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Civic groups offer residents chance to give back to others

Cities have many opportunities for individual people to join a club and be involved with community projects, events and raising money for other organizations.

Lonoke, Carlisle and Cabot offer women, men and children community clubs in which to take part.

The Cabot Kiwanis is a club for women and men. President-elect David Copeland said Kiwanis is a worldwide organization with the motto, “Serving Children of the World.”

Copeland said the Cabot Kiwanis:

• Hosts a monthly birthday celebration at Cabot Nursing and Rehabilitation and at the Springcreek Living Centers;

• Sponsors leadership youth clubs in Cabot schools — the Key Club for the high school, Builders Club for the junior highs and K Kids for the elementary schools. The clubs collected pennies for the “Pennies for a Penguin,” a new exhibit at the zoo;

• Sponsors the annual chili cooking competition, which is not only a fundraiser for Kiwanis, but also lets the youth clubs participate to raise money for their own clubs;

• Sponsors a flag program for businesses to pay the Kiwanis to put up American flags on federal holidays.

Copeland said money raised from fundraisers goes to area charities such as the Open Arms Shelter, The Wade Knox Children’s Advocacy Center, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Lonoke Exceptional Development Center and A Woman’s Place Pregnancy Center.

The Cabot Kiwanis meets at noon every Wednesday at The Diner, 3286 S. Second St. Copeland said Kiwanis has an open membership, so anyone may join the club.

The Carlisle Futuristic League, a women’s club, was started in the early 1990s. At that time there were organizations for older women, so community members wanted something for younger women in the community, Co-president Cara Parker said.

“We really enjoy what we do with and for the community,” she said.

Parker said the Futuristic League:

• Has a concession stand during alumni weekend;

• Hosts a soup luncheon and a hamburger dinner;

• Gives two $500 book scholarships for a student attending college;

• Donates to Space Camp, Girls State and the Carlisle Public Library Summer Reading Program.

In the past, Parker said, the club has hosted dances Donated money has gone to the purchase of the mascot Bison uniform and lights on the elementary school stage. She said anytime there is a need in the community, if the club has money, then they will contribute to the cause.

She said the club, during this year’s football season, plans to host a tailgate before a football game.

The club meets the second Tuesday of the month from August to May. The club has about 15 to 20 members. She said if someone is interested in joining the club, then tell a current member. She said new members are voted on in April, then start with the club in August.

The Carlisle Progressive Club, a woman’s club, was started on Nov. 6, 1946 by 16 charter members. Past president Margaret Zimmerman said The Progressive Club:

• Makes exit gift bags for the Wade Knox Children’s Advisory Center;

• Slumber bags for children and teens at the Open Arms Shelter;

• Participates in the Ten Penny Art Contest;

• Supplies dictionaries and Kind News to Carlisle Elementary School third-grade students;

• Donates to the Nurse Scholarship and Teacher Scholarship each year;

• Sponsors a Girls State representative;

• Places flowers in a nursing home at Easter;

• Donates yearly to the Heifer Project;

• Donates to the Carlisle Public Library Summer Reading Program and donates two or more best sellers to the library each month;

• Donates to the Methodist and Baptist churches during World Food Day and donates sets of shirts and pants to an organization which alters clothes for wounded veterans.

When the club has a member opening, Zimmerman said, potential new members are put up before the club and are elected by secret ballot.

The club meets the second Wednesday of the month at 1:30 p.m. from September to May.

The Lonoke Century League, a woman’s club, hosts an after-prom party for Lonoke High School students to give them a safe place to go after prom.

Connie Mason, a member for 36 years, said the club also:

• Gives an annual scholarship to a high school senior;

• Auctions off theme baskets;

• Hosts a soup and chili supper during a basketball game;

• Holds a fish fry;

• Holds an art contest.

In the past, Mason said the club hosted the Century League ball, an adult prom, to raise money for the Open Arms Shelter when it first was started, and held Bunko Bashes, a ladies night out.

