Marysville Kiwanis Club celebrates 50th anniversary, salutes Ray Harding
August 28, 2008 · Updated 9:17 AM
MARYSVILLE The Marysville Kiwanis Club celebrated its 50th birthday on Nov. 18 with a reception at the Ken Baxter Senior Community Center. Long-time member Ray Harding was saluted with the Legion of Honor award for 50 years of service to the club. A former school principal, Harding missed being a founding member by just a couple weeks, joining the 31 founders shortly after the club was formed in 1956.
Kiwanis member Tom King recalled meeting Harding in 1965 as a seventh-grader at Marysville Junior High School.
Back then he was Mr. Harding, King laughed as he presented Harding with the award. We appreciate all youve done for us.
Harding would go onto become the superintendent for the Maryville School District, serving until his retirement in 1981. He worked with the Kiwanis throughout the years.
Being 80 (years old) is nice, Harding said. The primary cause of old age is birthdays.
Harding noted that things have changed a great deal over the years. When he was younger kids had many social options and churches were the primary social centers for everybody, regardless of denomination. Now kids dont get involved in fraternal organizations or civic affairs until much later in their life, if at all, he lamented.
The Kiwanis have several branches to reach out to students at the elementary and high school levels, and Marysville Kiwanis president Dave Voigt hopes to expand their involvement with teenagers in the area. The Kiwanis team with the Marysville Soroptimists Club to honor local outstanding students each month and provide them with scholarships at the end of the school year.
Another main stay has been the annual fishing derby at the Kiwanis Pond at Marysvilles Jennings Memorial Park, where hundreds of kids get a chance to snag a trout in the pond just off of Allen Creek. The group also donated five acres of parkland in the Sunnyside area to the city in 1995, a plot that could be a new off-leash dog park sometime in the future, according to Jim Ballew, Marysville Parks and Recreation director.
Theyve been a great partner for us, we love Kiwanis, said Tara Mizell, recreation services manager for the department.
Voigt wants to enlarge the Key Club and the Builders Club, the youth arms for the group working with high school and junior high level students, respectively.
The Marysville Kiwanis meet each Tuesday at 7 a.m. at the Village Restaurant in Marysville, 220 Ash Avenue.