Past presidents of the Kiwanis Club of Durant were recognized Wednesday during the club’s meeting at the Roadhouse.
The club was founded on Nov. 9, 1949, according to the club’s website, and it is well known in the community for being involved in many civic activities and events, including pancake day and the Easter egg hunt. The first pancake day was held on Dec. 9, 1954, at Tom’s Lunch where the club netted $400, whereas in recent years, this event raises approximately $12,000. Pancake day is held on the first Tuesday of November.
Dr. Greg Clay, who was Kiwanis president in 1982, gave the presentation on past presidents that included photos.
“Past Presidents’ Day is something that we’ve celebrated almost annually since that first one back in 1982,” Clay said. “This year, we put a little bit bigger push to get more of our former presidents who aren’t around or who have retired from the club to come back and be a part of our day.”
Clay said it’s an honor to be a part of a club with such a rich heritage.
“Those community leaders that we saw in the PowerPoint presentation were larger than life to this kid who grew up watching them serve before him,” Clay said. “One never dreams that he would actually get to rub shoulders with them in adulthood as I was blessed to do. The legacy they left is the stuff legend is made of. “
According to Clay, the fingerprints of the Kiwanis Club of Durant are all over the community.
”Those fingerprints are found in the bricks and mortar of ball fields and parks across the city,” Clay said. “They’re found in the countless activities that have become community icons, like pancake day, the elementary school track meet, and the Easter egg hunt. But they’re also found imprinted on the lives that have been changed because Kiwanians mentored a young boy, carried a child to the city pool for lessons, or delivered a meal to a shut-in. They’re seen in the faces of families as Kiwanis members direct traffic at Fort Washita each spring at the Rendezvous, and in children who participate in the OSF Children’s Theatre because of their sponsorship by this club.”
Clay said those fingerprints are also seen in the lives of Kiwanians themselves.
”Dr. (Ernest) Sturch likes to say that the blessings that we give to others is kind of like jelly. ‘You can’t spread it around without getting a little on yourself,”’ Clay said. Service is the reason, fellowship is the reward.”
The Kiwanis Club of Durant meets at noon Wednesdays at the Roadhouse.
Contact Matt Swearengin at 580-634-2160 or email@example.com