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Picton’s oldest service club welcomes first female president

Past President Randy Claxton, with his daughter, Geri, on the occasion of her installation as the first female President of the Kiwanis Club of Picton

The Kiwanis Club of Picton welcomed its first female president last month – one of three women who have been inducted into the popular service club.
Geri Claxton was installed into office by her father, Randy Claxton, a club past president.
“I was thrilled that the Picton Kiwanis Club even considered me for president,” said Geri, who has been a member since December 2008.
She has assisted with Kiwanis events almost as long as her father has been a member.
“I have been fully active with the club since moving back to the County in September 2008,” she notes. “My goals for the upcoming year include recruitment, increasing our visibility within this community, and taking the time to recognize the hard work and service of our exisitng members. It should be a fun and challenging year.”

The Kiwanis Club, founded originally in 1927, was the first service club in Picton. The club’s 1927 charter was surrendered in 1943, as a result of the Second World War. However, once the hostilities ceased, the club was re-chartered in 1953.

In the early years, the club grew acres of peas and pumpkins as fund-raising projects. Paper recycling was a major fund-raiser for 26 years; and members supported many local concerts and festivals, as well as working at the gates for the Prince Edward County Fair, and helping to set up for local Red Cross Blood Donor Clinics.

More recently, the Kiwanis are known for participation in annual events in the county – the May fishing derby; the Pancake Breakfast; the bicycle Colour Cribbage Ride; and working at the gates for the Women’s Institute Craft Show and the TASTE events.

Lt. Governor, Frank Wilson, presents Kiwanian John Kileeg with his 45-year Legion of Honour pin.

The Kiwanis Club of Picton supports Prince Edward Collegiate Institute’s music programs; minor hockey, soccer, skating and swim programs; Sleeping Children Around the World, Terrific Kids, Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, Children’s Aid Society; hearing and cancer societies, Robin Lake Camp, the Salvation Army Children’s Christmas Party, and the Christmas Kettles program.
Club members also deliver Meals on Wheels and many members volunteer with non-profit charities and organizations in the community.

In the past, the Kiwanis were involved with bigger projects – the building of Benson Park, fund-raising for the building of the Community Centre, the Salvation Army Citadel, and the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital; and have also made donations toward the restoration of the Crystal Palace and the grandstand at the Fairgrounds, and the Prince Edward County Hospital Memorial Foundation.

The Picton Kiwanis Club meets Mondays at 6:15 PM in the Picton Legion at 347 Main Street.

The new executive: Back row, from left: Wayne Cooper, Herb Stone (secretary), Bill Miramontes (asst secretary), Randy Claxon, Don Stanton, Fred Rathbourne, John Inrig, Brian Currah, John Kileeg. Front row, from left: Don Houghton (treasurer), Geri Claxon (President), Dennis Margueratt (President elect) and John Langschmidt (past president).

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