Sept. 20, 2019

By Layne Stracener of the Tribune

After expressing his passion for volunteering in various community events, Raytown Three Trails Kiwanis Club members David and Mary Lee Skitek convinced Brian Ross to join the hands-on service organization, whose mission is to help children.

Two years later, Ross was elected to be the new club president beginning Oct. 1.

Mary Lee Skitek, who will be the club’s president in October 2020 and has held the position before, said she asked Ross to join the club because he is community-minded and young.

“We always want to bring in some new younger people to get their take on things and have their support,” Skitek said. “I knew he had that kind of charitable sense about him, and that’s what we’re all about, so I thought he would be a great addition to our club.”

David Skitek, who has been a member of the Three Trails Kiwanis club for 11 years, said Ross quickly became an active member after they asked him to join the club.

“He had what I saw as leadership potential,” Skitek said. “He’s a good public speaker, he gets along with people very well and I think he has the skills to be an organizer and a delegator of responsibility – kind of all the characteristics you would want of a club president.”

Ross said his main goal as the incoming president is to gain more members. The club currently has about 23. He said he plans to host more social events to allow the community to learn about Kiwanis and meet the members and to allow the members to socialize outside of service and meetings. He also said he plans to host more service and social events in the evenings when more people will be available.

“What we’re trying to do is restructure some of the process to make it more efficient so that it allows us to expand our footprint here in the area,” Ross said. “The more hands we can get, the better things will turn out.”

Ross said he plans to establish more corporate memberships and build more relationships with local businesses such as insurance agencies, law firms, accounting firms and banks, which often pay employees for completing service hours.

“I want to utilize some of the corporate pieces and let them know what Kiwanis is, what we do and how you can serve locally here in Raytown,” Ross said.

The Three Trails Kiwanis Club has two annual events coming up: The Craft Beer Festival and Pumpkins on Parade. The Craft Beer Festival is on Sept. 21 from 12-5 p.m. More than 125 brewers are participating, and the proceeds will go to the Raytown Three Trails Kiwanis Club.

Pumpkins on Parade, on Oct. 19. From 4:30 – 9 p.m., is a free event in Cave Springs Park for individuals, businesses and organizations to carve pumpkins and view 1,000 jack-o-lanterns on the trail.

Ross said he also hopes for Raytown’s Three Trails Kiwanis Club to sponsor a bed-making event for the first time with Sleep in Heavenly Peace, an organization that builds and delivers beds to children who are in need of one. Mary Lee Skitek said she would like to invite a variety of Raytown organizations to help build the beds, and she hopes it will lead to more membership.

For more information, visit the Raytown Three Trails Kiwanis Facebook page or visit their website at