Eyeopeners Meeting Highlights


May 9, 2024

Eyeopeners celebrated the dedication current CKI President, Brittani Meis, has demonstrated over the past four years at Colorado State University. We are excited and proud that she will be graduating and is set to begin her career.  


May 2, 2024

The Poudre High School baseball team joined us for our meeting on May 2nd. Led by coaches Shawn Pitts and Joe Fontana, our guests showed their appreciation for a donation we provided to the Poudre Baseball Club. It was heartwarming to hear the coaches and players describe how the money will be used to support the athletes and how the team supports character building.

April 18, 2024

Big shout out to Eyeopener’s Vice President, Francey Aubuchon, who filled in for our president to lead the meeting on April 18th. Francey shared the work she and her committee have been doing to improve the process for providing financial awards to local non-profits. 

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April 16, 2024

On April 16th, Kiwanis members provided dinner and dined with families experiencing homelessness being served through the Family Housing Network’s Faith Family Hospitality Program.

April 11, 2024

Our very own Ron Splittgerber provided a dynamic program about the National Ski Patrol (NSP). Ron first joined the NSP as an explorer scout in 1966. He has served on the NSP for the past 58 years.

April 4, 2024

Eyeopeners Kiwanis member Sue Ayala invited Larimer County 4-H CSU Extension Youth Development Specialist, Rachael Wildman, (left) to present at our April 4th meeting. The goal of 4-H is to develop citizenship, leadership, responsibility and life skills of youth through experiential learning.

March 29, 2024

Eyeopeners Kiwanis member Francey Aubuchon (right) invited Co-Executive Directors of the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, Laura Valdez and Cheryl Donaldson-Moses, to present at our March 29th meeting. Eyeopeners also provided a charitable contribution to the museum in support of the work they do with children and families in northern Colorado.

March 21, 2024

Eyeopeners member Larry Howell invited Thad Anderson (left) to present about Fort Collins Baseball Club. https://www.fortcollinsbaseballclub.org. Our members are looking forward to hosting hotdog cookouts for the Baseball Club this summer.

March 7, 2024

Kiwanis member Nancy Wiehagen (right), invited CSU volleyball defensive specialist, Ruby Kayser, to present at our meeting on March 7th. This former Key Club member was awarded the Community Service Award last year at the CSU Student Athlete Advisory Committee Ramies.

February 22, 2024

Carol Tunner invited Hannah Norris of the Arboretum Coffee Shop in Fort Collins who spoke of the coffee shop’s work in helping immigrants.

Ryan Caldwell presented a check for $8,000 to Caitlin Carter of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Larimer County. The donation was from the Gingerbread House event.

February 15, 2024

Kiwanis member Bill Thieman invited former Fort Collins Mayor Ray Martinez to speak at our meeting and share about his involvement with Neighborhoods United.

Key Club Lieutenant Governor of Division 3A Elisa Williams and Morgan Porowski, both from Liberty Commons High School, also joined our meeting.

February 8, 2024

Larry Howell performed the induction ceremony for our newest member, Bob Svagr. Bob recently moved to Colorado from Utah and is an MD Orthopedic Surgeon living in Johnstown. Welcome Bob!

Dan Hemphill invited Pam Dinkfelt, Ph.D., to present a program on Colorado Mission of Mercy (COMOM). Their concept is simple: Create a two-day dental clinic in a large facility and open the clinic doors to the community. Since its inception in 2007, COMOM has served 19,000 patients and provided $17,000,000 in donated dental care. Their next large-scale dental clinic will be held in Thornton, Colorado at the Riverdale Ridge High School on September 27 and 28, 2024. 

January 11, 2024

Eyeopeners member Erica Romberg invited her father, Greg Romberg, to present in legislative history.

January 4, 2024

Seven members of the Poudre Golden K Kiwanis Club joined us for an inter club meeting on Jan. 4th. They provided an inspiring program led by President-Elect, Jeannie Craft, sharing all of the incredible things Poudre Golden K Kiwanis members do to improve the lives of children in our community.

December 14, 2023

Eyeopeners member Steve Railsback invited Kelby Benedict, right, from PSD Futures Lab to speak. 

December 7, 2023

Ethan Dexter, right, Executive Director, Kids at Heart, presented on how the organization provides respite care for foster and adoptive families.  Ethan was the guest of Eyeopeners member Dan Hemphill.

November 30, 2023

Brad Buckman, right, a Fort Collins traffic engineer, was the guest of Eyeopeners member Jim O’Neill. 

