Robert Russell wants to grow the Kiwanis Club of Maryville, improve communications among members and serve children in the community more effectively.
He got his year as president off to a rousing start Tuesday night at Green Meadow Country Club with fire chief hats and candles to get the members “fired up” about the organization.
The new president talked about all the different organizations where Kiwanis Club members help youth, including the Key Club, Circle K and Builders Club, Adventure Camp, scholarships and the Imagination Library.
“We have to reverse this trend of decline in membership. Who will join me in recruiting one new member in the next three months?” he said as he and the officers donned children’s plastic firefighter helmets. “It’s time to charge the firehoses. I’m fired up about Kiwanis. We need to be on fire for the kids.”
Russell also said he wanted to improve internal communications to members, grow membership by re-energizing members who have stopped coming and recruit other individuals as new members and achieve district distinction status on a regular basis.
The new president shared his thoughts on the upcoming year. “Kiwanians are the best friends you can have. You join, and you get a lot of new best friends. We’re committed to changing the world one community and one child at a time. Maryville Kiwanis is one of the oldest and most successful clubs,” he said. “We’re not just a ‘meet and eat’ bunch.”
Russell was sworn in by District Lt. Gov. David Green during an evening dinner meeting. “You’ve made a commitment to your community and to children,” Green told the new president. “Your business is to handle the business of the club. You have tremendous responsibility to see that this club continues on the road it is on.”
Steve Frana was sworn in as treasurer. “Steve, you’ve been elected to a position that requires integrity. It’s job that requires diligence,” Green said.
Dale Huddleston was sworn in as vice president. “You are in line to become president and will serve in his place in his absence,” Green said.
Regina Jennings was sworn in as president-elect. “You’ve been elected to lead your club in the coming year,” he said.
Bob Ergenbright was sworn in as secretary. “Bob, the unsung hero of any Kiwanis Club is the secretary. It’s all important if this class is going to have success,” he said. “There is yet to be a successful Kiwanis Club without a successful secretary.”
Kathy Pagles, outgoing president, was sworn in as immediate past president. “Kathy, there’s one position you can’t get elected to, immediate past president,” he said.
Distinguished Service Awards were presented by Pagles to the following individuals:
Randy Allen - “Outstanding service as director of the Leadership Adventure Camp.”
Bill Dempster - “Faithfully preparing the meeting space and creatively reporting meeting statistics.”
Bud Gangwer - “Successfully completing the requirements for the District Interclub Award.”
Steve Frana - “Providing stability during the club’s financial restructuring.”
Rufus King - “Faithful guidance during challenging times in our club’s history.”
Howard Kerr - “Preparing innovative, interesting, and challenging programs.”
Larry Martin - “Providing untiring, professional, dedicated leadership as membership chair and coordinator of the 90th Anniversary Celebration.”
Herb Meyer - “Focused leadership in our participation in the Imagination Library and Elementary Schools Reading Program.
Jack Stewart - “Provided relentless work with the grocery coupon program.”
Deanna Hall - “Showed creative, energetic leadership for the Pancake Breakfast.”
Bob Ergenbright - “Keeping the Kiwanis Club of Maryville on track and ‘legal’ in a time of uncertainty and trouble.”
The Human and Spiritual Values Award went to Herb Meyer, and Pagles presented the Kiwanian of the Year to Robert Russell.