To the editor:
Effective Sept. 20, the Cheraw Kiwanis Club will be dissolved and will no longer have a presence in the Cheraw community.
The Kiwanis Club has been in existence in our community for more than 60 years and has maintained a long tradition of improving the lives of children, one child at a time. Over the last few years, the club has struggled to maintain its current membership and attract new members with creative and innovative ways of carrying out its mission to serve the children and to positively change children’s lives.
Through this mission, the Cheraw Kiwanis Club has touched the lives of many children over the decades. We are proud of the club’s accomplishments that have directly improved the lives of children. We have given scholarships to deserving seniors at Cheraw High School, implemented the Terrific Kids program to develop leadership qualities for children at Long Middle School and created the teddy bear project with the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s office to help children feel comforted when they become involved in traumatic and volatile situations. Our job-shadowing program was an opportunity to introduce children to different jobs and careers in our community.
We have made a contribution to the Cheraw Head Start Program to assist a family with a child in need of financial assistance due to health issues. We’ve donated funds for the purchase of cameras to monitor classrooms activities as well as provide security at the Cheraw Head Start facility. Funds were donated to United Way of Chesterfield County in support of a back-to-school program event.
We have sponsored annual holiday events and parties to recognize and award progressive students at Long Middle School, participated in the Spring Festival, the Jazz Festival and the Cheraw business and industry expo. Each summer, we sponsored a baseball team through the Cheraw Recreation Department team and partnered with AMI Kids at Camp Sand Hills in a fund raising event.
We sponsored a First Tee program for youth in the Cheraw area. We were able to fund and sponsor the majority of our projects and programs through an annual pancake breakfast fundraiser held at Fatz Restaurant.
On behalf of the members of the Cheraw Kiwanis Club, both past and present, we are deeply saddened that we are forced to relinquish our charter. We will miss the opportunity to provide much-needed services to the children in this community.
We want to thank the hundreds of financial supporters, sponsors, donors and volunteers for their service. We hope that a future Kiwanis presence will find its way back to Cheraw.
Dr. Mia Cole
President, Cheraw Kiwanis Club