Civic clubs

A rare sighting took place Thursday morning as the four local civic organizations gathered at the Rusk County Youth Expo Center to co-host the monthly Mid-Morning Coffee Break. 

MMCB is held one Thursday every month through the Henderson Area Chamber of Commerce and various chamber businesses take turns hosting. 

According to Mayor Buzz Fullen, the four groups in the past would come together often to host things and have a little bit of friendly competition. 

With interest dropping in all four, Kiwanis, Optimist, Rotary and Lions, it seemed like the perfect time to bring back this old tradition. 

“I think you’ll notice all four of these civic clubs have one common dominator,” Lions Club member Ken Hale said. “They are looking out for others, we serve others and what we need to remember that the real issue is not what one person can do but how as we bind together we can make a difference. The answer is not found in ourselves but in our groups. That’s why the Kiwanians, Lions, Optimist and Rotarians are all working to try and do the same thing.”

Each organization benefits the children of Rusk County in its own way and took the time to tell those in attendance about what they offer and when they meet. 

A couple things each club offers is:

Kiwanis Club - promotes littles one literacy by sending books to Rusk County children monthly, scholarships; 

Lions Club - help children with eye exams and glasses, send children to various summers camps including diabetes camp;

Optimist Club - recognized high school senior boy and girl of the month, host a basketball tournament; and 

Rotary Club - give dictionaries to elementary students, sponsor youth summer camps.

Each group is always looking for and welcoming new members. Those interested in visiting clubs should attend a meeting to see which one fits you best. 

“All four of these clubs are great and if your not in one you should check them out,” Optimist Club member Trey Segura said. “I had the opportunity to look at all four of these clubs and I decided on the Optimist Club.”

Optimist meets Thursdays twice a month at UT Health Henderson in the cafeteria;

Rotary meets every Thursdays at First Baptist Church in the Family Life Center; 

Kiwanis meets every Tuesdays at UT Health Henderson in the cafeteria; and 

Lions Club meets Wednesdays UT Health Henderson in the cafeteria.

“We got four great civic organizations and the problem in our community is that our youth doesn’t know what civic organizations is,” Rotary member Sean Jackson said. “I hire people all the time in my business and we talk about civic organizations and they go ‘what is that?’ So we have to do a better job at getting our message out. We have to do a better job of making sure that people know when we give back to the communities because thats ultimately what civic organizations are, giving back to the communities we all live in, we all serve.” 

Those wanting to better serve their community but not sure how should look into these organizations as a great place to start.  

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