Making Spirits Bright: Kiwanis Club of Lucedale

This holiday season, we're focusing on organizations giving back to the community throughout the year, that are Making Spirits Bright.
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 8:40 PM CST
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LUCEDALE, Miss. (WLOX) - This holiday season, we’re focusing on organizations giving back to the community throughout the year that are Making Spirits Bright. Today we turn the spotlight on the Kiwanis Club of Lucedale.

Lucedale is home to a population of just over 3,000 residents. Whichever way you travel down Highway 26 to Main Street, you’ll see the growth of the town and the hidden figures who helped shape it.

Kiwanis Club of Lucedale Co-Presidents Kelly Dixon and Stephanie Chisholm have dedicated over 15 years to their community.

“The community trusts us because of the years they’ve seen,” Dixon said. “They’re always going to see a result.”

Kiwanis Club members extended a gracious hand to one of the town’s most vulnerable: children.

In the organization’s nearly 25-year mission, you’ll see the efforts made.

“We purchased picnic tables in the past. We’ve purchased park equipment for some of the schools,” Chisholm said. “We never purchased park equipment for our city park which is our big project this year.”

In the City’s Park Rebuild plan, the venue will feature a toddler park, focusing on ages three years and younger.

“Each year hopefully with our fundraising efforts, we’ll be able to purchase a new piece of equipment and add to it,” Chisholm said.

There’s more contributions over the years of service. Supporting teachers with classroom grants, helping bring YMCA projects to George County, preparing hot Thanksgiving meals for middle and high schoolers, hosting a Character Pancake Breakfast, and donating funds to build the Lucedule Sports Complex and the Terrific Kid Program.

“Kids are able to set goals and the teachers strategize on how to reach those goals,” Dixon said. “We have sort of a Key Club. We give grants as well to those students in the Key Club in their senior years.”

“We did third-grade multiplication cards for several years before COVID,” Chisholm said. “We bought 2,500 packs of cards for these kids. To go to the schools and to hand out the cards, they’re just so excited about that.”

The recent Witches Ride at the City Park brought dozens just in time for Halloween. It raised $1,550. A portion of those funds will cover the park rebuild project.

One of the most impactful moments of Kiwanis includes glitter, jewels, shoes, and a tux: Prom Closet.

“That connection I think is so important and I really feel like we really changed so of those children’s lives and I think that’s the most important thing we can do,” Chisholm said.

The idea behind Prom Closet all started with the Facebook post. It wasn’t long before local businesses, community members, and even outside counties collected their prom attire and donated what they could.

Students could pick out a dress, schedule alterations with a seamstress, get their makeup done, manicure and pedicure, and be escorted to the dance.

Kiwanis Club of Lucedule celebrates 25 years of service next year. They say their mission will continue to help those in the community.

“I am super excited to see what is going to happen in 2024,” Dixon said. “We’re growing, we’ve got a spark that’s been lit and I don’t think it’s going out anytime soon.”

It’s why the Kiwanis of Lucedale is Making Spirits Bright this holiday season.

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