Bobby Davis isn’t lobbing brats for the Kiwanis quite as much as he used to. The club has given him another job. Not that he was a bad brat lobber — in fact, he was so proficient it probably helped get him elected as one of the 50 governors of Kiwanis International.
Davis, who resides in Star Valley with his wife of more than 30 years, Nina, and is advertising director of the Payson Roundup, has been elected governor for the Southwest District of Kiwanis International for 2011-2012.
The district includes Arizona, New Mexico and El Paso County of Texas, serving 117 Kiwanis clubs in the area with more than 3,000 members. Consequently he is on the road a lot, in fact, he won’t have a weekend at home until Thanksgiving.
“I’m very fortunate to work for the Roundup and John Naughton, a life-long member of Rotary, who understands the role of giving back to the community through service organizations. He is very gracious in helping with the time it takes me to perform the duties of governor,” Davis said.
As Kiwanis governor, Davis leads the district by implementing organizational goals, developing and leading a strong district leadership team, communicating the vision/messages of the organization to the members in the district and aligning followers by motivating and inspiring the members to take action. He will also serve as a member of the Southwest District Foundation as well as the Kiwanis International board.
Davis has been a member of Kiwanis in Payson for seven years. He was invited to attend his first meeting by the late Don Crowley, who urged him to join and pursue a leadership role in the organization.
The club’s mission of helping children is what attracted him to the group, he said.
His first office with the Payson Zane Grey Kiwanis Club was that of director in 2005; he became its president-elect in 2006 and served as its president for 2007-2008 — he explained the club year is from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.
Davis was then elected lieutenant governor for the Southwest District’s Division 17, which includes clubs in Payson, Tonto Basin, Holbrook and the Pine Strawberry School’s Builders Club for youngsters in junior high.
He served in that capacity for two terms and then ran for the governorship.
“I felt like we needed to have people more involved — passionate to help provide service in the community; to give back to the community,” he said of his reason for running for the post.
“People join a service organization to give back. It is important to help them fulfill that need. If you don’t, they will leave, because people’s time is so valuable.”
Davis said he believes one of his jobs as governor is to train the presidents and officers of the 117 clubs in the district to provide their members with that experience of service and giving back to the community.
Kiwanis has programs for children from birth through college and university ages. Programs for the pre-school ages are primarily focused on encouraging parents to read to their children, especially in the first three years of life, which is the most critical time for brain, verbal and socialization development. The group provides parents with training, books and, in some cases, medical assistance.
Programs for elementary-age students are K-Kids, Terrific Kids and Bring Up Grades (BUGs). These help children learn to plan, set goals, work with others and celebrate success.
Those “I’m a Proud Parent of a Terrific Kid” bumper stickers are from the Kiwanis program that helps teachers reward students for going the extra mile to help others. Those “Terrific Kid” students also get personal rewards: a T-shirt, a framed plaque and a pen.
Programs for older students help develop leadership skills and give them the opportunity to do a variety of service projects in their schools and around the community.
Among the projects in which Payson young people have participated: walking dogs for the Humane Society of Central Arizona; helping prepare meals at the Senior Center; visiting residents of long-term care homes, taking them cards for things like Valentine’s Day and Easter; organizing blood and canned food drives; cleaning the recyclables at the high school; providing activities for children at home football games so their parents can enjoy the game on the field; and cooking hot dogs and those famous Kiwanis brats for the teams and volunteers at the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, as well as having a team in the event.
On the world stage, in the 1990s, Kiwanis International worked to help end Iodine Deficiency Disorder in third world countries by raising $100 million.
Now, it is working to raise another $110 million in the next five years for its EliMiNaTe Program, to eliminate maternal/neonatal tetanus, which kills a baby with tetanus every nine minutes.
The Payson Zane Grey Kiwanis Club meets at 6:45 a.m. each Thursday at Tiny’s Family Restaurant and is concluded in time for members to get to work or take their children to school.
For more information, please visit www. zanegreykiwanis.com or call (928) 978-4323.