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Désirée Ávila, REALTOR®

Oakland Park Kiwanis Delivers 80 Thanksgiving Dinners


Kiwanis is an international organization founded in 1915 by a group of Detroit businessmen as a business networking platform. In 1916, it became an international organization when the first club was founded in Canada. By 1919 the purpose of the organization had shifted to helping the most vulnerable members of the communities in which it served, children. From there it grew and expanded all over the world. Today the Kiwanis club helps children in over 80 different countries in various locations including Oakland Park! 

The Indefatigable Kiwanis Club of Oakland Park

The Kiwanis Club of Oakland Park embraces this mission with a full heart. The members of our local club are made up of a group of determined, dedicated and indefatigable group of individuals that work hard to ensure the children in our community have what they need, especially during the holiday season. 

While Oakland Park’s Kiwanis club helps children all year round, during the holiday season, they collect donations and work with Publix to purchase complete holiday dinners for needy families. The effort is led by one of the club’s members, Harvey Ross. Ross, a formal schoolteacher, organizes the purchase of the dinners with Publix. Ross then coordinates the distribution of the dinners with other club members.

Delivering Tears of Joy

On Friday November 18, OP Kiwanis members lined up their vehicles behind Publix and readied them for piling in the dinners that would be given out at each of the local elementary schools. 

After the dinners had been loaded up, I headed to North Andrews Gardens elementary with a couple other Kiwanis members, Bill Tobias and Etta Lou Hanken, to witness and document the handoff. The school staff knew immediately that Kiwanis had arrived and called to someone on the radio, to come and point us in the right direction. We were soon greeted by a happy, smiling guidance counselor, Ms. Lori Ramsey.

Ms. Ramsey helped up load up a handcart and led us to the media center where we unloaded the turkey dinners. After we were done, Ms. Ramsey asked for hugs, which were given liberally, and shared with us how much those dinners meant to the families that needed them, bringing tears of joy to the eyes of the families that received them.

Guidance Counselor, Ms. Lori Ramsay, helped Kiwanis unload the dinner at North Andrews Gardens elementary.

80 Dinners Delivered

This year 58 dinners were delivered to North Andrews Gardens, Floranada, and Oakland Park Elementary. The donation was complete when the last bunch of the 80 dinners was delivered today, Wednesday November 23rd, to Light of the World Clinic, a local non-profit that provides free healthcare to those that cannot afford it.

But Wait,There's More!

After the last of the dinners was delivered it did not mean that OP Kiwanis’s job was done. Au contraire – for them the end of one holiday just means gearing up for the next one !

You Can Make A Difference Too!

It's easy to make a difference with Oakland Park Kiwanis. Just make a donation and 100% of it will go to supporting the children of Oakland Park. 

Click on the button below to make your donation!

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About the Writer


Desiree Avila


Désirée Ávila EDITOR, PUBLISHER, WRITER, PHOTOGRAPHER, REALTOR® Désirée Ávila has called Oakland Park her home for over 35 years. In addition to publishing, Désirée has been featured in print publications, locally and abroad. Désirée was an award winning teacher for 10 years and has a doctoral level education in Educational Technology. She is currently a licensed Florida REALTOR® and is committed to a high-level of professionalism. Désirée consistently professionally develops herself and has earned several different professional designations and certifications in real estate including the GRI, PSA, e-Pro, AHWD, SRS, ABR®, SRES and SFR®. She was also awarded the C2EX, Commitment to Excellence award by the National Association for Realtors (NAR). This award is given to REALTORS® that distinguish themselves for their commitment to excellence in the real estate industry. She is esteemed by her real estate colleagues and has consistently received 5 star reviews from her clients. Her philosophy about real estate is that being a REALTOR® is a way of teaching and helping people, and in the process a real estate transaction may occur, that is to say her foremost priority is and has always been about helping others. She is dedicated to her hometown of Oakland Park and works consistently on building and fostering a strong community. She is passionate about photography and loves to read books about history ; the more detail the better! In addition to English, Désirée is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.

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