The Arkansas City Kiwanis Club already is hard at work planning for Arkalalah.

Kiwanis ClubMost citizens know Kiwanis for its annual pancake feed and the food booth that serves chicken and noodles during Arkalalah.

Both of these food-centered fundraisers will celebrate 70 years as part of Arkalalah this year.

Preparations for Arkalalah begin before September each year.

One of the biggest purchases the club must make prior to September is the chicken for the chicken and noodles.

Kiwanis Treasurer Karen Legleiter in in charge of the purchase of 18 cases of chicken. Each case contains six chickens.

The club does not prepare more than those 108 chickens because of time constraints.

The first Arkalalah the Kiwanis participated in saw 40 chickens cooked for the booth.

In addition to the chickens, the club will have to unwrap 30 industrial-sized containers of chicken bouillon.

“It gets under your nails … and in your hair,” joked Kiwanis President Jack Dickson.

The numbers for the pancake feed are no less impressive.

Members start cooking pancakes for Arkalalah-goers at 5:30 a.m. on the Saturday of the Big Parade and don’t stop until noon.

In that time, approximately 2,000 people are served. Each person receives three pancakes, which puts the total of pancakes cooked during Arkalalah near 6,000.

“We have fun,” said Kiwanis Club member Duane Oestmann.

One of the ways the club gives back to the community is by hiring the ACES group at Cowley College to help with the Arkalalah fundraisers.

The students are able to raise money for their club by helping the Kiwanis.

There are many other ways the Kiwanis give back to the community, including:

  • books for Head Start
  • scholarships for Arkansas City High School seniors
  • Ark City Rec Center youth soccer and baseball
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Cub Scouts
  • Ark City High School Prom and After Prom
  • American Red Cross Bloodmobile
  • Fraternal Order of Police fireworks

The group once was more than 60 members strong, but currently has only 16 members.

“We’re small, but we’re mighty,” Legleiter said.

Anyone who wishes to become involved can contact Legleiter at Legleiter Video Productions or on the group’s Facebook page.

Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time.

The local club’s meetings are at noon every Tuesday at Daisy Mae’s Café, located at 511 W. Madison Ave.

Kiwanis International was founded in 1915 in Detroit, Mich., and became an international organization with the creation of the Kiwanis Club of Hamilton, Ontario, the following year.