Civitans discuss new ideas for fundraising and membership

Civitans, Vernell Pittman, Patsy Grice, Alvin Quinn, President Jay Jackson, Bill Ladd, Acie Vance and Secretary Irma Daily and Interim Treasurer Betty Mason met Wednesday at North Mississippi Medical Center - West Point.
Staff Writer

The West Point Civitan Luncheon Club met at the North Mississippi Medical Center conference room for its meeting on Wednesday. The Civitans discussed some new ideas to increase fundraising and membership.

"We had an extremely good Vidalia Onion sale this year," Bill Ladd said. "But we could have sold so many more. We should seriously think about doing pre-orders in March. Because we always have more people asking about buying them than we have onions. We do a pre-sale and then order a good many more."

Acie Vance said he could have sold many more bags, had they been available. It’s bad when you know there is high demand for what you are selling and you run out of the product. All of those present at the meeting agreed it would be a good idea and would increase the amount available for the projects account.

"We really need to get our message out and bring in new members," Jay Jackson, president of the club said. "I propose we have snacks and drinks during an August meeting. We invite people we think would like to be part of the club. Alvin Quinn and Bill Ladd can talk about what Civitan is all about."

Ladd and Quinn have been a part of Civitan for many years and are the most informed about what Civitans do to improve the local community and what they do, not only nationwide, but globally.

Ladd said when people ask about Civitan he mentions that Civitan International supports the Civitan International Research Center at the University of Alabama Birmingham.

It provides care for those with brain related injuries and birth defects.

"Just ask people to come August 23," Jackson said. "People need to know what service clubs are all about. I have a hard time recruiting young people. The first thing they want to know is how much does it pay. The idea of volunteering because it makes you feel good just doesn't register with them."

Jackson said that's why working with the Junior Civitans at Fifth Street and West Point High School is so important. It starts young people on the path to service.

"They start out doing it to get community service hours for graduation," Jackson said. "A few of them get it. They understand the importance of being active and involved in the community."

Ladd said its a good thing for the young people to be visible. It helps to have Jr. Civitan on a job application or to have it on a college application. He said Jr. Civitan can open a lot of doors.

"We need to start finding speakers for programs for the next calendar year," Secretary Irma Daily said. "The new year begins in October. Not only do we need members who will provide programs for each month, but we need to know who those speakers are as soon as possible."

Jackson asked if those who were already in place as officers would just remain so for the upcoming 2017 - 2018 year. Everyone agreed to remain in the position they now occupy within the club.

"The only thing we will need to vote on is a President - Elect," Jackson said. "Several of us have approached Acie Vance to see if he would accept the position. He said he would take it under consideration and let us know."

Daily mentioned the printing of some small pamphlets to give people an idea of what Civitan is doing locally.

"There are already pamphlets from Civitan International to inform interested people about what Civitan does on a large scale," Jackson said. "This year it celebrated its 100 year anniversary. But it would be nice to have something printed up about what we do right here in West Point. We had a lot of good ideas offered today."