Visitors Guide 2017
Civic organizations are the backbone of any community, quietly working behind the scenes to help their fellow man. In most cases the help they provide goes toward building tomorrow’s leaders. Brown County is no exception as three main civic organizations are present — Rotary Club, Lions Club and Kiwanis. These three organizations are out there each day performing work that often goes unnoticed. Each club is unique, as they are comprised of leaders of different ages, professions, religious beliefs and creeds. Each club makes its own mark on the communities in Brown County. Each organization has a rich history in not only Brownwood, but around the county and the world.
ties also have an impact across the globe. The club has partnered with Aga Khan University; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Global FoodBanking Network; Mercy Ships; ShelterBox; UNESCO—IHE; UNICEF; United Nations and World Health Organization. Rotary was founded on Feb. 23, 1905 in Chicago and within 16 years had clubs on six continents. Today, there are 1.2 million members worldwide, and has been working to eradicate the Poliovirus. That fight began in 1979, and, today, there are only three countries listed as having a Polio endemic — Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. Throughout history the club has featured prominent individuals such as Warren G. Hardin, a U.S. President; Dr. Charles H. Mayo, co-founder of the Mayo Clinic; and Admiral Richard E. Byrd, an American explorer. The club’s motto is “Service Above Self,” and the club is active with speech contests for students along with hosting a foreign exchange student program.
health initiatives around the world to control and prevent diabetes and diabetes retinopathy, the leading cause of vision loss in adults of working age. The club will arrange hearing screenings, host recreational camps for the deaf and also is involved in hearing aid recycling programs for children and adults. To aid the youth, Lions collect food, clothes and books, along with organizing vision or hearing screening, in addition to providing immunizations through vaccination drives. The club is also involved in literacy by starting reading programs and nutritional programs for undernourished children. The club also works to foster a spirit of understanding and takes interest in civic, cultural, social and moral welfare initiatives in the community. Lions Club International dates back to June 7, 1917, also in Chicago, where Melvin Jones laid the groundwork for the club.
Lions Club Just over 100 years ago, Rotary International was started in Chicago and is comprised of local leaders that come together to exchange ideas, build relationships and take action to make the communities they serve a better place to live. While the Rotary Clubs at the local level work to make a difference, Rotary International and the Rotary Foundation back the clubs. Through this three level partnership, Rotary Club is able to not only make an impact in Brownwood but around the globe as well. Rotary International supports Rotary Clubs worldwide by coordinating local programs, campaigns and initiatives. Locally, Rotary Club, in addition to giving away free dictionaries, places flags through Brownwood on selected days throughout the year, according to White. “Our fundraising takes place via an annual golf tournament and an arts and crafts fair.” While the Brownwood Rotary Club has made a difference locally, the club’s activi-
As the largest service club in the world with over 1.4 million members, Lions Club International has a chapter in Brownwood and its main focus is making sure children and adults have eyeglasses and seniors who don’t have enough food get to eat. Lions Club has also volunteered to offer disaster relief for natural disasters and offer health programs that focus on sight, hearing and diabetes. The club, known as “Knights of the Blind,” features programs and services for the blind and visually impaired, and the aim is to eliminate preventable and reversible blindness. Lions also support local and larger-scale
Kiwanis, located in 80 nations, serves the community in many ways. The club’s focus is on changing the world by serving children, one child and one community at a time. The club sponsors K-kids for primary school children and has a builders club for adolescents and Key Clubs for teens. There are also clubs at the university level and action clubs for adults living with disabilities. The club performs various fundraising activities, and that money is donated to organizations such as Boys & Girls Club, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and “there are about 12 to 15 different organizations we help,” Wolf said. Kiwanis International is located in 80 nations and help communities in countless ways. The manner in which the club helps the community differs, as each club is different.