Columbiana Kiwanis Club celebrates 60th anniversary

Columbiana Kiwanis Club members celebrated 60 years of service Thursday with a banquet at the Columbiana United Methodist Church. The club was initiated in the late 40s to improve civic life.

&8220;There were a lot of young men who came back from World War II […] they came back and said we want to do something for our community,&8221; Vice-president Charles Payne said. &8220;In 1947 they held their charter meeting as the Columbiana Kiwanis Club.&8221;

For the past six decades, the organization has worked to enhance the quality of life in the area by supporting programs that benefit children. Last year, the group raised more than $31,000, mainly through the Shelby County Fair.

&8220;We&8217;re really proud of that. We really make young children priority one,&8221; Payne said. &8220;We put as much money as we can into children&8217;s activities in our community.&8221;

Some of the groups that have benefited from their efforts include Columbiana Youth Baseball, Shelby Baptist Association Emergency Fund, Key Leadership Academy and the Shelby County High School Library. The group has also continued involvement with Kiwanis International, providing money for its foundations as well as helping to foster new Kiwanis Clubs in other areas.

In attendance was Elvin Hill, one of the organization&8217;s Charter members. Hill served as president two times during his membership. The club served the same menu as members enjoyed at the Charter Night Program 60 years ago.

The Columbiana Kiwanis Club meets each Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m