The Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee held their annual Installation Banquet last week to install the upcoming officers and celebrate a productive year for the club. They also celebrated the 50th year of the Okeechobee chapter being active.
Roger Azcona was installed as the President by District Governor Richard Schlitt. Azcona takes over for Don Hannah who completed two terms as president and now moves into the role of Past-President.
Secretary Dowling Watford and Treasurer Sherri Enfinger were extended in their roles and Courtney Moyett and Ken Keller were installed as Board Members.
The club decided to make the event a 70’s theme in honor of the 50 year anniversary of when the club was chartered. Members all wore clothes from the 70’s and a presentation about the 70’s was made for entertainment. Dowling Watford, who is the longest active member, joined in the club’s second year in 1972. Watford gave an oral history of the club naming several of the achievements such as the first club to give local scholarships and mini-grants.
Like most clubs, the pandemic has been very hard to navigate. The club had to cancel their 2020 and 2021 fundraisers such as the Radio Auction and Pancake Breakfast. Both have been ongoing for forty years or more. The club looks forward to getting back to normal in 2022 and is inviting new members to join the club. The Club is now having an evening meeting the first Thursday of each month to allow people that cannot make the noon meetings. Those meetings are held at Brown Cow at 6pm while the other Thursday meetings are held at Lakeside Restaurant at noon.
The Club also took a moment to recognize the recent passing of several long time members such as Mark Reynolds and Charter members Red Larson and Jack Wolff.
The Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee was founded in 1971 and Sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Indiantown. Kiwanis as an international organization has been active since 1915. They work to help the youth of Okeechobee through many projects and events.
Some of the past and present events and projects that Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee is known for are below:
- Weekly Meetings held Thursdays at noon at Lakeside Grill
- Host the annual Farm City Luncheon to celebrate Ag Education (November)
- Host Christmas Parties for the youth at the OYDC (Okeechobee Youth Detention Center) (December)
- Ring the bell for the Salvation Army (December)
- Host Santa In The Park (December)
- Souper Bowl of caring to benefit area food pantries (February)
- Host the Kiwanis Club Radio Auction (early spring)
- Host the Annual Pancake Breakfast (Easter Sunday)
- Annual Baby Shower to benefit the Pregnancy Center of Okeechobee (April)
- Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee Hall of Fame Induction (April)
- Annual Spring Cleaning Drive to benefit Martha’s House (May)
- Serve pizza and drinks at National Day of Prayer (May)
- School Supply Drive to benefit the Real Life Children’s Ranch (August)
- The Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee was the first service club in Okeechobee to offer scholarships to local students and mini grants to local teachers.
Listen below to hear Club President Roger Azcona and Mayor Dowling Watford talk about the 50 year anniversary of the Kiwanis Club of Okeechobee