The Ringgold Kiwanis club was established in 1976. The club originally met in the J&L Restaurant, a small dining establishment in Ringgold. In 1979, the club moved its meetings to Aunt Effie's Restaurant, which was owned and operated by then Kiwanian Bill Trimby. When he sold the restaurant, the club moved to PT Bailey's restaurant for a short time and then to the Country Bumpkin Restaurant. This served as the club meeting place until the restaurant burned around 1995. The club has since met in the Fellowship hall of the Ringgold First Baptist Church.
The club struggled during its early years to keep membership to charter strength. In 1978, the club was at a low point and during a September meeting, the club voted to surrender the charter. A new member, Wendell Roden pleaded with the membership to allow time for him, new to the community, to help work on increasing the membership. There was a strong nucleus that developed during those days and is still strong today.
Fund raising in the early days took the form of planned, club sponsored fishing and hunting trips. For several years, there was a hunting trip to Stuttgart, Arkansas and a fishing trip to Florida. The club would charter a Greyhound bus and it would be filled with local fisherman and hunters.
Around the mid-eighties, club fund raising efforts turned to pancake breakfasts, rodeos, golf tournaments and a reverse raffle. Through the years, all the funds raised have gone to assist children and the less fortunate citizens of the community.
Beginning in 2003, the club sponsored the annual Catoosa County Fair, an event enjoyed by many of our citizens. This is a program the club intends to continue supporting because it is so much enjoyed by the children of the community.
During 2004, the club tried something new: we constructed an upscale house in a local development. The profits, due to donated labor and discounts, was over $60,000. That money, along with funds raised by other means, brought the club's 2004 fundraing total to over $100,000!
CIVIC LEADERSHIP & AWARDS
The Ringgold Kiwanis Club has grown to be the leading civic organization in the Ringgold community. The club has spawned 5 Lieutenant Governors for the Georgia District of Kiwanis. The club is known for the receipt of many outstanding Kiwanian awards. The club banner is loaded with patches and awards for outstanding service to the community.
CLUB CHARACTERISTICS & PROJECTS
Club meetings have always been breakfast meetings and start at 7AM to allow those who have jobs to get to work on time.
Membership dues have always been kept to a minimum in order for the dues not to be a burden on any member. Every year, the club has been able to elect a new president from the membership, thus giving many of its members an opportunity to grow their leadership skills.
Club board meetings have always been open to any club member, their spouses and children. The meetings are held monthly, usually at a club member's house. While club business is discussed during these meetings, there is also a healthy dose of fellowship and fun times. Several club members attribute this format to the success of our club.
The club started actively inviting female members in 2002. Several women have become outstanding Kiwanians and add a tremendous level of commitment to the club.
Over the years, when there is a community project or important event, the Ringgold Kiwanis Club has worked hard to get involved and do whatever it can to benefit the community. We are excited about carrying this legacy forward for many years to come.
Ringgold Kiwanis Club