The Chelsea Kiwanis Club may be small in numbers, but it is always big in its efforts in helping out Chelsea, especially now.
The organization, led by President Sylvia Ramirez, has been donating $1,000 per month to the Chelsea Coronavirus Response. To-date the club’s donations have gone to the Chelsea One Fund, St. Luke’s Church food pantry, and to local families in need. This month’s donations will be going to the Salvation Army and the Jordan Boys and Girls Club.
Ramirez, who will finish her second term as president in September and become the District 12 Kiwanis Lieutenant Governor-Elect, said with the club’s community service projects on hold due to the pandemic, the members decided they still wanted to help out Chelsea during these difficult times.
“The donation is a collaboration of all members that we were trying to find a way to give back to the city during these challenging times and we have the funds, so why not?” said Ramirez.
Ramirez added that typically the Kiwanis Club would be holding such community events as its popular Youth Track and Field Day at Chelsea Stadium. But the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the cancellation of that event that features running events and prizes for the top finishers.
“We also had to cancel our Daddy and Daughter Dance that was going to be held May 21,” said Ramirez. “We had done a lot of preparations for that dance and we’re very excited about it. We had been collaborating with the Chelsea Police Department and the local Girls Scouts, but holding the dance is not possible at this time.”
Ramirez said back in February the club had formulated plans to conduct once-a-month service community service projects, but those projects were put on hold due to the state guidelines that were implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It has been a huge challenge, because like everybody else, we’re not able to gather in groups,” said Ramirez.
The Kiwanis Club has continued its scholarship program for Chelsea High students going on to college. The club donated four scholarships to the CHS Class of 2020.
The Kiwanis Club has been meeting virtually on Zoom on a bi-weekly (every two weeks) basis. The club’s last in-person meeting was held on March 5.
Ramirez, 48, came to Chelsea from Puerto Rico when she was 16 years old. “I definitely feel like I’ve always been a Chelsea girl, though,” she said.
With her high energy and excellent organizational skills, Ramirez has been one of Chelsea’s most valuable contributors through the years, including a successful tenure as president of the Chelsea Pop Warner youth football and cheerleading organization. She is also well known for her outstanding work at the Chelsea Collaborative led by Executive Director Gladys Vega.
Though Ramirez will be taking office as District Lt. Governor in 2021, she will be continuing her active membership in the Chelsea Kiwanis Club. Rich Cuthie, a Kiwanis Club stalwart and executive director of the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, will be the next president of the club. “Rich Cuthie will be a great leader of our club,” predicts Ramirez.