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Kiwanis Welcome to New River sign getting a makeover


Elizabeth Medora

NEW RIVER – The Kiwanis Welcome to New River sign just east of the I-17 has been a community fixture since 1998. If you’ve noticed that the sign is looking different lately, that’s due to the makeover the sign is currently undergoing.

“We’re cleaning it up,” explained New River Kiwanis volunteer Tony Gutowski. Kiwanis is working on repainting and reflectorizing the small signs that hang on the Welcome to New River sign. These signs advertise local businesses. Kiwanis, which maintains the sign and procured the permit for it, is getting the individual signs up to date. Maricopa County has also cleaned the shoulder of the road in the vicinity of the sign.

“We’re getting it all brightened up so that you can see it well,” Gutowski said.

Gutowski is a longtime Kiwanis volunteer, and he’s been involved with the upkeep of the Welcome to New River sign since it was first installed.

“I was there when it got put up,” Gutowski said, adding, “I was pulling the signs down” in the last few weeks, getting the sign revamped.

“My number has been on that since the very beginning,” said Gutowski, who owns Gutowski Cabinet Works.

Local companies are welcome to purchase one of the signs on the Welcome to New River board. Gutowski noted that getting the sign made up costs $800; maintenance is $200 per year. After the initial investment of getting the sign made, the cost is only $200 per year. The yearly maintenance fee goes to upkeep the sign, and any leftover funds after sign upkeep costs go to the Kiwanis Community Park in New River and the New River Senior Center, Gutowski said, adding the funds “stay in the community.” For more information about getting your business on the Welcome to New River sign, call (623) 465-0229.

The Welcome to New River sign is just one of New River Kiwanis’ many community projects. New River Kiwanis is always looking for volunteers to help out with projects and events. If you’re interested in volunteering, call Gutowski at (623) 465-5802.

“We’re always looking for help and for people to join Kiwanis,” Gutowski, who is the membership chair for the southwest district, said. “We’d like to get people to join and know more about Kiwanis.”

For many visitors, the Welcome to New River sign is one of the first New River landmarks they see, and the sign offers both information and directional assistance. The refurbishment of the sign will help keep it up-to-date and ready to direct visitors for decades to come.

“It’s been our monument sign for almost 20 years,” Gutowski said.