Doug Bailey will be one of Payson's most visible Kiwanians for the next two months. He and his fellow members will be asking business owners to make a commitment to the community's youth in the form of donations -- either through dollar donations or through merchandise for the 12th Annual Kiwanis Auction on March 31.
"Kiwanis does things to make our community a better place," said Bailey, a 30-year member of the club.
"The club's goal is to raise $30,000 for area children," said member Bobby Davis.
The club is looking for large- and small-ticket items. The smaller ones will be used for the silent auction, the larger for the live auction.
This is the club's largest fund-raiser of the year. The money raised pays for Kiwanis scholarships for graduating high school seniors, programs for youth, including K-Kids and Terrific Kids for elementary students, Builder's Club for middle school students and Key Club in high school.
Last year, due to the support of the community the club gave out $16,000 in scholarships.
Kiwanis of Zane Grey Country will celebrate its silver anniversary at the cruise themed event.
The USS Kiwanis is ready to be boarded at 5 p.m. when the no-host bar and silent auction open. The event sets sail at 6 p.m. when dinner is served, followed by the live auction.
Chicken a la Bonne Femme (sautéed chicken in a white wine mushroom sauce) or Prime Rib are the dinner selections.
Tickets are $50 per person and may be purchased from any Kiwanis member, the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce or at the Payson Roundup.
Independent of the dinner, Kiwanians are selling $20 raffle tickets for a one-week stay at Westin Mission Hills Resort in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
"I know a lot of philanthropic organizations are knocking on the door this time of year and we appreciate business owners' continued support," Davis said.
In addition to the club's fund-raising goal, Bailey has hopes for the revitalization of Kiwanis of Zane Grey Country.
"It is a different world out there now," Bailey said. "Kiwanis suffers at times from age and needs an infusion of members under 40. It's not that current members don't work hard. They do, but we need young ideas and ambition."
Bailey decided that Kiwanians were the kind of people he needed to be with to make his community a better place in 1976. When he was living in Alpine, Calif. he broke his back on a hike. During the months of his recuperation, he found out that Kiwanians had raised the money for the ambulance that brought him to safety. So, when an old high school friend from Bakersfield told him, "You'd make a good Kiwanian," he joined.