LUCEDALE, Miss. (WKRG) – A group of volunteers in Lucedale are celebrating 24 years of service with new projects in the works to help George County children.

The Lucedale Kiwanis Club began in 1999 with the goal of meeting the needs of children in the county through community fundraising and projects, many involving partnerships in the schools, local government and other civic organizations.

Initiatives in that time have included:

  • Purchasing new playground equipment for Lucedale Elementary (1999)
  • Contributing $20,000 to the George County Soccer Complex
  • Purchasing heart defibrillators for all 5 elementary schools in the county
  • Donating third grade multiplication flash cards for elementary students (2016—2019)
  • Donating first aid supplies for elementary schools (2016)
  • Purchasing six metal picnic tables for the three parks in Lucedale (2016)
  • Purchasing playground equipment for the pre-K program (2018)
  • Build and maintain little free libraries throughout county (2018 – present)
  • Put together personal care item backpacks for foster children
  • Sponsor uniform closet at George County Schools

The group also recognizes a career and technical education student of the month from George County High School and has provided grants to the youth chorale, Singing River Head Start, Habitat for Humanity, robotics program at Agricola Elementary, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and school libraries.

Members have also volunteered in the school district, Key Club, Explosion of Excellence scholarship program, Christmas for Needy Families, free school supply distributions and Salvation Army.

The newest project began this spring with the formation of a ‘Prom Closet’.

George County Schools’ homeless education liaisons identified high school students that needed assistance to attend prom. With community and business donations, six students had their hair, nails and/or make-up done and received dinner, tickets, flowers, tuxedos or dresses and shoes to join their classmates at prom. The group hopes to continue to host a clothes closet for students to utilize for the event in the future.

The club is also purchasing over $7,600 worth of equipment specifically for toddlers to include in the new playground in Lucedale City Park. Each year, members will add a new piece of equipment to expand the play area.

They recently hosted a celebration to mark the club’s anniversary and welcome new members: Jason Anders, Daisye Campbell, Dylan Conner, Megan Goff, Terra Johnson, Lena Jordan, Erin Mixon, Angie Moffett, Valerie Pierce and Kelly Walker.

2023 officers are Stephanie Chisholm and Kelly Dixon, co-presidents; Jessica Neese, treasurer and Brandy Havard, secretary. The club meets at noon every Thursday in the Magnolia Room at MGCCC George County Center. Updates are posted on the Lucedale Kiwanis Club Facebook page.