It was a bittersweet meeting of the Ellerbe Civitan Club on Thursday as the civic-minded group held its meeting at Saron Baptist Church Road in Ellerbe.
The group decided to dissolve the club due to a lack of new members. Ina Brooks, president of the club, said she did not want to see the club disappear.
“I am really sad, but I realize that a lot of members have health problems and are not able to physically contribute to projects as they have been able to contribute to in the past,” she said.
The specal meeting was held to recognize recipients of the club’s last charitable act — the donation of approximately $35,000, revenue that came from the sale of its building. The building was sold for $35,000 and the money was shared between to several different charities.
The club purchased the building in 1978. The Civitan Club was chartered January 23, 1975, with twenty-nine members. Membership dwindled in recent years. Club member Jean Stutts said efforts to recruit new members were unsuccessful.
“We have tried to get young people interested,” Stutts said, “but we couldn’t get them. Young people just aren’t interested in things like that anymore. We decided we’re getting too old.”
After nearly 35 years, members decided to sell it because it was not financially feasible to keep up with the ongoing expenses such as insurance and utilities.
The first organization that the club donated to was the University of Alabama at Birmingham Civitan International Research Center for brain tumor research. After this donation had been made, the club donated to several other organizations, including the Derby Fire Department, Ellerbe Rescue Squad, Rankin Museum and the Richmond County Special Olympics.
The recipients of the club showed their appreciation by making a few remarks regarding the donation to their organization.
“We appreciate it,” said Kenny McFayden, assistant chief of the Mountain Creek Fire Department. “We will purchase radios and pagers.”
At the meeting, plaques were given out to the recipients. “It’s good to be recognized for what you do,” said Shirley Terry, a member of the club since 2004. “I have just enjoyed being a member of the club and participating in their good work.”
— Staff Writer Iris Hunter can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.