Since May 6, 1971 Kiwanis has been a part of the Guthrie community; therefore, it is no surprise that they were recently awarded the Guthrie Chamber Non-Profit of the Year Award.
“Our goal is to make sure any monies we raise go directly to the kids in the community,” explained Kiwanis Vice President Jerry Gammill.
Some of the projects that directly benefit the area children are: Bring Up Grades (Bug) Club for third graders, Builders Club at the Junior High School, Key Club at the High School, Sophomore of the Year (receives a $250 scholarship) and three $1,000 scholarships are awarded at the high school level. This is not to mention events they participate in such as an Easter Egg Hunt, Big Wheel Race, Christmas parade and Downtown Trick or Treat.
The largest fund raiser of the year is their annual Kiwanis Auction. The auction has grown from the first auction in December 1975 where the community brought out items from their closets, garages and attics to the more refined auction where businesses donate thousands of different items that are auctioned off and can be seen on Guthrie’s television station.
“This year we raised over $20,000. This money goes to all of our programs with our biggest program being Coats for Kids where over $10,000 worth of coats and clothing were given to children,” stated Gammill.
Members of Guthrie Kiwanis club can be seen all over the community. Some of them include President Bonnie Calvert, Secretary Erin Hasler, Treasurer Bill Greer and members H.C. Patel and Julie Royal. The only original club member still active is Newt Cornwell who was president in 1974 as well as Lt. Governor in 1980.
Gammill’s message is simple. “There are three very good clubs in Guthrie: Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis Club. They’re all important and I encourage everyone to join at least one of them.”