The Kiwanis Club of Steamboat Springs, represented by former president Ben Russell, left, and board member Ben Romberg, right, present a check to Kim Martin, director of the Young Tracks Preschool & Childcare Center. The money was spent on equipment for the children, including two new $1,400 strollers that seat six infants each.

Courtesy photo

The Kiwanis Club of Steamboat Springs, represented by former president Ben Russell, left, and board member Ben Romberg, right, present a check to Kim Martin, director of the Young Tracks Preschool & Childcare Center. The money was spent on equipment for the children, including two new $1,400 strollers that seat six infants each.

Kiwanis Club donates $5K

Local group recognizes Young Tracks for community service

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— In celebration of 60 years of service, the Kiwanis Club of Steamboat Springs donated $5,000 to the Young Tracks Preschool & Childcare Center, along with their time and energy, in the biggest donation the club has made in recent memory.

Former club president Ben Russell and board member Bud Romberg presented the oversized check to director Kim Martin during a meeting Monday night.

The child care center is a favorite group for Kiwanis, Romberg said, and members decided to make a big donation during the club's 60th anniversary.

"It serves a tremendous need in the community," Romberg said. "We felt that it was a worthwhile place to support, and we have supported them in a number of ways over a number of years."

Martin said the group has already spent the money on items for the children, including two $1,400 strollers that can seat six infants each and construction toys for the playground.

Martin said the strollers have been put to use already.

"We really don't take the infants off-site, but we are able to walk our perimeter, so this enables our littlest, littlest guys to get out and get some fresh air," she said.

The Kiwanis members also donated their time to stain shade structures, repaint a climbing structure and spread sand in the playground.

"Not only did they come up with the money, but they were willing to come over and get their hands very dirty," Martin said.

The club raised the money throughout the year, after Russell suggested the idea near the end of 2007. By raising money through the sale of Christmas ornaments and a fundraising dinner, the group was able to raise $2,500 and request matching funds from the state Kiwanis organization.

"(This donation is) very much larger, maybe 10 times larger than any donation we've given to anybody up to this point," Romberg said. "We didn't know until quite recently if the funds would come through."

The local Kiwanis Club has about 20 members, with 15 active, said Romberg, who joined in 1970. He left for a decade from 1980 to 1990, but has been a member since that return.

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