Members of the Kiwanis Club of Brooklet came together recently to celebrate the club’s 65th anniversary.
The celebration was held at the Old Post Office Café on Main Street in Brooklet. President Jason Grooms called the meeting to order, and then recognized a number of special guests.
While no club charter members survive, several family members of founding members were on hand to honor the occasion. The group included Joyce McElveen, daughter of W.O. Denmark, the first Brooklet Kiwanis Club president; and founder wives Rebecca Cromley and Betty Rushing.
Both the Georgia Kiwanis District Gov. Katrina Baranko and Georgia Kiwanis District 17 Lt. Gov. June Hunter spoke to the group. Master of ceremonies Byron Mullican announced it was the first time a sitting state Kiwanis governor ever had attended a Brooklet Kiwanis Club function.
Mullican said the crowded meeting demonstrated the vitality of the Brooklet club, which is very active in supporting both programs and students at Southeast Bulloch High School as well as the sick and infirm in surrounding communities.
He pointed out that the club also is well known for the fresh roasted peanuts and ice cold root beer they sell during the Brooklet Peanut Festival each year. He went on to say that Brooklet Kiwanians helped sponsor the creation of Statesboro’s Kiwanis Club some 55 years ago.
Gov. Baranko, a 21-year member of the Albany, Ga., Kiwanis Club, shared that women are very active in all Kiwanis clubs.
“Our Kiwanians are the light of every community, and what better place for women to get involved?” she said.
Kiwanis Club President Jason Grooms then announced that the Kiwanian of the Year for 2014 is current group secretary and three-year member Jeanette Lafond.
Other members were honored for their service, including Jerome Jones for having the longest continuous active membership (14 years) and Billy Tyson for having the largest overall number of years of membership in the Brooklet Kiwanis Club (32 years). In addition, Distinguished Service awards were given to members Lannie Lee and Charles Crosby.