By David Shivers
While businesses are the primary source of economic lifeblood for a community, civic organizations provide rubber-hits-the-road traction for activities that enhance quality of life.
On July 8, a new service club, the Kiwanis Club of Lee County, officially shifted into high gear its drive toward that objective, with a charter banquet held at Grand Island Club that hosted local and state Kiwanis dignitaries and guests..
Lee County Commission chair Ed Duffy congratulated club organizers Gene Goldsmith and Ben Lockett for starting the new club. Duffy stated he was proud of the newly-formed club and that it will be another asset in a county that is the eighth-fastest growing in the state with one of the top two school systems and a millage rate that is among Georgia’s lowest.
Kiwanis Georgia District governor Nancy Walden noted that “it takes a lot of work from a lot of people to start a new club.” Three Kiwanians were singled out for special Certificates of Appreciation: Linda Goldsmith, Gene Goldsmith, and Ben Lockett.
Walden also presented “New Club Building Awards” to Mike Bertram, Scott Brown, Bill Crocker, Tommy Gay, Kathleen Moylan, Dorene Parker, Lamar Parker, Charlene Pennyman, David Shivers, and Don Williams.
Throughout the first half of this year, efforts were underway to organize and charter the Kiwanis Club of Lee County. Under the guidance of Kiwanis District of Georgia’s Southern Growth co-chairs, Gene Goldsmith of Albany Golden K Kiwanis Club and Ben Lockett of Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County, active recruiting enlisted community members interested in Kiwanis’s core mission to improve the lives of children both locally and abroad.
To meet Kiwanis’s charter requirement of 25 members, Goldsmith and Lockett spent a copious amount of time visiting leaders across a wide spectrum of the community, including government, business, education, and other sectors
The new club was co-sponsored by the Albany Golden K Kiwanis Club and the Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County. As sponsoring clubs, their primary responsibilities include recruiting new members, mentoring the Lee group for a year, and helping the new club to stabilize and grow in membership.
Governor Walden told club members, “You have already started lighting candles in this community.” Even before getting its official charter, recruits for the proposed club participated in the April 17 Lee County Clean-Up Day. Also, via the assistance of Albany Golden K and one of its charter members, the Lee County High School Key Club made a $600 donation to the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association Boys & Girls Ranch. Coming up in August, Kiwanis of Lee County will sponsor its first fund-raising project, a 5K and 10K run.
Kiwanis of Lee County president Amanda Smith reminded the new club members that “by rendering service you have an effect on the community.” Citing the Kiwanis motto of “a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time,” Smith added, “That is what we’re here to do.”
PHOTO BY DAVID SHIVERS
Members and organizers of the newly-chartered Kiwanis Club of Lee County pose for a photo following the charter night banquet at Grand Island Club.