I would like to take a moment to recognize Gary Dove, an incredible community leader who gives selflessly of his time and treasures to better the lives of so many in our Valley. I met Gary during one of our Leadership Douglas County days and during the day he mentioned the Kiwanis Aktion Club for adults with disabilities.
Having an adult child who is blind, my ears perked up as there are not many activities or programs in our area for adults with physical disabilities. I took Gary aside at the end of the day and asked for more information, which he proudly handed me and invited her to their next meeting.
Aktion Club meets twice a month on a Monday evening at the Community Center and we went to the very next meeting. My daughter was met with open arms by Gary, Chris Wiggins, who was the guest speaker that evening, and the other members of the Club. She immediately felt at ease and comfortable, introducing herself and getting to know the members that she didn’t already know from when she was in school.
She was inducted into the Club at her second meeting by Judge Young. Prior to the meeting, Gary, wanting to make the induction special for her, brought me her certificate for my mom to Braille for her.
Natalia was very surprised and honored to not only be inducted, but to have a certificate presented that she could read. Since that first meeting, she has participated fully in the Club with the many events they have done. Events included the Special Olympics Torch Run, clean up of Mormon Station Park in Genoa, Fourth of July soda and book sale at Minden Park, and most recently clean up of Pope Beach at Lake Tahoe.
If anyone has or knows of a disabled adult, either physically or developmentally, I highly recommend introducing them to the Kiwanis Aktion Club. The Club teaches the members leadership skills, the value of community service, and the importance of being engaged in their community. Gary Dove has done a tremendous job in starting and growing Aktion Club in Carson Valley and for that I cannot thank him enough.
Kathy Jo Kidd