Kiwanis Annual Citrus Sale has long been a favorite seasonal tradition as local folks purchase personal supplies of exceptionally fresh oranges, grapefruit and tangerines for personal consumption. In addition, numerous businesses buy quantities for their employees, clients and customers, and many organizations buy fruit to distribute as part of their charitable missions. This may be the most thoughtful way of sharing a little bit of Spring after our long, snowy Winter.

The Products:  Tree ripened pink grapefruits, Valencia oranges and honey tangerines are handpicked and packed in Vero Beach, FL for the Kiwanis order, and shipped in a refrigerated truck directly to Wilton for immediate distribution. Over the years the fruit has exceeded our very high quality standards for flavor and freshness, which Kiwanis stands behind for customer satisfaction. There are eight choices of packaging combinations, ranging in price from $25 to $45. Customers 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 several months.

Who Benefits from the Proceeds?  One hundred percent 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 Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Domestic Violence Crisis Center, Child Guidance Center, Wilton Youth Council, Norwalk Emergency Shelter, Trackside Teen Center, Bridgeport Rescue Mission and many more. Kiwanis looks primarily to assist those in need, those discomforted, and those suffering.

Additional contributions support important civic and community needs, 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 fruit sales. This year, for example, the youth groups from three Wilton churches will be selling the fruit in order to provide hands-on relief assistance to needy people in Washington, D.C.; Grace Community Church is raising funds for the Bridgeport Rescue Mission, and the Wilton High School Wrestling Boosters are selling fruit to offset purchases of needed equipment for the program.

How Does One Order, Take Delivery and Help in the Drive?

  • Log on to www.wiltonkiwanis.org and place an order before March 5 (Credit Card or
  • Mail printed order form with credit card info or check to Wilton Kiwanis Foundation, P.O. Box 204, Wilton. Order Forms are available in person at Bankwell, Peoples United Banks, the Wilton Library, Stop and Shop, the Wilton Family Y, or printed from www.wiltonkiwanis.org
  • Send questions via email to citrus@wiltonkiwanis.org, or jeff.turner@coldwellbankermoves.com
  • Delivery of 6 or more cases can be requested, and additional fruit will be available for sale during the pickup 
  • Pickup orders at the ECS Transportation location, 390 Danbury Road, directly across from the High School on Friday, March 14 12-5 p.m.; Saturday, March 15 9 a.m.-5 p.m.;  and Sunday, March 16 12-5 p.m.

What Motivates Kiwanis to Do This Work?  The Club stands on three mission pillars:  community service, altruism, and camaraderie, and the Kiwanis International mission of “Serving the Children of the World.”

Currently 95 men and women members of all ages actively serve by helping conduct community events, raise needed funds, and provide hands-on service to the community at large. Wilton Kiwanis has a long tradition of serving the community since its founding in 1951. 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 Wilton library, and the Visiting Nurse & Hospice Pediatric Center.  Sixty three years of Wilton history are dotted with hundreds of Kiwanis projects, causes, functions and contributions.

Selling citrus to community conscious residents  and sharing the profits widely is simply one way the Club affirms its citizenship and reaches out to help those less fortunate or in need.

Wilton Kiwanis is one the largest of nearly 200 Kiwanis chapters in New England, and it 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 who share the desire to improve and serve the community.  For membership information, please contact Melissa Mednick at mmednick@mybankwell.com.

 

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