After 60 years of tireless service to the community the Kiwanis Club of Hasbrouck Heights and Teterboro has decided to disband.
Club members and supporters gathered Sunday at the Maywood Inn for a celebration in honor of its 60th anniversary which also served as a finale to the decades of work its volunteers have put in to serving others.
Kiwanis club members were presented with a resolution from Mayor Rose Heck which was presented by Council President Russell Lipari and a number of organizations the club has supported over the years spoke on their behalf, said Colleen Jarvis, a longtime member.
Longtime members Peter Gallo and his wife Marie report that Dr. Burnett Eglow, who founded this local chapter of the club and has served as president six times over the years, made the decision along with fellow current members to disband due to dwindling membership over the past five years.
The Gallos said their local group has seen its numbers steadily decrease in recent years which is also happening with other groups of its kind across the nation.
The Heights based Kiwanis Club has been about 14 members strong for the past year. Just five years ago the club had 27 members but many have moved away, some have health issues and some members have passed away over the years, according to Marie Gallo.
Eglow has told Patch the addition of female members helped keep the club going for many years. Previously the group had been male-oriented but years earlier when Peter Gallo was president he opened the club membership to females and since then many couples took part in the club together.
Eglow had told Patch last fall "the object of being in a service club is to serve" and that is what the group has done all these years supporting various causes and jumping in to help the community when in need.
Among the various financial contributions to local groups includes the Heights REACH program and the free public library, the Student Loan Fund and also provided three scholarships to graduating seniors each year.
Kiwanis Club also sponsored a Little League Team, made annual donations at holiday time to the Friendly Neighbors and to the Special Needs School in Wood-Ridge among many other local causes. The group also did work in support of Autism Speaks, Mickey’s Kids and helped support cancer research, suicide prevention, children’s diabetes program, multiple sclerosis and many other causes.
The club also went out of its way to honor others in the community. Just recently the club presented its Good Neighbor Awards recognizing individuals or groups in the community which have gone above and beyond for others.