Trainer praises local Kiwanis,
Monitor Staff Reports
GUN BARREL CITY–The Cedar Creek Lake Kiwanis club has a lot going for
it, members heard Wednesday.
In the club’s second weekly meeting at its new site, Sister’s Texas Bar
& Grill in Gun Barrel City, members heard a brief address from Kiwanis
District 26 Governor Jack Carlton of Longview, following keynote speaker
Brenda Allums of Carthage, a certified Kiwanis officer training expert.
“This has to be one of the most unique meeting places,” Allums told the
luncheon gathering. “I think it’s great!”
Kiwanis clubs across the nation were challenged to attract 5,000 new
members by the end of the fiscal year, Sept. 30.
While some 2,000 new members have joined this year, that means the drive
is some 3,000 members short, Allums said.
The key to attracting new members is to ask them to visit, she said.
“Look at what you do for the community, and your camaraderie,” she said.
“We’re like a family here – get people to become members of your
Children are the focus of all Kiwanis International activities, making
it the only service club that works directly with those being served,
Allums pointed out.
“In North America, there is one Kiwanis member in every 1,000 people,”
she said. “In that same 1,000 people, there are 19 children under age 6
who are living in poverty.
“That’s the message we are sending,” she added. “We want to overcome
this, one child and one community at a time.”
Kiwanis members can call attention to themselves and their club by
“branding,” she said.
“Wear your Kiwanis (lapel) pin,” Allums said. “Use a Kiwanis mug at your
desk. Make sure you have a Kiwanis brand on, so people will identify
While attracting new members should be a year-round activity, every club
should have a well-planned membership drive each year, she said.
Also, the club should work with its members. “Be flexible,” she said.
“Don’t be afraid of trying something new.”
The Cedar Creek Lake club has printed brochures, and those should be
placed where they can be seen by new community members, such as the
chamber of commerce office and local businesses.
“If I had to grade this club right now, I’d give it an A-plus,” Allums
said. “I want to challenge you to get an A-plus-plus next year.”
Carlton briefly spoke to the members about organizational changes being
proposed by Kiwanis International.
“They’re trying to realign us as the European Federation has realigned,”
he explained. “I think it’s a big mistake.”
Carlton urged the members to view the proposals in full on the Kiwanis
International website, and to make their thoughts known.
In club business, president Shannon Steakley reported the “School Bell”
children’s clothing effort was going very smoothly, and reminded members
to continue their efforts during the fitting process this week.
Also, she reminded members the club’s annual installation banquet –
which will also mark the club’s 30th anniversary – is set Thursday,
The club’s Peanut Day fund-raiser has been delayed one week, and is now
set from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30.
No pay raise for VZ officials
By Wilbur Callaway
CANTON–The Van Zandt County Commissioners voted 3-2 not to give
county elected officials a proposed 3 percent pay increase Tuesday
morning, and also declined to lift the county-wide outside burning ban.
The proposed 3 percent salary increase was discussed briefly before
Precinct 1 Commissioner Ricky LaPrade made the motion to set county
officials’ salaries at the same level as last year – no pay raise.
The motion passed on a split vote, with Precinct 3 Commissioner Kelles
Miller and County Judge Rhita Koches siding with LaPrade, while Precinct
2 Commissioner David Risner and Precinct 4 Commissioner Ron Carroll
supported the proposed increase of nearly $20,000.
As proposed, the salary boost would have ranged from $909 for some
officials to $1,050 for others.
In regard to the burn ban, Koches said the commissioners had been
receiving a lot of requests lately to lift the ban so trash piles could
However, after Chuck Allen reported the current drought index was 715,
and urged that the ban not be lifted, Koches noted, “That is higher than
when we adopted the burn ban June 13.”
LaPrade asked if the ban could be lifted for a week to allow the trash
piles to be burned, but Koches said the commissioners could not lawfully
issue any temporary permits to burn.
“It comes down to whether or not we want a burn ban,” Carroll said.
LaPrade’s motion to lift the ban died for lack of a second.