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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WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM JANUARY 20-26, 2021 UCW 9 Uniquely irreverent and sometimes silly: The Kiwanis mean business by JOHN HOLMES Kiwanis Club of Fayetteville is the best civic club in the United States. We not only do great things for the children of the Fayetteville com- munity, but we also like to have fun. We are one of the largest clubs in the nation steeped in history and tradition you won't find any- where else. Over the past 100 years, we have had 104 distinguished presidents, 36 of whom are still living, and of those, 29 are still active dues-paying members. We are also the home of three past District Governors, an Interna- tional Trustee (soon to be two), and an Inter- national President, Joe Tally, whose grandson is a member of our club. Our Kiwanis service to the Fayetteville and Cumberland County community is done solely by committee. Our 175 members are dedicated and focused on over 30 projects, programs, and committees designed to edu- cate and develop young children and enhance our community's quality of life. Our club is rich in history, tradition, and culture. If you could sum up our unique culture in a single word, it would probably be "Irreverent." Only amicably and with a shared focus on helping children and providing service to the com- munity. ese are our highest priorities. Our members do not use titles, and everyone is on a first-name basis. A member knows that they have "officially" arrived when they become the butt of a good joke. Again, it is all in good fun. While we may be a little tough on each other, we are always friendly and courte- ous to our guests and speakers though they are sometimes amazed and puzzled by our behavior. For instance, back in the day when our meetings were held at the Lions Center on Rowan St., we used to have a basket of Parker House dinner rolls on every table at lunch. Over time they became convenient projectiles to be hurled at unsuspecting members or an occasional speaker. You know your reputation precedes you when a terrified guest speaker asks, "Do ya'll still throw rolls?" We eventually graduated from dinner rolls to spitball throw- ing. Wick Smith Sr. was the club's master spitball thrower. He could nail you in the back of the head three tables over and then point an accusing finger at an innocent member unfortunate enough to be sitting close to him. What a hoot! As a young Key Clubber at Terry Sanford H.S., we used to fight to see who would attend the Kiwanis Friday afternoon meetings. What a fun experience it was to see grown men acting up and behaving badly. at was when I knew I wanted to be in the Kiwanis Club of Fayetteville. It always amazed me that someone in our club could find a cure for cancer, and our members would remember it for about two weeks. However, let a club member screwed something up, make a verbal blunder, or a social faux pas, and that would never be for- gotten and probably end up written into their Kiwanis obituary forever. irty years ago, for example, former executive and Chamber of Commerce president John Swope when preparing for a program presentation using a Kodak Carousel slide projector, inadver- tently knock over the projector and spilled about 150 slides onto the floor. To this day, anytime a Kiwanian struggles with technol- ogy encounters a faulty microphone, has a PowerPoint glitch, or any other high tech catastrophe, someone will undoubtedly shout out "SWOPE!" No disrespect intended. George Holden's dubious reference to "flying geese" during the indoctrination of new members has forever earned him the moniker "Honk." Yes, the Kiwanis Club of Fayetteville has its unique ways of keeping its member's humility in check. Ask former District Governor Gary Cooper, who, as a guest in the home of former FSU Chancellor James Anderson's, acciden- tally spills a glass of red wine on the Chan- cellor's newly installed, plush, snow-white carpet. Cooper has yet to hear the end of that. en there's Grady! Mr. Grady McKiethan. He is one of the club's most distinguished senior members, and he never misses a meeting. Handsome and articulate at 92-year-old he's still quite the ladies' man. He would surely give Cassanova and Hugh Hefner a run for their money if they lived at the Heritage Place, where women outnumber men 50 to 1. We kid him about this regularly, and he loves it! We have many more silly traditions like ringing the Salvation Army Bell at Christmas outside of Victoria's Secret at Cross Creek Mall. en there is the quarterly Laws and Regulations report. A "must-attend" event if for no other reason than to defend yourself. "L and R" is when a designated club member dispenses 10-15 minutes of facts, fantasy, mirth, and merriment on the club, mostly at their fellow Kiwanians' expense. It is sometimes brutal but always hilarious! In conclusion, let me say emphatically, be- ing a Kiwanian is fun, but, more importantly, it's rewarding community service work. e men and women of Kiwanis make a com- munity stronger because they make a differ- ence. Its fellowship bound together by the dedication and coordination of worthwhile projects and programs that educate, develop, and impact young children. Programs that not only develop young children's minds and bodies but their character as well. is is your invitation to become a Kiwanian. Join us. Just make sure you park your ego at the door, put on your thick skin, and don't take yourself too seriously. We take serving children and the Fayetteville Cumberland County community seriously. Always remember: KIDS NEED KIWANIS! John Holmes is Karnak the Magnificent. KIWANIS INTERNATIONAL

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