Local Kiwanis president honoured with promotion

By Allan Bradbury
Staff writer

The Fort Frances Kiwanis Club’s president McKenna Begin has been named Governor-Elect for the Western Canada District of Kiwanis, and will be governor starting in 2024-2025. She’s since discovered that she’ll be the youngest governor Kiwanis has ever had.

“This is overseeing all of Western Canada, so it’s from about Thunder Bay all the way to part of British Columbia,” Begin said. “So it’s a large area, but I get to oversee all the Kiwanis Clubs in that area. Help with member growth and the growth of Kiwanis within our whole district.”

Begin says she’d like to help get more young people involved in Kiwanis.

“I’m very fortunate that all the people I’ve been able to work with on the Kiwanis district board over the last year and a bit, everyone’s seen really good leadership qualities in me and they’re all excited to have a younger person on board and hopefully get younger people more interested in joining and hopefully take our district and Kiwanis to the next level and have some bigger ideas for Western Canada.”

Begin says she feels that many young people don’t feel interested in the time commitment that volunteering requires, but she says Kiwanis isn’t a massive commitment.

“A lot of people think it is a lot more of a time commitment than it is,” Begin said. “But after breaking it down and showing it to them. We only meet once a month, and only have so many service projects and you don’t have to attend all of them. That kind of eased their minds as to the time they could give to something like this.”

Begin also said that volunteering isn’t as popular among younger people because they’d rather be paid for doing work.

“I also think nowadays, people my age don’t necessarily want to work for free,” Begin said. “So they know the term volunteering can be a little bit daunting in the sense that you have to do all this extra work and you’re not being paid for it, especially when things are so expensive.”

Begin says that the work and the results should be enough of a reward, though people who are continuing to grow their careers and get into further education could also see advantages when it comes to applying for new roles or advanced education.

“It’s all about the goodness that happens, the community and the good that you feel in yourself, that’s what’s most important,” Begin said.

McKenna Begin, right, and her mother Dana-Lynn Begin, at the Kiwanis Club District Convention in Helena, Montana, in August 2023. McKenna was voted Governor-Elect for the upcoming year and will serve as the Governor of the Western Canada District for the Kiwanis Club for the 2024-2025 term. – Submitted photo