Come to the harvest of plenty
In many years on this planet, I have been involved with a number of community service organizations. When I was a younger, I helped inspire entrepreneurism through the Jaycees (now JCI), went round and round with The Rotary Club and (Ripley’s Believe it or Not) was even a Cubmaster and Boy Scout Committee Chairman.
What can I say? — I had two boys, and it was ‘camp’ at the time.
More recently I have “roared” with The Lions Club, threw back beers in a number American Legion Halls, and crusaded for charity with the Knights of Columbus.
All of this ‘public service’ has been minimally time-consuming, and very rewarding, but I was recently reminded that Kiwanis International is at my core.
Way, way back when I was in high school, I was a member of Key Club — a youth version of Kiwanis.
I honestly don’t remember too much about our meetings or activities. After all, that was 50-plus years ago. Ouch!
But last month I met a large, fun-loving group of Kiwanis members at a Farm-to-Table dinner at Joseph and Tara Cathey's Walnut Cove Farm. The Kiwanis folks were doing research for their own upcoming “Share the Harvest Dinner,” and they couldn’t have picked a better place to see how it is done.
The Catheys served up round after round of ‘farm-fresh’ food that crisp, clear evening, and no one walked away hungry. Best of all, over the course of the night (Or should I say courses?) I learned more about the Kiwanis Club of Waynesville and their efforts to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus throughout the world.
Here in the great USA, we pretty much take tetanus for granted. But in many parts of the world, newborns are dying from neonatal tetanus at an alarming rate — one newborn dies every nine minutes from tetanus.
The Kiwanis Eliminate Project is a worldwide effort to supply much needed maternal and neonatal tetanus shots to third world countries and “eliminate” these unnecessary deaths.
Through Kiwanis’ efforts, a series of shots costing only $1.80 will be given to more than 61,000 women around the world. This is a US$110 million humanitarian effort, and the Kiwanis International Club of Waynesville is doing their part to help defray the cost.
The Kiwanis Club of Waynesville also has a very meaningful local focus — working with ARC of Haywood, to help adults living with disabilities to develop the initiative and leadership skills to further serve the community.
Despite their disabilities, the members of Kiwanis Aktion Club have their own service projects and also assist Kiwanis with their annual Spring Fling and Community Spelling Bee.
Yes, the Kiwanis Club of Waynesville is serving our community well, and you can support their efforts by attending the “Share the Harvest” dinner at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29.
Laurel Ridge Country Club has graciously offered their pavilion and Executive Chef Alton “Al” Terry will prepare the food that has been grown and raised in the gardens and farms of Haywood County. David Russell, a local grown boy, will play several instruments and sing folk music and tell some fun-filled folk stories. Participants will enjoy a lively evening and tickets are on sale for $50.
To purchase tickets, reserve a table eight or get more information about this event, contact Ann Kline 828-734-4310 or Judith Antross 813-390-1706 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.