Blast from the Past

In my 3 years as a CKI member, I attended 3 DCONs. When I first started attending Stockton Circle K meetings, I just wanted to do some community service. I did not expect to be going to conventions and getting so involved. Then, fortunately for me, Melinda Graff (who is currently working her butt off to plan this years DCON) convinced me to come with her to our first DCON. Let me tell you, I did not expect to have as much fun as I did. First of all, it was Disney themed, so how great is that!? Not only was I able to meet Circle Kers from schools around the state, but I also grew closer to the amazing group of Stockton Circle Kers who attended. I created lasting friendships while learning about how the organization is run at a higher level. I admired the members who ran for district board positions and could never imagine myself speaking in front of such a large group. I went to workshops where I learned how to juggle and about our service initiatives. I made some of my favorite memories at the dance and the diner afterword. I saw my second and third DCONs in different perspectives. Stockton was the host club for DCON 2013 so I had my first experiences helping to plan our superhero themed convention. I had so much fun there that I decided to join the district board the subsequent year. DCON 2014, the 50th ever and my last DCON, was completely different from my first. I conquered one of my greatest fears and spoke in front of a large crowd of friends, fellow CKI members, Kiwanians, and alumni. It was all very exciting but sad at the same time because I knew I would no longer be able to attend DCON as a member of CKI. To any members on the fence about attending this year, if you take anything away from this, please please please attend DCON. You will not regret it!

-Olivia Pereira

A COTC Recap by Chris Heil

September 13th was a normal day for everyone else in New Jersey, but not for the officers and members of New Jersey Circle K.! We had our Club Officer Training at Brookdale Community College. It was a privilege to see officers from around the state gather in one room, and watch them collaborate to become better leaders.

It all began with a welcome and gathering in our main lecture hall. This is where everyone could reconnect with old friends from other schools or begin to make new connections with the newly elected/
appointed boards. Things really kicked off after the district board introduced ourselves and we began a fun yet risky ice breaker!

Once the laughter was over, it was time to start training. We split up into designated groups. Each room had a different set of board members who began explaining how to strengthen the other officers’ skill sets, and how they could succeed in their positions. The leaders did an amazing job explaining officer responsibilities, and I could tell that the audience was captivated. I had the honor of walking through the hallways and ringing the bell to let them know when their session was coming to a close.

Following the first session, we all proceeded back to the lecture hall for our very own Parth Patel’s Eliminate Project presentation, where everyone was educated on maternal and neonatal tetanus.. He did a killer job making sure everyone knew what Eliminate was all about, and how they could help bring an end to MNT. The presentation was both entertaining and informative.

For the second session, we were able to break into smaller groups where presentations were given on various charities that Circle K International is involved with. Club officers were able to learn more about organizations that they had not known of before, and everyone seemed so excited to get involved in any way they could by the end of the presentations!

Following our lunch break, Vidish Pandya and Christian Blanco gave a short presentation on Leadership Academy. Their enthusiasm about their trip to Indiana gained the attention of the audience and demonstrated all that Leadership Academy has to offer. After hearing about how they were able to become better leaders and how they were inspired to continue their personal growth, a few audience members showed interest in becoming the next Leadership Academy attendees!

The third session took a more playful tone. It consisted of a motivational youtube clip session, stress relief ,and discovering leadership types. This was where training came to a conclusion, and where everyone was able to enjoy a fun, laid-back workshop.

COTC concluded with a final presentation of the history of K-family. It was both informative and motivational to see our history and what we had planned for the future. Circle K International has big things to look forward to, and our future looks extremely bright!

At the end of the day, we all went our separate ways full of excitement, hope and determination to ensure that we continue to do great things and know that the sky is the limit for the achievements to come.

Circle K International Convention

On the week of June 17th, 2014, members of the New Jersey District had the opportunity to travel to Nashville, TN, where we celebrated this year’s 50th annual Circle K International convention and large scale service project!

Rebranded under the name “CKIx,” this year’s convention truly took our expectations for the organization to the next level- providing informative workshops, spirited sessions, and amazing service projects for our members to enjoy. The first two days of CKIx kicked off with our organization’s annual Large Scale Service Project, where members of our district split up in to teams comprised of different students across the globe. From there, teams had the opportunity to tackle unique service projects with an assigned team leader- one of whom happened to be our district’s very own governor, Dawn Kreder!

After two fun-filled days of fellowship and service, the event quickly jumped into the business items of the convention- in which former Subregion-A trustee Kathy Le had been elected our International President for the 2014-2015 service year! In addition, former New York Circle K Governor and friend to the New Jersey District Kelly Chan had also been elected in to the office of our Subregion-F trustee, and will be serving with us this year along with the districts of New York, Capital, New England & Bermuda, and Eastern Canada! Last but not least, your’s truly was elected to serve in the office of Subregion-E trustee for the upcoming year as well, providing council to our neighboring districts of Pennsylvania, Kentucky-Tennessee, Ohio, and West Virginia!