November 16, 2023

Eyeopeners member Vinny Lelm, left, invited Brett Hochmuth, executive director of GOALS Youth River Expeditions, to present at our November 16th meeting. The mission of GOALS is to design river expeditions that transform the future for kids and wild places. https://www.goalsonrivers.org/

November 9, 2023

Mark Maragenau from Re-Fort Collins was the guest presenter at the November 9th meeting, He was invited to speak by Eyeopeners member Nicole Lamb.

October 19, 2023

Dr. Antonio Barbera, Founder and CEO Table Tennis Connections was the guest of Eyeopeners member Mike Hertzig.  

October 12, 2023

Eyeopeners member Larry Howell invited Captain Dennis Nelson from United Airlines to speak at the October 12 Eyeopeners meeting.

September 28, 2023

Anna Kingman and Paige Leader from UC Health talked about the Healthy Hearts and Minds program. Anna and Paige were guests of Eyeopeners member Ryan Gloden.

September 21, 2023

Bill Durica hosted Kaitlyn Truelove and Matthew Snyder from Poudre Fire Authority which included a demonstration on the use of fire extinguishers in the home.

Gary Klesner congratulated Ray Kepler on receiving the Kiwanis Legion of Honor award for 25 years as a Kiwanis member.

September 14, 2023

Richard Busch, Nirvana Bhalala, and Elisa Williams from Liberty Common Key Club reported on their attendance at the Key Club International Convention. They were joined by Eyeopeners member Jack Gianola.

September 7, 2023

Beth Bullard from Poudre River National Heritage Area spoke at the September 7 Eyeopeners meeting. Beth as the guest of Eyeopeners member David Frick.

July 13, 2023

Cristi Meyer, far right, and Joe Clifton from CASA (Court Appointed Child Advocates) of Larimer County spoke about the work they do in advocating for children who have experienced abuse and neglect. Cristi and Joe were guests of Eyeopeners member Francie Aubuchon and are joined by President Elect Gary Klesner.

July 6, 2023

Sgt. Annie Hill and Officer William Kilcoyne from the Fort Collins Police Department spoke about the department’s Homeless Outreach and Proactive Engagement (HOPE) program at our July 6 meeting. The officers were guests of Eyeopeners member Gene Apuan and are joined by Eyeopeners President Elect Gary Klesner.

June 29, 2023

Nathan Shaw, left, from Vindeket Foods was the guest presenter at the June 29, 2023 Eyeopeners meeting.  Nathan was hosted by Paul Craft. Eyeopeners partners with Vindeket to offer volunteer opportunities. For more information visit our Vindeket Foods Volunteer Partnership page.

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Jaden Shaffer, center, a Key Club member from Colorado Early Colleges, was presented a check to help cover his expenses in attending the Kiwanis International Convention in Colorado Springs by Jack Gianola, right, and Gary Klesner, Eyeopeners President Elect.

April 6, 2023

On Thursday, April 6, 2023, Eyeopeners members pack about 35 “Sweet Dreams in a Bag” bedding sets, which will be given to children living in poverty. Wayne Fox, who along with his wife Susie, founded Sweet Dreams in a Bag, accepted a $2,500 donation from Eyeopeners to cover the cost of supplies.

October 27, 2022

During our October 27 meeting, Ryan Caldwell and Jim O’Neill presented a check to Caitlin Carster of the Larimer County Boys and Girls Clubs to support their holiday gifts program. Eyeopeners’ members will have the opportunity to volunteer and help wrap holiday gifts at the Wellington Boys and Girls Club in early December. Watch for more details!

October 13, 2022

Eyeopeners Kiwanis President Ryan Caldwell, right, presents Ron Splittgerber with the Kiwanis Life Member honor.

September 22, 2022

Welcome David Chase as the newest member of Eyeopeners! David was sponsored by Sue Ayala and incoming Rocky Mountain District Lt. Governor Lisa Schroers performed the induction ceremony.

September 8, 2022

Rebecca Clark from the Poudre Fire Authority was our guest and presented on “Protecting Your Home From Wildfires: Creating Wildfire Defensible Zones.”

September 1, 2022

A huge welcome to Vinny Lelm, the newest member of Fort Collins Eyeopeners Kiwanis. Larry Howell performed the induction ceremony along with Sue Ayala and Dan Hemphill. We are so excited to have you join us, Vinny!

Lori Graves, right, and her daughter, Amber, were guest of Carol Tunner, center, and talked about Morning Fresh Dairy.

August 25, 2022

Fort Collins Police Chief Jeff Swoboda was the guest speaker at the August 25 meeting.

Nathan Shaw had very special message for Eyeopeners as he accepted a donation on behalf of Vindeket Foods. Eyeopeners members volunteer at Vindeket the last Sunday of each month.

