Winchester Civitan Club gives last gifts to community

Published 9:30 am Friday, September 29, 2023

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While Winchester Civitan Club, due to a lack of volunteers and other factors, will soon be revoking its charter with Civitan International, many in the community can take comfort knowing that the Winchester Civic Youth Sports League – a non-profit dedicated to the exact causes – has recently been created by much of the same staff to pick up where Civitan leaves off.

Yet Civitan, continuing with tradition, spent the afternoon of Friday, Sept. 22, doing what it enjoys most.

Outside the front steps of the Clark County Courthouse, over $20,000 was given to different community organizations that support causes to benefit the local community.

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“We just took what money we had left and donated it to some causes that we’ve helped with over the years,” said David Woods, the treasurer of Winchester Civitan Club.

Woods was joined by other staff, including Janna Campbell and vice president Darrell Tackett, whose children were active in Civitan while growing up.

First, a check of $5,000 was presented to Clark County Sheriff Berl Perdue, with Tony Kirk, director of home incarceration at Clark County, also present.

The amount will go toward Shop With a Cop, an event allowing children to interact and build understanding with local law enforcement as they shop for clothes, toys, and more.

Not to be overlooked, another $5,000 was provided for Operation Happiness, with Laci Scarboro – the executive director of Clark County Community Services – present to accept.

Operation Happiness, helping those in need countywide, is a volunteer-run Christmas assistance program that serves over 1,000 families each holiday season by providing food baskets, clothing and more.

A check in the amount of $3,000 was presented to Special Olympics.

“Civitan has been a huge supporter of Special Olympics programs throughout the state for a really long time, and we’re excited to come here to Winchester and work with the great folks in the Civitan group,” said Mark Buerger, communications director for Special Olympics. “The money that Civitan donated today will go to run a lot of our state-wide programs [such as] our area bowling tournaments coming up in Lexington.”

Indeed, not least, $7,853.55 was donated to STRIDE.

Standing for “Supporting Therapeutic Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities every day”, STRIDE works to improve the lives of those with a learning, developmental, or, at times, physical disability.

“I think they see the work that we try to do with kids and adults with disabilities,” said executive director Darren Diguette. “Their support has been unwavering for quite a long time…we’re continuing to expand and get back out in the community.”

“We just appreciate the Civitan Club,” added treasurer Becky Taulbee. “They have been wonderful to STRIDE.”

In the future, the Winchester City Youth Sports League looks to carry on what the Winchester Civitan Club began.

“We’re continuing with everything we do with the kids as far as sports,” said Tackett. “We’re still doing the trunk-or-treats and the Easter egg hunt and all that good stuff. Anything to do with the kids, we’re still here to do it.”