Toward the latter days of convention, members were treated with very special presentations on empowerment from Phired Up, as well as food etiquette with Momma Nonnie. In addition, the organization also held a nighttime awards ceremony, in which the New Jersey District did fantastic work in sweeping up the convention! The Circle K club of Rutgers University won first place for both Single Service and the Eliminate Project. The New Jersey District as a whole won two honors for having fundraised the second highest district total, and the highest per member total for the Eliminate Project respectively. In addition, our 2013-2014 district board went home with a record breaking total of 7 trophies, with Eliminate Chair Stephanie winning Distinguished District Chair, Lieutenant Governors Brooke, Annabelle, and Victoria all winning Distinguished LTG, Secretary Dawn in winning Distinguished Secretary, and myself in winning both Distinguished Governor, and District for the state of New Jersey as a whole.

As the convention concluded on Saturday night, we had the opportunity to reflect on our fantastic 6 day experience in Nashville by dancing the night away with members from across the nation. CKIx this past week was truly a celebration to remember, and we hope you’ll join us next year for our organizations 60th anniversary, in Indianapolis, Indiana!

The 50th Annual New Jersey Circle K District Convention: A Golden Celebration

What better way to wrap up the Circle K year than to celebrate it with friends and colleagues at the 50th Annual New Jersey Circle K District Convention! This event featured the distribution of awards to club officers and members as well as the caucusing and election of those running for District Positions. I must admit what a surreal experience it was caucusing via Google Hangout. I spent my afternoons in the rainy city of Seattle, Washington preparing for the elections process and my evenings gracing the “big screen” with the guidance and tremendous patience of former Garden LTG, Annabelle Fallarme. On behalf of the New Jersey Circle K District Board, I would like to thank the Circle K Clubs who joined us in this Golden Celebration and brought in the 2013-2014 Circle K year in a truly celebratory fashion!

What is DCON?

DCON, also known as District Convention, is a weekend long event in which the New Jersey District of Circle K International assembles. Here, immediate past officers address their district, and the future New Jersey District Board is voted upon by members such as yourself! These candidates participate in several rounds of caucusing before the New Jersey District comes to a vote. While it is certainly a very exciting aspect of DCON, District Board elections are not the only facet of our convention! DCON is also a time in which awards are presented to outstanding officers, clubs, and general members, and attendees can attend several leadership building workshops. It is the event in which recipients of various scholarships are announced, and a place where members can dress to impress at the annual dance. Most importantly, it is a time for New Jersey Circle K members to network with one another and grow as leaders and individuals!

It’s Back to School Time!

September 15th, 2012, New Jersey Circle K club officers from all across the state gathered together at Brookdale Community College, where they partook in this year’s annual Club Officer Training Conference!

This year’s conference, put together by our District’s very own Membership Development and Education Chair Annabelle Fallarme, kicked off with a basic Welcoming session which introduced our many club officers to the New Jersey District Board, as well as International Subregion F Trustee Ron Acerra.

Following the intro, members were given a brief lesson on CKI’s general premise as well as a few important details regarding the organization itself. This lecture soon segwayed into a quick explanation of the New jersey District’s buddy system, a new program designed to help clubs assist each other throughout the upcoming school year.

With the general lecture over, attendants were treated to a selection of Circle K workshops, which primarily focused on training this year’s incoming executive board members. The session’s workshops covered the positions of general committee members, editors, treasurers, secretaries, and presidents alike.

Soon after the initial session of workshops, another session was introduced with the primary focus on preferred charities. From this selection, members had a chance to learn more about each of the New Jersey District’s Service Partners, as well as Circle K International’s ELIMINATE Project (which featured guest speaker Michael Mulhaul).

With the conclusion of our workshop sessions, members were introduced to one final presentation regarding Aktion Club (this year’s NJ District Governor’s Project). Governor Danielle, as well as a few members of the Kiwanis Committee, gave a heartfelt presentation on the project.

At the end of the trainer ended on a very positive note, with members reflecting on all the lessons they’d learned from the day. That being said, NJ CKI would like to thank everyone who attended COTC and made it such a success. You’re going to rock this service year!

-District Editor, Shivam K. Patel

K-Family Picnic

On the bright (and slightly cloudy) morning of July 28, New Jersey Circle K’ers, Key Clubbers, and Kiwanians all gathered at Green Island Road, Toms River, NJ, to celebrate this year’s annual Kiwanis Family Picnic! As in the past, the picnic was once again hosted by Rowan University in conjunction with the NJ District of Circle K International.

The event kicked off with a basic meet and greet amongst the many branches of our Kiwanis family. Members from all three organizations were given a chance to get to know one another as the host club of Rowan University swiftly prepared for the day’s many exciting projects and activities.

Unfortunately, the weather became a bit murky early on, and as such the area became slightly flooded for a majority of the event’s first hour. Thankfully, the rain did subside in due time, and with that, the picnic’s volunteers began reconstructioning the beach despite its drenched appearance.

This year, members from all three of our K-Family branches banded together to pull weeds and crab grass out of the beach’s local grass plains. The weeding went on for hours at a time, but in the end, the garden was completely cleansed (and just before another storm hit)!

This year, attendance bounced through the roof with over 1110 ticket purchases! That said, the New Jersey CKI District would like to thank everyone who attended this year’s picnic. It was a huge success, and we can’t wait to see you again next year!

-District Editor, Shivam K. Patel