2018-02-18 / Insight

Kiwanis Kapers is a longtime Lapeer tradition that offers comedic variety show on stage at LHS

BY NICHOLAS PUGLIESE
810-452-2601 • npugliese@mihomepaper.com


Sometimes the kids the Kiwanis Club of Lapeer supports get into the action, like last year’s “Firefighters.” 
Photo by Nicholas Pugliese Sometimes the kids the Kiwanis Club of Lapeer supports get into the action, like last year’s “Firefighters.” Photo by Nicholas Pugliese LAPEER — One weekend each year, the auditorium stage at Lapeer High School is filled with bankers, doctors, dentists, jewelers and more area professionals, and it turns out, some of the people you might see every day throughout Lapeer have hidden talents. The 70th annual Kiwanis Kapers, a variety show put on by the members of the Kiwanis Club of Lapeer, hits the Lapeer High School stage in April, and already the 50-plus member organization is hard at work planning each skit, song and comedy routine.

Kapers is a showcase of the hidden skills of Kiwanis members, and while the performers take the event seriously, it’s all in good fun and for a good cause. Proceeds generated by the event fund the club’s efforts to enhance the community, and the family friendly show often draws hundreds of attendees each year.


Kiwanis Club of Lapeer president-elect Matt Rodda performed in 2015’s Kapers and said this year’s might be the best yet. 
Photo by Alex Petrie Kiwanis Club of Lapeer president-elect Matt Rodda performed in 2015’s Kapers and said this year’s might be the best yet. Photo by Alex Petrie According to Kiwanis Club of Lapeer president-elect Matt Rodda, the fun of Kapers is all about raising the money the club will use throughout the year to support causes in the community. “It’s meant to be funny and highlight the talent of the Kiwanis of Lapeer, or in my case, the lack thereof,” he said. “It’s for the kids of Lapeer and any way we can help or support, and if we have to make people laugh, that’s what we’ll do.”

This year’s show promises to be no different. Taking place over the weekend of April 19-21, with tickets at $10 for adults and $5 for children 17 and under, the 2018 edition of Kapers features the theme of “New Year’s Eve 1969.” Kapers is the Kiwanis Club of Lapeer’s largest fundraiser of the year, and with this year’s iteration the 70th consecutive, the show is often referred to as the longest-running variety show in Michigan.

And as the show enters its 70th year, the theme seemed appropriate, said Rodda. “It’ll be going into the ‘70s and what we’re projecting the ‘70s to look like, we’ll play off of that,” he said. “It’ll be themed on different shows like Heehaw, Tonight Show, skit shows, comical popular ones in the 70s. It’ll be true variety, that’s for sure.”

Each performer is easily recognizable as a member of the Lapeer-area business community. And while some, like Kapala Heating and Cooling’s Emily Barber and Lapeer Gold and Diamond’s Steve Starking, are already known throughout the community as talented performers, Kapers provides an opportunity for other area businesspeople to let loose and provide a few laughs to the community the club serves. “There’s just so much content there, but it’s all good content,” said Rodda. “We anticipate that it will probably be one of the best yet.”

The Kiwanis Club of Lapeer supports dozens of local charities and organizations, often focusing on groups that work on behalf of children. Meeting each week for a public lunch at the Lapeer Center (Building) on Wednesdays at 12:15 p.m., the club is part of an international organization that features more than 600,000 members across 80 countries globally.

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