Mason said the club was founded 40 years ago and used the location where the Lonoke County Museum is now to hold meetings and fundraisers. But, she said, it needed a lot of repairs, so the museum got it. She said a proud moment of the club was when it was named the organization of the decade by the Lonoke Area Chamber of Commerce.

The club meets the second Tuesday of every month at the Lonoke Community Center. She said the club has 40 membership spots. She said potential members are nominated by a current member of at least a year, then the club votes.

Mason said the club founded and chartered the Lonoke Junior Civic League because a lot of younger women were interested in being civic minded.

The Civic League:

• Awards the annual Polly Bryant Scholarship in memory of Polly Bryant, a former member who passed away from cancer, to a Lonoke High School graduating senior;

• Hosts the Miss Lonoke Pageant;

• Sponsors a child to space camp;

• Hosts Santa’s workshop with the chamber’s Merry Thanks event.

Potential members are nominated by a current member, then the club votes.

The club meets on the first Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at the Lonoke Banking Center.

Lonoke, Carlisle and Cabot all offer Lions Clubs, a women’s and men’s club. Lions Clubs gives free eye exams and eye glasses to people in need.

The Lonoke Lions Club:

• Gives an award to the most improved student at Lonoke Elementary School;

• Gives an annual scholarship to a graduating senior;

• Gives a monthly donation to area charities such as the after-prom party, the library and the Christmas Coalition;

• Hosts an annual car show that raises money for the Wade Knox Children’s Advisory Center and the club;

• Hosts an art contest.

The club meets the first Tuesday of every month at noon and the third Tuesday every month at 6 p.m. at the Lonoke Masonic Lodge.

From competing at the county fair to summer camps, Lonoke County 4-H offers community service for children 5 to 19 years old.

4-H agent Jan Yingling said 4-H teaches leadership, social and communication skills. Yingling said there are seven community clubs and four county-wide special interest or project clubs. She said each club during their meetings hold a business meeting, has a educational component, snacks and a game or other social activity. She said clubs meet for one to one and half hours per a month. Yingling said clubs do community service projects such as collecting coats, toy drives, road cleanup and collect plastic bags to recycle.

4-H community clubs are: Blue Ribbon, which meets every other Wednesday night in Ward; the South Bend Achievers, which meets at various locations on the weekends; the Sylvania Servers, which meets at the Woodlawn Community Center on the first Sunday at 2 p.m.; Natural Wonders, which meets 4-H Science Club at Cabot Junior High School South on Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m.; Rocking Horse, which meets on Sunday afternoons throughout the year at different locations around Carlisle; Lonoke Wild Rabbits, which meets on the third Monday of the month at the Extension office at 6 p.m. and the Cabot Clovers, which meets on the second Sunday of the month at the Cabot City Annex at 2 p.m.

Countywide clubs are: The 4-H Shooting Sports Club, which meets on two days of the week for two hours at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff farm and at the Remington Arms Co., both outside of Lonoke; Lonoke Wranglers Horse and Pony, which meets on the third Saturday of the month at South Bend United Methodist Church at 4 p.m.; Lonoke County 4-H Rabbit Club, which meets at various times and locations; The 4-H Teen Leaders Club, which meets at the extension office on various days at 6:30 p.m. for youth at least 13 years old, and the 4-H County Council, which is composed of representatives from each club and meets quarterly at the extension office to plan county activities.

4-H activities include county-wide competitions, such as 4-H Cooks, where the children prepare a food dish; County-a-rama with 25 competitive activities, including a boiler barbecue in which the children grill half a chicken, and Ross Photography, an all-year contest in which children take pictures in Arkansas settings.

4-H also offers summer day camps such as Breads and Threads, Shooting Sports and STEM [Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics] and overnight camps at the C.A. Vines Arkansas 4-H Center in Ferndale. She said 4-Hers show off projects at the county fair such as flowers, crafts and animals.

The 4-H year runs from October to October. To sign up for 4-H, go to arkansas.4honline.com

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