The Statesboro Kiwanis Club celebrated its 59th anniversary Thursday, combining a dinner party with an awards ceremony. Several members received honors, including Danny Beall, the 2018 Kiwanian of the Year.
According to fellow club members, Beall never says “no” when asked to help. He serves on the Statesboro Kiwanis board of directors, helped revise and improve the club’s budget, organized a group that offered no-cost security for the annual Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair, and has worked tirelessly in helping maintain the fairgrounds and buildings.
Beall has already signed up to handle and help out with several upcoming projects, said Charles Sheets, the 2017 Kiwanian of the Year. Sheets introduced Beall Thursday before presenting him with the award.
Facing a room filled with round tables covered in white tablecloths, decorated in a blue and gold motif, with balloon centerpieces and an entryway draped with a curtain of twinkling white lights, Sheets led up to the announcement by dropping clues as to the identity of the person being honored.
Describing the club as “a Christian organization of volunteers who have come together to mutually serve the community,” Sheets said: “We as a club are dependent upon the Lord sending to us members that can provide for our ability to reach the goals that he has set before us.”
He told the club members that Beall has “the right combinations of talent, education, abilities, experience, dedication and willingness.”
Beall, one of eight children, grew up learning “how to work for the good of the group.” He has an avid interest in gardening, enjoys hunting and fishing, and was a successful scholar and football player in high school.
He attended college in Albany for diesel mechanics, then went to Americus for electrical engineering. After that, he attended the University of Pennsylvania, learning poultry husbandry.
Beall worked in the poultry industry in southwest Georgia and Florida. He eventually became the vice president of new products before retiring, Sheets said.
He and his wife have one son and two daughters, as well as six grandchildren.
“He thus knows about the needs of children and can relate to the dedication our club has for contributing to the welfare of them in our community and other such family opportunities around the world,” Sheets said.
When Beall took the stage to accept his honor, he was overwhelmed with emotion.
“I don’t know what to say,” he said. “I appreciate it. I had no idea.”
Other club members were recognized for various achievements during Thursday’s gathering.
A number of members received perfect attendance awards, with some keeping the record for over 10 years. Dr. Richard Marz was noted for perfect attendance for 30 years, while Horace Harrell, Johnny Parrish and Jim Campbell were honored for making 40 years with perfect attendance.
Alex Grovenstein, Trish Tootle and Chris Caplinger each received Outstanding Kiwanian awards, while Mike Bowen was recognized with the Legion of Honor award, presented at the 25th year of membership and at five year intervals afterward. Bowen has been a member for 25 years.
The Statesboro Kiwanis Club hosts two large fundraisers each year: the Statesboro Kiwanis Rodeo in the spring and the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair in the fall. Proceeds are used locally as well as globally, directed as donations to organizations and causes featuring children’s needs.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at 912-489-9414.