Bob Hansen presented a donation from Eyeopeners to the UC Health Nurses.

August 3, 2022

Eyeopeners member Larry Howell, presents Thad Anderson, right, with a donation for Youth Baseball. 

Skyler Mayse, second from the left, from Liberty Common’s Key Club, shared her experience at Key Club ICON and thanked Eyeopeners for sponsoring her. 

May 28, 2022

Dale Conant with Eyeopeners’ guest speaker Cynthia Luzinski, Executive Director of Dementia Together https://dementiatogether.org

May 19, 2022

David Boon, Children’s Speech and Reading Center, shared from his book, My Wish, Don’t Get Swept Away As a Teen: A Road Map For Finding Hope and Happiness, with Kiwanis members.

May 12, 2022

Officer Carrie Ripsam conducted ID Check training for Eyeopeners members in preparation for Taste of Fort Collins, June 11-12, 2022.  Officer Ripsam was the guest of Eyeopeners member and President of the Kiwanis Children’s Fund Bob Garretson.

May 5, 2022

Maddie Warren, digital managing editor, and Christine Kapperman, director of content, from Townsquare Media shared about the history of Taste of Fort Collins and the long-standing partnership with Eyeopeners Kiwanis.  Taste of Fort Collins is June 11-12, 2022.  Volunteer spots are still available! Choose the day and shift that works best for you:

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April 21, 2022

Lena Sikorski, second from the right, shared personal stories and updated Eyeopeners Kiwanis members on the situation in her home country of Ukraine.

April 4, 2022

A huge welcome to Hanna Johnson, center, as the newest member of Fort Collins Eyeopeners Kiwanis. Hanna was sponsored by Lisa Schroers and Larry Howell performed the induction ceremony. We are so excited to have you join us, Hanna!

Eyeopeners members also heard from Thad Anderson, Executive Director, with Fort Collins Youth Baseball.

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March 31, 2022

Eyeopeners Kiwanis members were treated to two informative presentations: David Moore and Katie Kilber shared about the ARC of Larimer County and Danielle Morzos spoke about Project Self Sufficiency.

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March 24, 2022

Lisa Schroers, Eyeopeners Kiwanis member, invited Hannah Johnson, North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization, to share about the services the organization provides to Larimer and Weld county residents.

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March 17, 2022

On March 17, Eyeopeners Kiwanis members, family members, and friends packed 40 Sweet Dreams in a Bag bedding sets. Twenty-five of the bedding sets were delivered that morning to a group of very excited kids at Catholic Communities Charities in Fort Collins. Our small effort made a huge difference in the lives of those kids!

Wayne and Susie Fox started Sweet Dreams in a Bag in 2010 and has gifted thousands of children, living in poverty, with new bedding.

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March 3, 2022

For the second year in a row, Gene Apuan, captain and pastor of Salvation Army Fort Collins, presented Eyeopeners the trophy for raising the most money of any community organization during the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Bellringing event last December.

Ann Randall, co-founder and president of McBackpack, Inc., shared with Eyeopeners members how the McBackpack program provides weekend meals and snacks to students throughout Poudre School District who are experiencing food insecurity. 

Eyeopeners is excited to partner with McBackpack to offer a service opportunity to volunteer and help pack meals each Tuesday, from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church.  No sign up is required – just show up to help.  Visit McBackpack for more information.

January 27, 2022

Eyeopeners enjoyed a passionate presentation about The Children’s Speech and Reading Center (CSRC) given by Executive Director, Dave Boon. Our chapter was able to donate thirty alphabet flip books that were made with the help of Kiwanis Key Club members.

CSRC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing individualized speech-language and reading therapy. They offer a sliding scale fee structure and pride themselves on meeting the needs of any child who needs their services regardless of the family’s ability to pay. https://www.csrckids.org/

Eyeopeners also welcomed back Michael Baker to Colorado and to our club.

January 13, 2022

Welcome Wendy Serour (center) as the newest member of Fort Collins Eyeopeners.  Wendy was sponsored by Lisa Schroers and Larry Howell performed the induction ceremony. Fort Collins Eyeopeners has grown to 43 members and is the 4th largest club in the Rocky Mountain District.

President Krista Taylor announced that the Eyeopeners Foundation donated $2,000 to the Rocky Mountain District Kiwanis Foundation Emergency Relief Fund to help area Kiwanis club meet the needs of children and families affected by the Marshall Fire. An additional $1,425 was donated by individual Eyeopeners members.

