“Improving the world one child and one community at a time” has driven the work of the Martin Kiwanis Club for the last 50 years.
While Kiwanis Club has left its mark on Martin by improving the lives of children, the children have reciprocated. Here are a few of the memories shared by Kiwanis Club members:
“The child that made the biggest impact on me was the one in the photo provided by Kiwanis International that showed a child dying from neonatal tetanus. The child was being supported only by the back of its head and its feet, and it was in obvious pain throughout its rigid body. After seeing that picture and realizing that my own children and grandchildren had been born in clean facilities with no danger of contracting such diseases, I could not help getting involved in helping to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus.
“Locally, the biggest impact was made by the children in the Martin Elementary School K-Kids program. One in particular was so delightful as she served extra pancakes and sausage to folks at the annual Martin Kiwanis Pancake Day. She acted so grownup and took such great pleasure in helping serve that it made a lasting impression on me.”
— Otha Britton, 39-year member of Martin Kiwanis and current governor of the Louisiana-Mississippi-West Tennessee District of Kiwanis International
“At the Christmas parade two years ago, a primary school girl came thinking that she would be on a float because she participated in K-Kids. I had to tell her we didn’t have a float for her. She was so disappointed. So I offered her a ride in the truck with us. She said she was so excited to be part of parade as it was the first she’d gone to and the first she was in. The look in her eyes — I won’t forget that. She got to see Santa. She thought she was big stuff. It made her Christmas.”
— Vickie Hazlewood, Martin, member for five years, current president of the Kiwanis Club of Martin
“When I helped start the Builder’s Club at Martin Middle School in 1995-96, we did a talent show to raise money for the Kiwanis Family World Wide Service Project. The kids at Martin Middle School sent money into Kiwanis International to award me with the Talent of Honor Award by giving $1000 toward the Iodine Deficiency Disease World Wide Service Project of Kiwanis International in my honor. That truly touched my heart.
“At Key Leader Weekend, there are many instances where I see a child have a meaningful moment which also touches my heart because I know it has made a change in that child.”
–Linda Ramsey, in her 28thyear as a member of the Kiwanis Club, Key Leader District Chair of the North
The Weakley County Press joins with other Martin businesses and individuals celebrating the history of Martin Kiwanis in the May 17 edition. To subscribe and see the full story, call 731-587-7469.