Kiwanis member will spread cheer overseas

KINGSTON — With Santa Claus’ upcoming busy schedule this year, the big man always manages to recruit others to help out spreading the cheer this season — such as Kingston Kiwanis member Bud Meredith.

On Dec. 2, Meredith will be taking a plane to St. Petersburg, Russia to visit children in the city’s orphanages and hospitals, handing out gifts and singing holiday tunes.

Meredith’s international journey started last year when he found an advertisement in the Kiwanis Newspaper about a travel agency offering “Goodwill Tours.” The trip invites people to visit other parts of the world and spread holiday cheer.

Last year, sponsored by the Kiwanis, Meredith went to Taipei, where he toured the orphanages and hospitals and passed out toys to the children. Twenty participants from all over the United States came together to participate in the capital of Taiwan.

“Last year, the kids in Taipei sang back to us in their language,” Meredith said of his experience.

For this year’s trip, Meredith will be heading out again and will meet up with group of people to tour St. Peterburg’s hospitals and orphanages. He had two other options to chose from — Peru and Australia. Actually, he thought twice about traveling to Russia at this time of year.

“I don’t know, from what I hear, it’s winter over there!” he said jokingly.

Meredith will be return Dec. 8 from his travels.

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