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Local service clubs struggle with declining, aging membership

Organizations hope to find new members, new ideas

Service clubs in Bellingham are struggling with declining membership across the board. As longtime members get older and younger professionals struggle with the time commitments that traditionally come with being part of service organizations, clubs like Kiwanis, Rotary and Lions are finding ways to fundraise, organize events and recruit new faces.

Kiwanis Club of Bellingham is still making plans to support the kids of Bellingham and Whatcom County in the upcoming year despite a declining and aging membership, said Janet Armstrong, current club treasurer and 31-year member.

The club, which celebrated its 100th anniversary this year, focuses on kids, said Elizabeth Bennet, current club president and 29-year member. The club sponsors baby food drives and parenting class scholarships and helps build local play areas and parks. While the club is motivated, new members would help bring new ideas and energy, Bennet said.

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