Kiwanis Club of Hopkinsville Past President Paige Parker, left, presents a $1,000 check to Christian County Public Schools Director of Pupil Personnel Melanie Barrett and Sinking Fork Elementary School Family Resource and Youth Services Center Director Mary Lovelace.

Kiwanis Club of Hopkinsville recently donated funds at its last yearly club meeting last week to Christian County Public Schools Family Resource and Youth Service Centers before the club installed its new officers and members.

Now Past President Paige Parker explained to the New Era that at her last as president of the club, she and Kiwanis wanted to invite all of the organizations it had worked with throughout the last year and present them with their donations.

So, on Thursday, Sept. 30, the Hopkinsville Kiwanis Club held its last meeting of the year with Parker as the president and took the opportunity to present its donation of $1,000 to CCPS Family Resource and Youth Service Centers.

Parker shared that with Kiwanis’ mission focusing on improving the lives of children, the club picks an organization each year that involves helping children. With that being said, Parker said the club felt that the local schools’ family resource and youth service centers would be a positive choice.

“The reason those organizations were selected is because they also touch kids’ lives through tutoring, through school — obviously, the Christian County Public School system is going to have the resources to help as many kids as possible, probably the most kids in our community,” Parker said.

“So, we thought that was a wonderful way to provide them with a little extra money in a donation through Kiwanis to help the kids where they’re needed. They know where their needs are. So, that’s one way we can help support them.”

Parker continued to share that Kiwanis also chose to donate to CCPS’ family resource and youth service centers because of the amount of children the centers come in contact with on a daily basis.

“It’s because of the amount of children that they come into contact with each day,” she said. “And, it’s not just one family resource center. There’s family resource centers in every Christian County public school. They are funded through the state, of course, being part of the public school system, but they can always use the extra funds to help with the needs of the kids.”

The money donated to CCPS was raised through Kiwanis’ annual pancake breakfast, the annual Kiwanis Hopkinsville Soap Box Derby and the “Warm the Children” Project fundraiser.

The “Warm the Children” Project was created by Hopkinsville Kiwanis Club with the help of longtime Coordinator and former Warm the Children Chair, Willie Renshaw, in partnership with the New Era and the Salvation Army in 1995 to raise funds to buy new winter clothing for children in need.

Each year the Kiwanis Club and a few local volunteers gather with the families to go shopping. To date, over $360,000 has been raised and almost 4,500 kids have been outfitted with new clothes, according to Kiwanis.

The extra funds raised from each of those fundraisers is then used to make a donation to a local organization, such as the CCPS Family Resource and Youth Service Centers.

Following the donation, Parker said the Kiwanis is proud to be able to make donations to local organizations that help children as the local children are the community’s future.

“Every single one of us Kiwanians are honored to just be able to serve the community and to serve the kids of Christian County, because they’re the future of our community and we need to invest in them and that’s what Kiwanis is here to do,” Parker said.

Along with their final donation of the year, Kiwanis also installed its new officers last Thursday.

Kiwanis of Hopkinsville’s new president is now Terry Rudd, while Chandler Ladd is the new president-elect and Toby Hudson is the new vice president. Janice Morbeck will stay as the club’s secretary for another year as well as Dustin Thompson re-assuming the role of treasurer.

Parker encourages anyone that may be interested in Kiwanis Club and helping local children to join the club.

“If you feel passionate about kids and helping kids, then Kiwanis is a great organization to do that,” she said. “So, I’d like to encourage anybody who wants to get involved in our community and helps kids to come on out and see what Kiwanis is all about so that they can help with the mission.”

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