Kiwanis looks to build membership in coming year
by Paige Rentz
The Jacksonville Kiwanis Club is looking to expand its ranks in the coming year.

As members gathered for the first meeting of the New Year, club president Steve Smith addressed them about his hopes for the club in the coming months, particularly recruiting new members to help with the club’s many projects.

The Kiwanis Club is a local chapter of an international service organization whose mission is “changing the world, one child and one community at a time.”

Smith noted the contributions of members of Key Club — the student branch of the Kiwanis organization — at both Jacksonville and Pleasant Valley high schools to his club’s projects, particularly Pancake Day and the food drive to benefit the Jacksonville Christian Outreach Center.

“Without those young, energetic students, we probably wouldn’t be so successful,” he said.

According to member Steve Ray, the club collected and donated 938 items to JCOC, more than last year’s donation of about 775.

Smith and other members of Kiwanis hope to add another local Key Club at Jacksonville Christian Academy. The Jacksonville High School Key Club has discussed helping with this process, said advisor Beth King. The Kiwanis Club must submit a $600 sponsorship fee to the international organization start the club.

Smith sees expanding ties to Jacksonville Christian Academy as good for both the students, who will have additional extracurricular and service opportunities for college applications, and his club.

“I think that would help us attract some new members to the Kiwanis Club,” he said. “That’s a whole pool of parents and teachers.”

Smith said the current Jacksonville Kiwanians are dedicated, loyal members, but it would benefit the club to attract younger members as well as those from various parts of the business sector and community.

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the local chapter can reach Smith at or 256-453-8510.

The club is also on Facebook at
© 2013