Kiwanis of Lufkin, TX

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The first project of any size was to build the Girl Scout House. In 1948, five members of the Club went to First Bank & Trust on the corner of Frank Street (then known as Dozier St.) and North First St., and borrowed $500, each member guaranteed repaying $100 if the Club didn't. Material was purchased and the members built the 16' x 20' building, all but the electrical and plumbing for the bathroom. It has been added on to and is now approximately 3500 sq. ft with 3 bathrooms and a kitchen. It was reported at one time, when the Girl Scout program was at it's peak, that over 500 girls used the house each week. A new Girl Scout House is to be built this year, 1999. See also Scouts.

This project got the Club off to a good start with members working after 5 P.M. and on Saturdays. Not only did the Club do something worthwhile for the community but also the members of this newly formed Club had good fellowship and lasting friendship with their fellow members.

Kiwanis Park. In the 50's the city invited Lufkin's service clubs to provide improvements to the park. Lufkin Kiwanis started with a $5,500 metal pavilion for family reunions and gatherings. Projects that followed were a band gazebo, basketball and volleyball courts, jogging trail and other facilities. By 1960's, it became obvious that the park was benefiting mostly from Kiwanis contributions, and the City commission renamed the site to honor the club.

Scholarship Fund was started in 1968 when Dixon Abney, who owned a hardware store with Kiwanian Earl Medford, gave the club $500 for a scholarship program when Medford died. The club established a perpetual scholarship program at Angelina College in Medford's name. This year, 1999, nine scholarships of $500 each were awarded in MAY. One each awarded to a student from Hudson, Zavalla, Central, Diboll and Huntington and four to students from Lufkin High School.

Texas Forestry Museum was started in the mid 1970's. The construction and maintenance of the museum, in conjunction with the Texas forest products industry and the Texas Forestry Association. Kiwanians contributed over $20,000, which was raised through various funding projects, for the initial construction of the museum building, which was dedicated by Texas Lt. Governor Bill Hobby in 1976. The club contributes $50 each month for a maintenance fund and pledged $10,000 for an expansion project in 1986.

Ellen Trout Zoo and Kiwanis projects. In the late 50's the Kiwanis Club joined with other service clubs and Lufkin's city government to develop ways in which an old city lake, which had been drained by a dam failure, could be used as a recreational facility on Lufkin's north side. The result was Ellen Trout Park and later the Zoo. The Club has worked on a project at Ellen Trout Zoo each year since 1989. Paying for materials and providing much of the labor. This was started by Fred Jacobs, a Past Lieutenant Governor.

Spelling Bee. Lufkin Kiwanis has sponsored a Spelling Bee every year since the fifties. The Bee is held at Lufkin High School in February each year. Individuals from Angelina, Houston, Nacogdoches, Sabine and San Augustine participate in the competition. Teams from Angelina County also participate. For the results of the latest Bee click on Spelling Bee above.

The Spelling Bee was started when Howard Walker of the Lufkin Kiwanis Club agreed to help the Houston Chronicle set up a large Bee in Houston. The winner of the Houston Bee would then participate in the national spelling bee in Washington. At the same time Howard organized a Spelling Bee in Lufkin for Angelina County. In the 60's, Ed Casburn added team competition. In the mid 1990's the Houston Chronicle asked the Lufkin Kiwanis Club to expand our Bee to include other East Texas Counties, thus it was expanded to include Nacogdoches, Sabine, San Augustine and Houston Counties.

Boy Scout Troop 518. In September of 1987 the Kiwanis Club sponsored the new charter of this troop in the East Texas Area Council. The troop has become one of the premiere scout troops in the Lufkin area, due in no small part to the financial support of the Noon Kiwanis Club. For more see Scouts.

Salvation Army is supported by Kiwanians who help fund raising by bell ringing during the Christmas holidays.

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Original 2/12/99
Last updated 5/14/2004
Page by F. Preston