December 2, 2021

Respite Care Executive Director, LeAnn Massey, left, and Development Director, Kaitlin Bjork, right, were invited by Eyeopeners member Jim Packard to talk about the extraordinary work their organization does in providing short term, quality care for children with developmental disabilities, giving respite to their families, and enhancing the quality of life for the entire family. To find out more about Respite Care Inc, visit https://respitecareinc.org/.

November 18, 2021

The Family Housing Network’s Executive Director, Annette Zacharias, provided a passionate program on Nov. 18th about how her non-profit organization supports families experiencing homelessness to achieve sustainable self-sufficiency in a timely and dignified manner.

We were able to present the “You Are Loved” gift bags we had assembled for Annette to give to children experiencing homelessness who are being served through her Faith Family Hospitality program.

https://www.familyhousingnetwork.org/

November 4, 2021

Eyeopeners members enjoyed a presentation about The Quarter Project given by founder Leslie Patterson (right) and program director Liv Pepin (left).

The Quarter Project promotes young women in STEM careers and education. Through the Quarter Project, each young girl receives the opportunity to participate in GEMS (Girls in Engineering, Math, and Science for grades K-5), GSAS (Girls Serious About Science for grades 6-8), and STEM Femmes (high school/college-age girls that teach or help facilitate classes for GEMS and GSAS).  All three programs foster empowerment, leadership, and self-development/exploration of jobs and careers. For more information see https://thequarterproject.org/

October 14, 2021

Welcome Erika Romberg and Rod McKenrick as the newest members of Fort Collins Eyeopeners. Erika was sponsored by John Crowfoot, and Rod was sponsored by Dan Hemphill. Larry Howell performed the induction ceremony.

October 7, 2021

Tim Seller with the City of Fort Collins engineering department gave a fascinating overview of the LeMay Ave overpass project, the first train overpass in Fort Collins.

September 23, 2021

President Steve Railsback (left) presents a $1,000 donation to Elizabeth Aslin representing Special Olympics. Elizabeth presented eye-opening information about how Special Olympics provides kids with opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with the community.

August 19, 2021

Thank you, Dan Hemphill, for inviting Pam Sweetser, Executive Director; Marissa Tafura, Director of Marketing and Development; and his daughter, Noelle, to speak about Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families (HCAF). Eyeopeners Fort Collins is a proud sponsor of HCAF.

HCAF is a post-​adoption resource and advocate for children, adults, and families with diverse heritages, both domestic and foreign. HCAFs goal is for all adoptees to develop knowledge of themselves and their culture of origin, and that families will have a better awareness of and sense of pride in their adopted family member’s birth heritage.

HCAF offers 9 Heritage Camps: African/Caribbean, Chinese, Chinese II, Indian/Nepalese, Korean, Latin American, Russian/Eastern European/Central Asian, Southeast Asian/Pacific Islander, and the Domestic Adoption Camp.

More info and testimonials at https://www.heritagecamps.org.

July 29, 2021

Thank you, Sue Ayala, for inviting 4th grade teacher Lauri Butler to talk about how she and her team have been motivating 3rd-5th grade students at Highland Elementary School in Pierce, Colorado to love to read through their Battle of the Books Club since 2018.

Last school year, about 45 students joined the Battle of the Books Club and met in teams during their lunch to read a total of seven books over the course of the year. At the end of the year, the teams competed in a lively “Family Feud” style game to test their comprehension of the books they had read.

Our Kiwanis Club is excited about the opportunity to support such hard work, dedication, and innovation to improve the lives of children for the coming school year. Following Lauri’s presentation, the Eyeopeners’ Board approved a donation to the Battle of the Books Club at Highland Elementary School.

July 15, 2021

Welcome the newest member of Fort Collins Eyeopeners Kiwanis, Gene Apuan, Captain and Pastor of the Salvation Army Fort Collins.  Larry Howell performed the induction ceremony.

Fort Collins Eyeopeners Kiwanis President, Steve Railsback, presented Gene with a financial contribution from Eyeopeners to support the Salvation Army’s Back to School Carnival and Backpack Giveaway on August 7, 2021. More information about their Back to School Carnival and Backpack Giveaway, including how to volunteer at the event, can be found here.

Eyeopeners 2nd Sunday @ 5 p.m. members assembled 10 “Birthday in a Box” kits that were donated to the Salvation Army Fort Collins.  Each “Birthday in a Box” kit contains a cake mix, frosting, birthday card, candles, stickers, and a small toy for a child all bundled inside an 9×12 aluminum cake pan.

Join Us

Fort Collins Eyeopeners Kiwanis meets every Thursday at 7 a.m. virtually via Zoom.

Eyeopeners 2nd Sunday @ 5 p.m. in-person at various locations. Check the calendar for more information.