Do your civic duty, get pancakes at Kiwanis breakfast

Published 12:27 am Thursday, June 8, 2017

When I was in my teens and in college, I never dreamed I would ever join a civic club.

If I had any image in my mind of Kiwanis, or Rotary, Lions, the Exchange Club or any other group like that, it would be an image of old white men with narrow ties and horn-rimmed classes, straight out of 1958 (please note that I am not THAT old). If someone were to ask me what they did, I wouldn’t have had a clue. Little did I know that all of these groups have had huge impacts on their communities, and affected the lives of people all over the world.

These international service clubs take their commitment to duty seriously—whether it’s the Lions Club collecting eyeglasses for the visually impaired, the Exchange Club raising awareness about child abuse or the Rotary Club virtually eradicating a major disease like polio, these women and men work behind the scenes to make everyone’s lives better.

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Kiwanis is another example of a global club dedicated to service. You might just think of us as a group that meets every Thursday at noon for lunch, but we are so much more than that!

Through Kiwanis Project Eliminate, we work towards fighting maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT), a horrendous disease that strikes mothers and newborn children, and causes the death of one baby every 15 minutes. And yet, MNT is entirely preventable, through a series of just 3 vaccines. Thanks to the efforts of Kiwanians, MNT has been eliminated throughout the world, in all but 18 countries,  And we’re working on those!

But MNT is a disease that the vast majority of us will never have to deal with, so let’s look at what Kiwanis does on a more local level, with results that directly impact the lives of people in Natchez. Our main emphasis is on youth, so to that end, the Kiwanis Club of the Natchez Trace sponsors Key Clubs in all the area high schools, and encourages the kids in these clubs to value community service.  Together, Kiwanis and the Key Clubs raise money for local charities, families in need, community literacy programs, cancer research and  programs to feed the hungry.  We also provide also provide scholarships to Key Club participants and encourage them to continue their community service by joining Circle K in college.

Our club has worked on Habitat for Humanity houses, built bridges on the nature trail at Historic Jefferson College, picked up trash on the highway, and we help to keep the bluff and nature trail downtown clean and free of garbage. We donate volunteer hours and funds to many local non-profits, both on an individual basis, and through our bowling tournaments, spaghetti luncheons and pancake breakfasts.

And speaking of pancakes, it just so happens that the Kiwanis Club Annual Pancake Breakfast is coming up from 8 to 11 a.m. this Saturday at Jefferson Street United Methodist Church.

Grab a ticket (or two) from any Kiwanian that you know, or stop on by the church for a delicious meal of pancakes, sausage and juice, for just $8. Not only will you be getting a tasty meal, but you’ll also be contributing towards the betterment of our community.

And when you see how much fun we are having cooking pancakes, you might feel that you’d like to be part of this group, and we would certainly welcome you! We meet each Thursday at Rolling River Bistro on Main Street, and we would love for you to come and join us.
Robin Person is a member of the Natchez Kiwanis Club.