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Kinsmen and Kinette clubs are dedicated to serving their communities

Kin Clubs is an all-Canadian service association made up of active community volunteers. The first Kinsmen Club was formed by returning WW1 serviceman Harold (Hal) Rogers on February 20th, 1920 in Hamilton, ON.

Kin Clubs is an all-Canadian service association made up of active community volunteers. The first Kinsmen Club was formed by returning WW1 serviceman Harold (Hal) Rogers on February 20th, 1920 in Hamilton, ON. In 1942, the Kinette Club became a full-fledged auxiliary of the Kinsmen Association. Today both a Kinsmen and a Kinette Club are working hard to serve the community needs of Innisfail.

In addition to raising funds for their chosen charity Cystic Fibrosis Canada, both clubs also give generously to local projects and causes. “Each November the Kinettes hold our Dinner of Diamonds fundraiser, and all proceeds go back to the community,” said Club President Kim Allen. “This year we gave to all the local schools and to the Innisfail Hospital Auxiliary.”

The Kinette and Kinsmen Clubs join forces to work casinos whenever their turn comes up. This raises a huge amount of money, which goes right back into the community of Innisfail. A project that Allen is especially proud of is the park the Clubs built in memory of the late Dr. Ritson-Bennett.

The Kinettes have fun in all they do together, from organising the Dinner of Diamonds to volunteering at the concession stands for the Dean Turnquist Road Hockey Tournament. Allen explained, “This hockey tournament raises money for kids who can’t afford sports equipment and the fees for organized sports.”

Craig McEachern joined the Innisfail Kinsmen Club in the autumn of 1984. “I have been President twice and everything else at least once, except treasurer,” said McEachern who remains a Kinsmen Club member-in- good standing. “The club is based on fellowship and community service, and this is what I enjoy the most about being a Kinsman.” He estimated that the club on average donates about $30,000 per year to charity. “Every couple of years we take on a big project, and right now we are working on fundraising for a park in the new subdivision of Hazlewood.”

In addition to working at casinos to raise funds, the Kinsmen also have two other major fundraisers. “In the fall we have a Grey Cup Lottery selling 1,600 tickets to raise funds,” said McEachern. “On May 14th we are having our 31st annual Community Auction.” McEachern explained, “Between 120 to 150 items are up for auction, donated by the local business community. It is a nice evening out, with a meal, fun and fellowship.”

The Kinsmen also celebrate Family Day in Alberta. This year they collaborated with Tim Hortons, the Co-Op and the Town to provide families with a fun-filled day including a free swim, skating time in the arena, sleigh rides, and in the evening a movie at the Century Theatre. “We served hotdogs, hot chocolate and coffee, it was a real community effort,” McEachern reported of the day’s activities. “This is what the Kinsmen are all about, parks and playgrounds and overall good works.”

Right now, the members of the Innisfail Kinette Club are getting ready to host the Spring Zone meeting for Central Alberta. At this, their annual business and awards meeting, all the local area Kinette Clubs will review their past year, and plan for the upcoming years’ projects. On April 9th the Innisfail Kinettes will be partaking in a Ladies Night hosted by the Red Deer Kinettes. This is one of many social events the sister clubs enjoy together.

After the Community Auction in May, the Kinsmen will wind down at the end of June before starting up again in September. “That is unless there is project somewhere that could use our help,” said McEachern.

If you are interested in ‘a dynamic volunteer organization enriching our communities through service while embracing national pride, positive values, personal development and lasting friendships,’ both the Kinsmen and Kinette Clubs in Innisfail are actively recruiting new members.

The Kinette Club meets the third Tuesday of each month at the Orange Hall and is open to all women. For more information, please call Kinette Club President Kim Allen at (403)227-1896.

The Kinsmen Club meets the first and third Wednesday during the months of September through to June. The Kinsmen Club of Innisfail is open to all men who “Enjoy fellowhip, working together, and helping others.” For meeting ifnormation please call Al Brown, Kinsmen Club President at (403)227-4545 during the day.

Kincanada.ca is the official website for both of these all-Canadian Service Organizations, whose motto is 'Serving the Community's Greatest Need'