Engaging in community service, with an emphasis on helping those with developmental disabilities, has been the focus of the Johns Creek Civitan Club, which recently celebrated the first anniversary of its charter.
In the club’s inaugural year, members helped the Johns Creek Police Department raise money for Special Olympics and honored local special needs teachers, said president-elect Michelle Hanchey. On Tuesday, the club recognized Medlock Bridge Elementary School student Foster Michaelis with the “Dare to Soar” award.
The 11-year-old student, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at age 3, won the 2013 National History Bee Elementary School Championship.
“It’s just exciting to show that people who do have special needs like this young man [can overcome],” Hanchey said.
Board member Terry Crouch, who was instrumental in starting the club, said one of the first things the club accomplished was establishing junior clubs in Johns Creek high schools.
“We did that in all three high schools and have over 150 young people who are involved in volunteering,” Hanchey said.
The Johns Creek Civitan Club also celebrated Clergy Appreciation Week, donated to Toys for Tots and hosted an array of speakers at its meetings.
“We’ve been busy this first year,” Hanchey said. “We’ve got a great team of people who are really dedicated to making a difference, and we feel like we’ve just begun in making a difference in Johns Creek and making it a better place to live.”
Crouch said, “From day one, we’ve had a long list of enthusiastic young professional members, and they genuinely care about the community and the less fortunate.”
Going forward, the club wants to build on the projects and events developed in its first year and develop an annual fundraiser.
“What we’re looking for now is to host a fundraising event that will be something the community would enjoy,” Crouch said. “We want to find something that’s unique.”
Hanchey said, “Next year, we’ll be doing a big push on fundraising, because we have some projects that we’d like to do.”
One of those projects will be purchasing interactive whiteboards for classrooms in Johns Creek to help special needs students learn in new ways, she said.
The Johns Creek Civitan Club regularly meets on the first and third Tuesday of every month at 7:30 a.m. at the Standard Country Club on Abbotts Bridge Road. For those interested in becoming a member, contact Crouch at (678) 242-0445 or via email at email@example.com.