Calera Civitan charters with 32 members

Members of the newly-formed Calera Civitan Club celebrated their charter June 14 at Timberline Country Club.

By MOLLIE BROWN / Community Columnist

Communities need service organizations to meet the needs of the people. Civitan International is an all-volunteer international service organization with more than 4,000 clubs in 33 nations working to meet community needs and help people with developmental disabilities.

Civitan Club members better their community by meeting human needs when they arise — collecting food, building wheelchair ramps and playground equipment for children with disabilities, cleaning up the environment and other service projects.

The ACTION Civitan Club in Birmingham began holding meetings at the Hampton Inn in March to form a club in Calera.

Merrily Serota, field director of new club growth, said finding the right day of the week and time was difficult.

“People who join an organization such as Civitan are usually committed to other groups who serve the community, so it’s hard to find a time to meet that doesn’t overlap existing meetings,” Serota said. “Our goal was to find 20 people who wanted to perform hands-on projects to help the Calera community, but by the charter date we had 32.”

The Calera Civitan Club, number 4,000, celebrated its charter June 14 at Timberline Country Club.

Civitan Clubs around the area were represented. Many sent monetary donations to help grow the newly formed club. Numerous letters of support from Civitan members were read from the podium. Kearney “Dee” Hutsler, ACTION Civitan Club member and Alabama Central District distinguished governor, was master of ceremonies. Region One Director Ed Higdon initiated charter members. Louis Stephens, vice president of membership-leadership, installed the officers who will lead the club in its initial year of service to the community.

“Each of you are expected to originate and execute the plan governing the conduct of this club,” Stephens charged them. “Serving as an officer is a learning opportunity. Each of you will become better leaders through your position.”

Club officers are President John R. Moore; President-Elect Mary Baker; Secretary Susie Waits; Treasurer Kelly Ellison; Directors Mollie Brown, Larry Fikes, Mike Gothard, Mary Strehle and Kimberly Williams; Sergeant At Arms Larry Fikes; and Chaplain Kimberly Williams. Melinda Danen will act as club historian.

The club completed four service projects prior to chartering.

Meeting dates and times are pending. For more information visit


Mollie Brown can be reached at