Local Kiwanis Club has long, rich history
By Phoebe Donald Robinson / Community Columnist
The Columbiana Kiwanis Club has a long and rich history of service to Shelby County through its generous support of schools, libraries, scouts, 4-H and more.
Kiwanis’ primary fundraiser is the Shelby County Fair which is Sept. 29-Oct. 4, 2014, at the Shelby County Exhibition Center on Alabama 70 outside Columbiana.
Your admission fee of $10 not only gives you access to a night of entertainment, exhibitions and rides, but also goes back to the Shelby County community, the only not-for-profit Shelby County Fair. The theme of this year’s fair is “Come grow with us” and highlights Kiwanis’ welcoming spirit.
On Feb. 13, 1947, a group of businessmen and community leaders desired to give back to the local community and petitioned Kiwanis International to organize the Columbiana Kiwanis Club. According to the petition, Columbiana had a population of 1,800, was the county seat of Shelby County, had one bank and two churches (Methodist and Baptist), and primary industries were agriculture and lumbering. The primary civic activities were to be: City beautification, industrial development, youth activities as Boy Scouts and charitable fundraising.
The first Kiwanis Club was formed in Detroit in 1915. The Birmingham Kiwanis Club was the 41st founded in the nation on Feb. 28, 1917 and chartered in 1918, sponsored the Columbiana Kiwanis Club in 1947 with Rux Carter as its first president. The Certificate of Incorporation and by-laws were filed on April 5, 1950, with Conrad M. Fowler as president, Ross B. Mullins as vice president and Postmaster R. J. Ozley as secretary-treasurer. Current officers are President Sid Wheeler and Secretary/Treasuer Michael Letlow.
The Shelby County Fair began in 1911 in Montevallo. Columbiana Kiwanis began to sponsor the fair as its primary fundraiser in 1949 and incorporated on July 24, 1950, with Trustees J. I Harrison, A. A. Lauderdale, Conrad M. Fowler, Leon Myers, Woodrow W. Elliott, N. Yeager Horn, N. A. Jones, Ross Bob Mullins and A. D. Wilson. The last surviving charter member died in 2012, former Shelby County Board of Education Superintendent Elvin Hill for whom Elvin Hill Elementary School was named.
To join the Columbiana Kiwanis Club or volunteer at Shelby County Fair, contact Letlow at firstname.lastname@example.org.