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Posted on Mon, Dec 6, 2010 : 6 a.m.

Everything Elderly - Kiwanis Club activities, and pet adoptions through the Humane Society

By Alan Caldwell


Ron Gardner with the Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor

Everything Elderly is on Saturday mornings at 8:30, on 1290 am WLBY, sponsored by Senior Helpers. This past weekend we were most pleased to talk about the Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor and the Humane Society of Huron Valley.

We first spoke with Ron Gardner, the President of the Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor. The club’s mission is “serving the children of the world, one child, one community at a time.” The Ann Arbor club is the largest Kiwanis group in the state of Michigan, with 160 members. The club owns its building, the Kiwanis Activities Center, at the corner of First and Washington streets.

Ron has overall responsibility for the club activities, including the 33 committees. He facilitates the weekly Monday lunch meetings, where on average about 100 of the members attend.

The club raises funds to support local organizations, including senior groups, and provided grants in excess of $140,000 last year. The main fund-raising activity is the Kiwanis Thrift Sale. The sale is held on Saturday mornings, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the club building on 200 S. First St.

Kiwanis International recently launched the Eliminate Project, to wipe out maternal neonatal tetanus, which presently causes 100,000 deaths per year. This is a project in conjunction with Unicef, with a goal to eliminate the problem by 2015.

The club attracts a wide variety of members, and the club is always looking for new members, young and older people with “a desire to serve this community.” The club is “a group of wonderful people!”

The club membership also enjoys many social activities including a golf outing, spaghetti dinner, an annual picnic, and a Christmas party this coming Friday.

To contact Ron or the Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor, please call 734-665-2211. The website is To listen to the full 12-minute segment click:

Everything Elderly Ron Gardner 1204.mp3">


Deb Kern with the Humane Society of Huron Valley

We next talked with Deb Kern, the marketing director of the Humane Society of Huron Valley. Deb is a pet lover herself, who adopted three animals from the society even before she assumed her current position almost five years ago.

The Humane Society opened its new shelter last October, and it’s now “a fantastic community resource” located on 3100 Cherry Hill Rd., near the Dixboro Country Store.

There is always a big need for their services, and the current economy has only added to the need. They have a newer program, Bountiful Bowls, that helps provide food for those struggling to feed their pets.

The humane society has many senior initiatives. Their Senior-to-Senior pet adoption program offers seniors the chance to adopt a senior pet, a pet that’s eight years or older, at no charge. Their adoption counselors help people through the simple adoption process.

People remain happier and healthier when they have a pet. The documented benefits include lower hypertension, less depression, and getting more exercise.

The society has over 300 active volunteers. There are lots of opportunities to help, with dog walking, cat cuddling, or administrative help in the office.

Interestingly, Deb shared that all humane societies are completely independent. Their organization services all of Washtenaw county as well as Plymouth and Canton. If you are interested in donating to their organization, please ensure you note it’s for the Huron Valley chapter of the Humane Society.

To get in touch with Deb or the Humane Society, please call 734-662-5585, and you can visit their website To listen to the full 12-minute talk click:

Everything Elderly Deb Kern 1204.mp3">

Alan Caldwell is the owner of Senior Helpers, providing in-home care services, primarily to the elderly. He can be contacted at, or at 734-927-3111.