Up & Coming Weekly

January 19, 2021

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 17 of 40

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM JANUARY 20-26, 2021 UCW 17 • HOME • AU TO • LIF E • BUSINESS PARTNERING WITH ERIE INSURANCE GROUP SINCE 1992 CALLAHANRICE.COM 910.484.6171 Joel Coram, Financial Advisor 6985 Nexus Ct. Suite 105 Fayetteville 910-758-9862 www.edwardjones.com Kiwanis Congratulations on 100 years! Kiwanis: Leadership and a lifetime of service by JOHN KISTLER Sometimes people and organizations come into your life for a reason. Whether it is to intro- duce you to the importance of serving others, to offer fellowship and camaraderie, or to provide leadership opportunities, Kiwanis International does all of these and more. For over twenty years, I have been privileged to be a part of the world's largest and most impor- tant civic service organization. In fact, for the last century, Fayetteville has been blessed to have hundreds of Kiwanians and student Key Club members strengthening the fabric of our community. It was the summer of 1997, and I was a skinny, glasses-wearing sixteen-year-old from Douglas Byrd High School, and I found myself wander- ing around wholly lost in the Opryland theme park. As a Douglas Byrd H. S. Key Club member, I attended the annual Key Club International Con- vention as a part of the Carolinas District delega- tion. Key Club is a sponsored youth program as a part of the Kiwanis International family and is the largest and oldest service organization for high school students. Making my way around the park, I eventually stumbled upon the Carolinas District adult leadership and then-International President Craig Melvin. He is now a successful journalist and personality for NBC. is chance meeting made me friends with J. Scott Johnson, the Carolinas District administrator, who would change my life forever. Scott recognized the desire and enthusiasm I had to become a leader, and he unlocked potential in me I didn't even realize I had. He mentored, encouraged, and inspired me to be a better person. He taught me how to motivate and inspire others and showed me what it truly meant to be a young leader. He was the reason I became a lifelong advocate and member of the Kiwanis Family. Without his mentorship, I would not be the person I am today. My involvement with Key Club in high school allowed me to break out of my box of shyness. I was elected Vice-President and President of the Byrd HS Key Club. I became an officer for the Carolinas District (representing over 11,000 students) as the district editor and treasurer. It seemed only logical that upon graduation, I would continue my Kiwanis service at NC State University in the Circle K Club, where I would make lifelong friends who were also dedicated to serving their communities. Circle K is Kiwanis's collegiate sponsored youth program with over 13,000 members on 550 campuses. Fittingly enough, after living around the world and the United States by way of the Army, the first thing I did when I returned to Fayetteville was reach out to the Fayetteville Kiwanis Club. Kiwanis and the K-Family have had a profound impact on my life and have helped develop me as an adult leader and, more importantly, as a community servant. ere is no higher calling than to be willing to devote your time, resources and money to make your community a better place to live for all citizens. e Fayetteville Kiwanis Club and its distinguished members have been doing just that in Fayetteville for a century. It is an organization that is not only about service but also friendship. I am honored to be surrounded by men and women who have blazed a path committing themselves to selfless service. It is an honor to be considered one of their members. Together, we are all looking forward to the next one hundred years of bettering children's lives in Fayetteville and Cumberland County. As our motto says, "Kids Need Kiwanis!" I would add, "We Need You!" John Kistler presents a bicycle to a student as part of the Terrific Kids program in 2018. Where the fun and service begins: While a member of the Douglas Byrd Key Club, John Kistler served as club president and volunteered for Special Olympics in 1999. KIWANIS INTERNATIONAL

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