The Kiwanis Club of Raton has served the gateway community of Raton, New Mexico, and the surrounding area since 1921. The Raton club is a member of the Southwest District of Kiwanis International, a global organization of volunteers committed to changing the world one child, and one community at a time. Although a small club, it is the most active service-oriented organization locally, comprised of men and women working to make a difference in the community. By participating in service projects and other various activities, members strive to better the lives of others by sponsoring several youth and community based programs. Among them, the club is the charter sponsor for the Raton High School Key Club, and the Miss K program. It’s also an active participant in community organizations such as Raton MainStreet and the Raton Chamber and Economic Development Council sharing a deep commitment to the revitalization and long-term stability of Raton’s business community.
Front (L-R): John Martin, Lisa Ortega, Bill Darden, and Alan Best, Back
(L-R): Roy Polage, Robert Mantz, Bob Harris, Stuart Hyatt, and Jesse Palomino.
Now in its tenth year, the annual Fourth of July hot air balloon rally has been their primary fundraising event for the Kids’ Fund. Likewise, the annual pancake breakfast has become a club tradition for local residents. The organization has also developed and marketed a series of walks for the American Volkssport Association Walking Clubs, partnered with Sugarite Canyon State Park to create an annual youth fishing derby, and teamed with the Raton Business and Professional Women organization to serve as fiscal agent for the annual walk to raise money for domestic violence awareness. In addition, a newly developed “Paint Works” Project is aimed at helping elderly residents fix up their homes. Also, the Kiwanis serves as the fiscal agent for the New Mexico State Police Youth Academy program. This program offers opportunities for youth by introducing young cadets to law enforcement activities. Likewise, the Raton Kiwanis funds countless local youth events including youth sports teams, art and music programs, business development programs, and has donated numerous academic scholarships to area high school seniors. The Raton Kiwanis Club meets Wednesdays at noon at K-Bob's Steakhouse in Raton. All members of the community are invited to attend and learn more about the club and its activities.