Recently appointed Lt. Governor J.P. DiTroia stopped by on his trip throughout the state to install new members and appoint new officers at the luncheon.
“We are a growing force and we are a family of Kiwanians who raise funds for many things, like fighting autism and cancer and for our children of the community,” DiTroia explained. “It’s exciting to bring new people.”
Recently retired from his job with the MTA, Maspeth resident Bill Woods was one of five new members that joined the club.
“I’m very pleased with what’s been happening so far,” Woods said after receiving his official Kiwanis pin. “I’m really looking forward to getting more active and getting involved and helping out wherever it’s needed.”
Michelle Masone is a third generation Kiwanis member, and is now the third in her family to hold the post of president.
“I remember as a little kid I always helped my dad with the pancake breakfast,” Masone recalled. “I’ve always been interacting with Kiwanis, and I think as president there’s a lot more delegation and figuring things out versus specific fundraising.
Masone already has several months of experience in the position. She became acting president when her predecessor Dennis Dowd passed away following complications with pneumonia.
Newly inducted secretary for the Maspeth Kiwanis, Michael Terry, said he is confident that Masone will continue to be an effective leader for the group and carry on the work that Dowd left unfinished.
“She is the youngest in quite a while, so that should bring some new energy to the club,” Terry said. “We are excited about that, plus I have known her for a long time now. She comes from a great Kiwanis family.”
In addition to co-hosting the Annual Grand Street Festival and Casino Night with the Maspeth Lion’s Club, the Maspeth Kiwanis Club raises roughly $27,000 each year through numerous community fundraisers, such as the annual Pancake Breakfast.
Masone said this year the club is going to continue to focus on bringing in new members, as well as finding new ways to make fundraising a fun activity.
“Kiwanis is more of an older club, so it is hard to get young people unless they work in the neighborhood,” she said. “I am really hopeful that more people in the neighborhood will get involved.”