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Kiwanis Annual Turnaround Scholarship Fundraiser Aims to Raise $150,000

It’s that time of year again. Which time you ask? Time for the annual Kiwanis Turnaround Scholarship fundraiser. The evening, scheduled for March 21 at Campbell’s Villa Ragusa, features wine tasting from a special selection of California vintages, an extensive spread of hors d’oeuvres, and a raffle and silent auction. San Jose District 10 Councilman Johnny Khamis is honorary host. With matching grants from two local foundations, the Kiwanis clubs hope to sponsor at least 150 scholarships of $1,000 each.

The annual event – now nearly half a century old – is a joint effort on the part of 16 South Bay Kiwanis clubs, including Santa Clara, to help young people who are often forgotten by scholarship programs.

These are students who may not have outstanding academic records, but who have confronted difficulties that include teenage pregnancy, learning disabilities, dysfunctional families or any one of a host of well-documented problems that can throw students off-course. Despite the obstacles, scholarship recipients have turned their lives around and are headed for college or vocational school.

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“Last year we gave away over 150 $1,000 scholarships to true ‘turnaround’ high school-graduates towards their college expenses,” says Kiwanis member Rick Mauck. “Their stories and successes will break your heart.”

The Kiwanis Turnaround Wine Tasting is Thursday, March 21 from 5:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Villa Ragusa, 35 South Second St. in Campbell. Tickets are $40. For tickets and information, call Rick Mauck at (408) 393-4071.

Go to any community event in Santa Clara and you’re pretty sure to find members of the Santa Clara Kiwanis Club hard at work behind the scenes. Among its many activities, the club sponsors Santa Clara’s annual Easter Egg Hunt and Trout Derby.

Santa Clara Kiwanis meets every Tuesday for lunch at Mariani’s Restaurant, 2500 El Camino Real from 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Visitors are always welcome. For information, visit sckiwanis.biz.nf or call 408-247-7675. For information about Kiwanis International, visit www.kiwanis.org.

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