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Aktion Club hosts regional conference

Published: Monday, April 7, 2014 12:03 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, April 7, 2014 12:24 p.m. CDT
(Kate Malott/Daily News)
Members of the Marshalltown and Newton Aktion Clubs perform “Any Man of Mine” by country singer Shania Twain at Saturday’s Aktion Club talent show.
(Kate Malott/Daily News)
Newton Kiwanis’ Aktion Club members and volunteers collected food for the Salvation Army food pantry at this year’s mid-year conference. The Newton club hosted the gathering at First Presbyterian Church Saturday.

On Saturday, Newton Kiwanis’ Aktion Club hosted the annual division mid-year conference that included leadership training, round table discussions and presentations.

Eight regional Aktion Clubs from Ames, Iowa City, Marshalltown, Chariton, Ottumwa and Jefferson attended the conference at the First Presbyterian Church.

Aktion Club is a service organization sponsored by Kiwanis that strives to provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The group itself works hard to run meetings, organize community activies and volunteer their time. The Newton Aktion Club is sponsored by Newton Noon and Golden K Kiwanis.

The Newton Aktion Club participates in fundraising events and service activies to help out in the community. By raising money clean up after Thunder Nites or tip night at Pizza Ranch, for example, the group is able to give to food drives, area fireworks, Relay for Life, Shoes that Fit, Meals on Wheels, and fitness equipment for Progress Industries.

While at the conference, club members split into groups for round table discussions on topics like fundraising ideas, social events, club structure and interaction with sponsoring clubs.

“I liked the fact that we had so many clubs here and we were able to talk to other members and get some good ideas,” Newton Aktion Club secretary Tamara Lloyd said.

Fellow Newton Aktion Club member Matthew Northway agreed.

“It was interesting hearing all the different ideas from people and different groups, and it was fun to meet new people and make friends,” he said.

It wasn’t all business at this year’s conference. The Division 10 group spent time throughout the day working with new acquaintances and socializing. There was even a talent show to end the day.

“Our number one is to build friendships and relationships with all of these clubs. The big thing is for everyone to understand they’re not the only one with a handicap or disability. It’s not the disabilities that matter in this world, it’s the abilities to do things and to give back to the community in their own special way,” Division 10 Lt. Gov. Rev. Tom Lloyd said.

“This was great. I really appreciate this,” Ames Aktion Club treasurer Josh Dobbs said.