Greencastle Exchange Club seeks new members
Kelly Mower and Shannon Yates are determined to keep Greencastle Exchange Club a viable organization. The president and vice president, respectively, understand the value of the programs the club supports, all of which benefit the children of the community.
The most visible activity for the 15 members of Exchange is the Christmas gift giving, which affects approximately 200 children in the Greencastle-Antrim School Disrict. Last year it cost $10,000 to purchase the presents, which were wrapped and distributed to about 75 needy families.
“If we disappear, next Christmas kids will wonder why they don’t get any presents,” said Mower.
Greencastle Exchange Club has been around for 26 years, once peaking at 30 active members. Today it is half that, and includes two who joined after attending the Oct. 8 mixer at Antrim Way Honda to learn more about the club.
The officers know people are busy, and some of their members have moved away. They also believe the club is just not well-known in the community, though its multiple projects have been established for years. The club gives scholarships to graduating seniors, publishes books for first graders, gives away ice cream each August at Fun Day at Jerome R. King Playground, awards monthly “Young Citizenship” awards at the middle school, sponsors “Character Counts” assemblies at the elementary school, and hosts a pool party at Moss Spring each summer. It also organizes the Greencastle Halloween parade, provides a Santa for Susquehanna Bank during Heritage Christmas, gives away hot chocolate and cookies at the tree lighting, and distributes flags at the Veterans Day ceremony at borough hall and during parades.
Some businesses sponsor employee membership, and other people join as individuals, Yates said. The membership structure was altered to make it more affordable for everyone.
“We’re optimistic that will help,” he added.
The club meets at 7:30 a.m. each Thursday for breakfast at Cafe at Antrim Way.
Greg Weaver, dealer principal of the business, opened up the site for meetings and storage space. He is also offering incentives for Exchange Club members, such as free car washes and entrance into drawings for Auto Butler detailing.
“He’s been wonderful,” said Mower.
She and Yates see that people are involved in multiple organizations and get spread thin, and all of the service groups are struggling with membership. Nevertheless, there is fulfillment in working on Exchange Club goals.
Nationally, the club mission is to prevent child abuse. The programs also support Americanism, youth and community service. Volunteers may develop leadership, networking and organizational skills, according to promotional literature.
The Greencastle members embrace a solid foundation. They would like five or 10 more people to agree and join their forces.
“Everything we do is for the kids,” Mower said.