Local Kiwanians celebrate 100 years of organization

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Members of the local Kiwanis Club celebrated the 100th anniversary of the international organization, chartered in Detroit, on Jan. 21, 1915.

Kiwanis Lt. Gov. Paul England of Monroeville was the guest speaker.

Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Kiwanis has organizations in 80 nations. Its motto is, “Serving the Children of the World. Member clubs stage nearly 150,000 service projects each year, raising $100 million to improve the lives of children.

At present, Kiwanis International is working to save or protect more than 61 million lives through The Eliminate Project, England said. The organization plans to raise $110 million to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus—and ensure no mother faces the death of her baby simply because she didn’t have access to a safe birthing environment or three doses of the tetanus vaccine that cost only $1.80. The disease remains a treat to lives in 25 countries, including 15 African countries, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Yemen, Haiti, Cambodia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines.

Kiwanis was first chartered in Andalusia in 1921, when the city had a population of 5,154, but that club disbanded during the Great Depression. The organization was re-chartered here in 1947 with 43 members. At present, the club reports 94 active members.

Locally, Kiwanis:

• Has hosted the Kiwanis Covington County Fair for more than 50 years.

• Built the Kiwanis Community Center 20 years ago. Last year, the facility housed 49 different events.

• Donates thousands each year to community functions such as youth and sports activities, schools, and other non-profit organizations.

The club meets at noon on Mondays at Tabby D’s. For membership information, contact David Finlin, membership chairman, at 804-8184.