“To us it’s a historic moment.” Those are the words of Fredi Castrejon, the founding president of the newly established Arvin-Lamont Kiwanis Club chapter.
Kern County has officially welcomed in its newest chapter of the Kiwanis Club. The newly founded Arvin-Lamont Kiwanis Club chapter held its opening ceremony at the Arvin Veterans Hall in Arvin on Saturday, July 9th.
The Kiwanis Club engages with the communities of Arvin and Lamont through multiple means, such as organizing and assisting in community events, the promoting of education, resources and programs for the public, and community outreach.
During its open ceremony, many community members of Arvin, Lamont and of neighboring cities filled the Veterans Hall to celebrate the founding of the new club. Local elected officials such as Arvin Mayor Olivia Trujillo, Delano Vice-Mayor Veronica Vasquez, and Wasco City Councilmember Alex Garcia were present at Saturday’s event as well, just to name a few.
Castrejon spoke about the heavy amount of support shown by people from all over the county and Central Valley, such as elected officials, school board superintendents, and community members.
The new chapter had a heavy amount of planning behind it before being welcomed in by the community. The whole process of planning for and establishing the club took around a year and has finally come to a close this month.
The process involved many people, including the late John Sullivan, a beloved and active community member of Kern County. Sullivan passed away October of last year and a moment of silence was held in his honor during Saturday’s event.
“He would’ve been very very happy to see this” said Castrejon.
Castrejon also mentioned the assistance received from many a part of the Latino youth in community.
“To see that a lot of the people involved are Latinos and are younger people it’s a great big deal for the club. Most of our young adults graduate from college and they move on to other places and these individuals are returning to give back to their community,” said Castrejon.
When talking about potential and future goals for the local chapter, Castrejon was quick to mention one which is to potentially adopt Highway 184. The highway runs through the city of Lamont and is an important connection from Arvin to Bakersfield.
Castrejon hopes to have volunteers assist in cleaning up the highway as it a main entrance point leading into the two communities. He does note that the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) does prevent volunteers under the age of 18 from volunteering, so recruitment of college students instead is of great significance.
However, Castrejon highly encourages people of all ages to get involved with the chapter. He brings up the Key Club, a Kiwanis affiliated club for high school students, with one branch being located at Arvin High School. The high school serving both the communities of Arvin and Lamont.
The communities of Arvin and Lamont are very excited to welcome their new club and are excited for opportunities that are to come along.
As Castrejon put it, “it was great sensation…it was a moment of celebration.”
If you have any questions or comments regarding the Arvin-Lamont Kiwanis Club chapter, please reach out to Fredi Castrejon.
Phone Number: (661) 556 2244