By CATHY MOUNCE
Register Staff Writer
The Gainesville Kiwanis Club has set Sept. 24 at the First State Bank conference center as the date of their annual installation banquet in which new officers will be introduced and awards will be given out honoring this past year’s members.
Current Kiwanis president, Maggie Sikes, said this is only one of several events planned this year and it is one of the most important for the club.
“We hope that all 58 of our local Kiwanis members will be attending this event,” she said. “It is an opportunity for our Gainesville club to honor members that have contributed and sacrificed their time and skills during the past year.”
Sikes also reminded members about the October 12 Deport Days celebration in downtown Gainesville where they will serve pancakes in the morning and cooking up hamburgers during the afternoon.
“This is one of our biggest fund raisers for the year,” Sikes continued. “We are anticipating a huge turnout for the event.”
Kiwanians Johnny and Mary Lou Leftwich spoke of the recent Kiwanis International convention they attended in Canada.
At the convention they were enthralled by the story of John O’Leary, who was burned in a devastating accident at the age of nine. He had third degree burns over 87 percent of his body and was given less than a one percent chance to survive his first night.
O’Leary not only made it through the first night but rose victoriously over what happened o him,
Recovering from the burns which included amputations, O’Leary spent countless years recovering from his injuries. He finished school, graduated from college, married, became a father and is currently spending his life as a motivational speaker telling others that the true essence of life is what one person can do to over come obstacles in life.
In a short film shown at the Kiwanis meeting O’Leary said, “Embrace what makes you different and become a victor not a victim.”
The Kiwanis Club will celebrate their 100th anniversary next year at the convention in Baltimore. The international convention will be held in Japan.
By CATHY MOUNCE
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