Kiwanis Club reestablishing itself in Franklin

Published 12:25 pm Saturday, August 30, 2014

FRANKLIN—Jason McHenry wants you. And you, and you to all join the newly formed Kiwanis Club of Franklin.

“We’ve had a couple of meetings already,” he said during a recent breakfast powwow at Fred’s with regional leaders Wesley Brown and Richard Pippin Jr. Brown is the lieutenant governor for Division 13, and Pippin is the same for the Capital District, Division 14. They came in to help with recruiting as a way to rebuild the club.

“The Kiwanis Club was a pillar in the community for a long time,” McHenry said. “We want to get it back to that point. This community needs it.”

The chief focus of Kiwanis is young people.

“We’re very much interested in schools,” he said.

“It’s all about the kids,” said Pippin, who showed a calling card that states, “Why join Kiwanis? We believe children and their community benefit from the efforts of a dedicated group of caring and hands-on volunteers.”

McHenry also said that what’s personally attracted him to the club is its inclusiveness.

There seems to be some question of when the first Franklin club was chartered — either in 1952 or 1960. Either way, Pippin said that all service organizations experience declines before regrowth or rebirth.

Hursell Fowler’s membership in Kiwanis goes back to 1960. He remembered when the local club had sponsored getting uniforms for school band members, and organization’s push to eradicate iodine deficiency. Fowler has joined the new group and already paid his $100 membership due.

McHenry said that this amount, which is good for 18 months, is seed money for future club projects.

There are at least 13 members so far, and the hope is to get 30 for the charter by the end of September, but that’s not a absolute deadline.

Brandon Lilley, who teaches biology and earth science at Southampton High School, will be one of the new charter members. He said he heard about Kiwanis from McHenry’s wife.

To learn more about the local Kiwanis, call McHenry at 377-8192; or Pippin at 288-2491.