By Richard Rourk
Kiwanis Club of Erwin is celebrating a very special milestone this year having officially turned 100 years old on Jan. 21.
“This is our hundredth year anniversary,” said Kiwanis President Sandy Lingerfelt. “We were going to have a celebration but due to the pandemic we weren’t able to.”
Lingerfelt noted that the Kiwanis Club of Erwin is still planning on holding an event to celebrate the big milestone.
“We are planning a picnic for next month to celebrate,” Lingerfelt said. “We hope to have Dave Combs give a testimonial about how the Kiwanis has helped him through a scholarship the Kiwanis awarded him as a youth. His testimony will remind our members why we serve.”
Erwin Kiwanians are committed to service for the community.
“We strive to serve our seniors and our youth,” Lingerfelt said. “We also work with the Unicoi County Public Library, the YMCA, the Summer Campfire Program, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Habitat for Humanity and Unicoi County Schools.”
Kiwanis Club of Erwin provides support to the area’s youth through their college scholarships, Key Club and the annual Christmas Shopping Tour, that is headed up by longtime Kiwanian Bill Gaines.
“Kiwanis Club of Erwin provides shoes and coats for more than 120 children yearly,” Lingerfelt said. “We also sponsor Erwin Little League and the Kiwanis Little League Park that is home to the 2021 Tennessee Little League Softball Champs.”
Kiwanis Club of Erwin is also responsible for Kiwanis Park in Erwin that is adjacent to the Erwin Linear Trail.
There are options for adults as well as children to help of Kiwanis Club of Erwin.
“We have amazing speakers and such a great bond within the club,” Lingerfelt said. “Everyone is here to help and we are all committed to serving the community. As a Kiwanian you get to experience that sense of community firsthand. Along with our meetings and events, we also host the Nolichucky Opry series that provides free family-friendly music and fun at the Gathering Place.”
Lingerfelt said that Kiwanis Club also raises money for several local organizations through fundraising events.
“In the spring we host a pancake breakfast at Clinchfield Senior Center,” Lingerfelt said.
“We also sell peanuts and ornaments at the Apple Festival. Every December we partner with WEMB for a K Day advertising drive,” she added.
Kiwanis Club of Erwin is always looking for new members to help lead the club forward for the next 100 years.
“We are so fortunate to have such talented people who are willing to share their skills with us,” Lingerfelt said. “Anyone wishing to join must be approved by the board, but I can’t remember them ever turning anyone away.”
Learn more about the Kiwanis Club of Erwin, including upcoming events, by following the organization on Facebook.