The Kiwanis Club last week celebrated Wellesley residents Dwin and John Schuler for over 7 decades of service to the town, and almost 100 friends and admirers gathered at the Italo American Educational Club to fete the pair and enjoy their company. A buffet dinner was provided by Alta Strada, and the Wellesley High School Key Club helped out with whatever needed doing, from running food to clearing plates. A local chapter of Kiwanis International, Kiwanis Club of Wellesley is an all-volunteer service organization that provides the youth and families the support they need to thrive.
Rev. Jonathan Page, senior pastor at the Wellesley Hills Congregational Church, offered a blessing at the outset. After mixing and mingling, guests dined as the Schulers were honored with presentations and two awards. Salvation Army representatives presented John with the “Joseph Barnes Volunteer of the Year” award. In addition, John and Dwin were honored with an award named for them—”The Schuler Award,” a civics-oriented recognition.
The evening’s MC and Select Board secretary Beth Sullivan Woods thanked John and Dwin in particular for their involvement with programs that support young people so that “the youth can experience joy, focus on their studies, and be successful.”
There’s scarcely a volunteer effort in town the dynamic duo, both Wellesley High School graduates, hasn’t been involved in over the years, but they are probably best known for their leadership role in the yearly Salvation Army Red Kettle Drive. Anyone who’s ever received a phone call from Dwin asking which shift they wanted to take to ring the bell in front of Roche Bros. understood that “sorry, I can’t” was not an option.
Dwin has retired from making the yearly bell-ringing phone calls. Volunteers now sign up online. Here’s a link to do so. We’ve already grabbed our spot, but there’s plenty of room for more bell ringers.
David Lussier told the crowd he couldn’t pass up the invitation to celebrate the Schulers, crediting John in part for his job as superintendent of the Wellesley Public Schools. “I met John Schuler 12 years ago in his capacity as a member of the search committee for superintendent of schools at that time,” Lussier said. “I didn’t actually meet John in person initially. Remember Skype? It was a Skype call…and I think all I saw was John’s elbow. But boy did I hear his voice,” referring to the stentorian tone and deliberate manner in which John speaks. That combined with his ability to expound on any given subject certainly helped him maintain classroom discipline and command attention during his 40-year tenure of teaching at Dana Hall School.
As longtime Town Meeting Member and Celebrations Committee Chair Royall Switzler read off John and Dwin’s many accomplishments, the lesser mortals in the crowd were left in awe and feeling perhaps even a little lazy. I mean, the Schulers even have a room named after them at the Tolles Parson Center. It’s called the John and Dwin Schuler Multi-Purpose Room. Of course it is.
What does the Kiwanis Club of Wellesley do, anyway?
- awards 3 need-based 4-year college scholarships annually to WHS students
- awards scholarships annually to PAWS (Preschool at Wellesley Schools) for families who would not otherwise be able to send their children to preschool
- manages the December Red Kettle campaign to provide resources for local families in need
- supports Newton-Wellesley Hospital Pediatric needs through annual toy and supplies donations
- works with WHS Key Club
- sponsors Scout Troop 182B and 182G
- hosts annual Pancake and Waffle Festival at WHS
- helps support Wellesley’s Wonderful Weekend
- co-sponsors Bike Safety Rodeo with the Wellesley Police Department
- helps support the Rec Department’s outdoor summer movies
- purchased outdoor heaters for Sisters of Charity to enable outdoor family visits during COVID
- new focus area for 2024: educating parents and teens about attaining and maintaining positive mental health