Lawrence Ducey joined the Kiwanis Club of Grand Falls-Windsor five years ago, as a way to give back to the community and to help ensure there would be opportunities, through the Kiwanis Music Festival, for his daughters to explore their love of music.
“I have two young girls, Caroline who is 11 and Adrianna who is 9, and they are both interested in music.” Ducey says. “I want my girls’ experience growing up here in Grand Falls-Windsor to be as full as it can be and part of that is having that experience with the festival. I think that’s a wonderful experience for children in general.”
When he first joined, Ducey was not aware the Kiwanis was the community sponsor of the 1916 Beaumont Hamel Royal Canadian Army Cadets. However, he soon found himself working closely with the Cadets.
“When I started, I didn’t work with the music festival at all. I ended up as the Chair of the Army Cadets, the liaison with them,” Ducey says. “I got to work on a great project. We had to raise $80,000 so we could travel to Beaumont Hamel for the 100th anniversary in 2016. Some of those kids had never been out of the province before, had never travelled before, it would be a great lifetime memory.”
Ducey has now been the President of the Kiwanis Club for the past two years and has helped guide the organization through some challenging financial times and get back on track.
“Since I became president, I put a focus on the finances,” Ducey says. “And last year we had some good fundraising activities. It all went very well and we were able to right the ship financially after having a couple of rough years.”
Now that their expenses are on track, the current focus for the club, and for Ducey, is to increase membership.
Ducey, who owns a business development firm with clients worldwide, lived in Grand Falls-Windsor until he left to attend Acadia University in 1989. After graduating with his business degree, he worked in various places in Canada before returning home to open his consulting business.
Ducey says his experience in business helps him in his volunteer work because he has the financial and project management skills needed in groups like the Kiwanis. However, he also points out he is just part of a team.
“It’s not one person who does this. There might be one person who is willing to take a leadership role but we have a good group,” Ducey says. “I just fired up them to address things. Once they got engaged in it, they got moving.”
He also notes he has the ability to take on that leadership role, and to put the necessary time in, because he has great support at home.
“My wife, Donna; I wouldn’t be able to do what I have done without her there supporting me.” Ducey says.
Throughout his five years of work with the Kiwanis, Ducey has kept his focus on helping youth in his community.
“For me, that’s what it’s about. If you don’t do these things then those kids don’t have these experiences.
“If you try to create a good experience for the youth, if you go in there with that as your expectation, I don’t think you will ever be disappointed.”