As a member of the Clinton Kiwanis Club, this past year has been a year of highs and lows. I almost feel like a psychologist describing a bi-polar client.
Kiwanis achieved its 100th anniversary this year in Clinton. The club has been here longer than most of us have been alive. For a service club to persevere for a century is only a dream to most service clubs. Clinton accomplished it and always served the children of the area.
Kiwanis has supported many youth programs in Clinton. Donations were always given to summer youth sports. Just as important, donations were given to those who provided the school supplies given out to school children each year who needed a little extra help. Scouting always received a donation. Every year 3-5 students at the high school were given a $500 or $1,000 scholarship to help with their freshman year at college. The Christmas gifts for children also received donations. Kiwanis Park got its name from efforts by Kiwanians to provide for the needs of children. There were two things that Kiwanis sponsored that really got my attention.
For many years Kiwanis sponsored the annual Clinton business prayer breakfast. COVID certainly hurt that event. Kiwanis is a faith based organization and sought to keep God in our sight as we conducted are daily business in the community. With the prayer breakfast the community got a moment to reflect on the blessings we have as a community and give thanks to God. The community needs those types of events. I would also note that we always had a great breakfast with the fellowship.
The BUG awards (bring up grades) is held in the winter and late spring at the elementary school. This is a school wide award program for students at the elementary school in conjunction with the school and Kiwanis. Students are encouraged to bring up their grades with an all school assembly recognizing their accomplishments. Each student who raises their grades receives a certificate or pencil or sticker from a Kiwanian presenting it to the student at the assembly. All of a sudden these young students are congratulated by a an adult, that they usually do not know. The pride in their eyes is something to behold. Kids need that public acknowledgement and praise.
The down side for Clinton Kiwanis is that we simply aged out, our health went down, and we were unable to attract and recruit new members. We simply do not have the membership to do the Kiwanis activities that we have always prided ourselves on. We sought to regain and recruit membership. We did not succeed. COVID did not help, but we were hurting before that for membership. We are dissolving our charter at the end of our fiscal year, being September.
Our last regular meeting will be on Tuesday, September 13 at the American Legion Hall. If you’re a former Kiwanian, have benefited from a Kiwanis activity or just like what the club did for the past 100 years you are invited to have a farewell dinner with us and reminisce. The doors will open at 5:30.
Dinner at 6:00 consisting of roast beef or chicken, vegetables, salads and dessert.
The cost is $15.00
Please make your reservation by September 9th by calling either Dick Koritz at 217-731 4825 or 309-826-6564 or by calling Richard Kaufman at 217-433-4085.
THANK-YOU CLINTON AND DEWITT COUNTY FOR A GREAT RUN.