Local Civitan Club Gives Thousands Of Dollars To Charities Each Year

Wednesday, April 2, 2008 - by Jack Anderson

The Chattanooga Civitan Club has a history of giving thousands of dollars each year to local charities.

For the past five years, this club has given over $100,000 annually to local charities. The Civitans give mostly to special children who are in need of help. This support can be anything from giving money to help a special child have a better life or a needed facial operation, or by helping the handicapped obtain many special-made devices including wheelchairs for spinal and other conditions, electronic speech enhancement machines, and special wheelchair lifts for vans for the child who would not be able to have transportation if not given this advantage. The club’s child welfare auxiliary determines the merit of needs of each case.

The club’s role in helping special children has received very little publicity over its many years of existence. The club has helped organizations and individuals without asking for fanfare or recognition.

To support the program, Civitan members have given of their money
and many hours of unselfish volunteer time in running the following annual fundraising projects.

(1) Each year the club has a golf tournament.

(2) A summer fling which entails selling 200 tickets at $200 each.
This entitles you to a fancy dinner for two and a chance of winning numerous door prizes and a $10,000 grand prize.

(3) The selling of Claxton fruitcake and topping it off with a visit annually from Miss Tennessee, who attends one of the club’s weekly meetings for a fruitcake auction. Spurred on by Miss Tennessee, fruitcakes may sell for many hundreds of dollars a pound at these auctions.

(4) The selling of hundreds of coupon books featuring discounts from many restaurants and attractions.

(5) Club members donating old books, CDs and records for sale on e-Bay.

Some of the local charitable children organizations who have been helped with the funds raised are: Faces, Orange Grove Center,
T.C Thompson Children’s Hospital, Big Brothers-Big Sisters, Bethel Bible Village, Ronald McDonald House, Hope Unlimited Ministries, Children’s Advocacy Center, Epilepsy Foundation, Inter-City Ministries, UTC Special Education Scholarship, Bachman Academy, North River YMCA and Kids On The Block, and there are others.

The Chattanooga Civitan Club, whose motto is “Builders Of Good
Citizenship”, was charted in 1920. It is the third oldest club
internationally. In fact, a local charter member, Champe Andrews, wrote the Civitan creed and Chattanooga Civitan O.B. Andrews served as the 2nd international president in 1922-23.

The club played a major role in establishing the T.C. Thompson
Children Hospital in Chattanooga. Mr. T.C. Thompson, the second club president, had begun a program to benefit needy crippled children by arranging for their medical care outside Chattanooga. Donations were made to help with Thompson’s work. In 1927 a large donation by Cassie Hutcheson, a resident of another city, was used by Thompson to establish a charitable foundation. The Chattanooga Civitan Child Welfare Auxiliary continues helping handicapped children.

In 1927, this local club received public help to approve a $125,000 bond issue and this club has continued its close association with the hospital. Since 1973, the club members have raised and given to the hospital over half a million dollars primarily for equipment in the neo-natal intensive care unit. For the past five years, this club has given over $10,000 annually to support this effort.

Jack Anderson
jacka@comcast.net


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