African Medical Mission Walk – African Medical Mission provides support to impoverished people in the Transkei in South Africa. A Hendersonville doctor, his wife and their five children moved there in 1985 to begin the program and they continue to give it primary leadership. Dr. Chris McConnachie teaches in the local medical school, performs surgery and has established training courses for nurses and therapists. Mrs. Jennie McConnachie, RN, operates a primary care clinic, a pre-school and a feeding program in a squatter’s village. Aids education is a major concern at the clinic. There is a Hendersonville-based Board of Directors that organizes an annual “Walk for Africa” each spring to raise funds with walkers sponsored by means of donations for mileage walked. Civitan members are encouraged to walk and/or support members who do walk to allow this mission that sprung from Hendersonville to continue operations.
Blood Drive Posters – Civitan members deliver posters or flyers announcing upcoming Red Cross Blood Drives on approximately 13 routes in the Hendersonville area. The Chairman of this project coordinates with the Red Cross to determine when deliveries are to be made – usually about once a month – and then arranges for each deliverer to obtain the flyers. The Chairman also works with the Red Cross to keep the list of approximately 120 route businesses up to date by using feedback from the deliverers. This effort was done for almost 50 years. Due to a Red Cross restructuring we no longer do this service for our community.
Blood Drive Supplies – This community service project also assists the American Red Cross. Each month Civitan volunteers deliver from three to twelve Red Cross provided canteens (soda, juice, ice, snacks, etc.) to blood drive sites such as schools, churches, industries, other service clubs and hospitals. The volunteer picks up the canteen at the local Red Cross Chapter and makes delivery one hour prior to the drive. The Civitan then returns at the conclusion of the drive to take unused supplies back to the Chapter Office. Early morning, evening or weekend drives may necessitate prior day pickup of supplies and/or following day return. This project requires no Civitan funds since each volunteer provides his or her own transportation.
Freeman Halloween Party – The Jimmy Freeman Halloween Party is an annual event hosted by Civitan with the support of various businesses in the community. These businesses partner with Civitan by providing the food, beverages, ice cream and candy for the party. Civitan provides any additional funding required to host the party. This event, held in the Whitmire Building, is intended solely for the developmentally disabled children of Henderson County with the various schools in the county ensuring that children are made available. Approximately 150 children, 50 or more teachers, aides and school volunteers and 30-35 Civitans and spouses attend the event. The program involves carnival-type games aimed at the level of the children in attendance. Prizes of candy and small trinkets are given to the children as they participate in the games. The Parks and Recreation Department provides a DJ. Clowns from several sources are also in attendance to entertain. Civitan members set up and tear down the games, ensure the facility is clean at the conclusion, provide and run the games, prepare and serve the food and assist the teachers and staff in exercising a degree of supervision for the children to ensure a safe and enjoyable environment.
Special Olympics – Civitan is a major supporter of the yearly Henderson County Special Olympics Spring Games by providing funding as well as member participation to assist in running the games consistent with the direction of the local Special Olympics Coordinator. In addition to playing a role in running various games and assisting in judging, Civitans present the ribbons and provide encouragement to the participants by “hugging” as the children complete an event and receive their award. From various business partners Civitan obtains the food to be served to participants and games volunteers. Civitan members also operate the canteen where the food is served. Civitan sells a portion of the food to guests, observers and other attendees and donates the proceeds to the local Special Olympics Committee to be used in funding various local Special Olympics programs.