MWB Attorney Tom Grella has been an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Asheville since 1988. More recently, after her retirement from the Buncombe County school system, Tom’s wife Elaine Grella became a member of the club and currently serves as its secretary.
Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world, one child and one community at a time. The local club, in keeping with this goal, offers service and leadership opportunities to those who desire to serve the needs of children, youth and adults in Asheville and the surrounding communities. The Asheville club has met weekly for many years, and is the oldest club in North Carolina, recently celebrating its 100th year anniversary.
Each meeting includes a guest speaker, usually speaking on either a local interest or project, or some other interesting event or activity.
The club finances its activities through many fund raising projects, the main one being an annual 15K foot race held on the Biltmore Estate. This event has been held for many years, and was originally proposed by Tom Grella for the club.
The Club’s service projects include, among others:
4H Kiwanis Calf Chain- each year since 1946, the Club
has supplied a newborn heifer calf to one or more students who are interested in farming. The student is expected to care for the animal and show the heifer at least once. When a new heifer calf is born to a calf chain cow, the new heifer then goes to another student, perpetuating the program. Since 1946 the calf chain has provided over 175 Buncombe County youth with calves to care for.
Christmas shopping sprees for children from Steadfast House and the Boys and Girls club
Support of the Eliada Homes playground
Fundraiser for the Guardian ad litem Association
Bell ringing during the holiday season for The Salvation Army
Support of ABCCM Transformation Village
Perfect attendance bike giveaway at local elementary schools
Big toy day at Johnston Elementary School