Countywide impact of Civitan Clubs strongly felt

Members contribute money and man hours
Jan. 07, 2014 @ 10:59 AM

Community heroes. Members of the Civitan Clubs of Davidson County do not call themselves that, but ask the many people whom they serve — families in need, students in need of scholarships, Special Olympians, clergy, fruit cake lovers and kids waiting for Santa — and they will say otherwise.

Each of the eight clubs in Davidson County place an emphasis on their distinctive communities. Nevertheless, they are driven by one mission — “Builders of Good Citizenship,” just as the founders coined in 1917 in Birmingham, Ala.

Today, Civitan is an international service organization with clubs in 38 countries. Although each club identifies projects within their own communities, Civitan has undertaken projects such as building research centers and hospitals for the special populations of the mentally and physically challenged.  Locally, Civitan clubs support other endeavors such Boys & Girls Homes, Victory Junction Gang Camp, Special Olympics, Junior Civitan, scholarship programs and The Workshop of Davidson County, and, of course, Project Santa.

Thomasville Civitan Don Osborne earlier this year compiled information about each club. As we approached the project, I asked Osborne to give me an estimate of the dollars and hours the clubs annually invest in Davidson County. Osborne reviewed the projects and guesstimated $80,000 is spent annually on those efforts.

An exact count of man hours is not known, Osborne said, but I think I have a formula.

Just for Silver Valley Civitan Club’s Project Santa, about 65 volunteers provided 400 hours of service. They included 21 members of the Silver Valley Civitan Club, 20 South Davidson High School Junior Civitan members as well as family and friends.

According to, the value of a volunteer hour in North Carolina is $19.09. That would be a high wage for Davidson County. Based on 2012 Census Bureau estimation, the average wage in Davidson County is $10.81 per hour. At the local average wage, volunteer hours just for Project Santa are valued at $4,324.

A hundred man hours per month, per club calculates into a monthly value of  $8,081. Times 12, that’s an annual  investment of volunteer hours valued at $96,972. 

“There is no doubt that Civitan has made a great difference in the communities where they exist and work,” Osborne said.

Even without a spreadsheet of good deeds, there is an evidential impact — a child opening a gift, a mom or dad grateful for food on the table, a Special Olympian achieving the gold, parades, appreciative teachers, clergy and scholars.

Davidson County’s  “Builders of Good Citizenship”  are the architects of a community willing to pay it forward.

Perhaps this information will allow you to judge for yourself the countywide impact of Civitan clubs.



The Davidson County Civitan Club is the newest and largest with 60 members. Their premier service project is the presentation of the Nancy Sink Frazier Distinguished Teacher in Special Education Award in April with a dinner and awards presentation banquet for special education teachers.

Projects include United Way of Davidson County Week of Caring, Red Cross, hospice and Special Olympics. They club honors clergy, volunteers with Special Olympics and provides activity booklets for kindergarten students.

The Davidson County Civitan Club, chartered in 2002, meets the fourth Tuesday usually at the Workshop of Davidson, Inc. at 275 Monroe Road in Lexington.



Projects of the club, chartered in 1984, include monthly bingo at Mountain Vista Health Park, a holiday house tour, Denton Community Love Feast and the “I Am Woman” luncheon. The club supports Special Olympics,  the South Davidson Family Resource Center, Victory Junction Gang Camp and Boys & Girls Homes; recognizes teacher of the year and teacher assistant of the year at Denton Elementary, South Davidson Middle School and South Davidson High School. Other projects include  Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gifts, Easter luminaries at Harrison Park, Mountain View Garden and Denton Town Cemetery and  the Denton Christmas parade.



The oldest Civitan Club in the county, the club was chartered  in 1939. They participate in district and international projects as well as provide Christmas for Stoner-Thomas School for children with disabilities, the Salvation Army Empty Stocking Fund, three scholarships at Davidson County Community College, donations to the Boys & Girls Homes, a home for girls who are mentally and physically challenged, Davidson Medical Ministries, J. Smith Young Family YMCA, Junior Civitan, Victory Junction and volunteer with Special Olympics. The Club serves as the host for the five-club Special Education Teachers Appreciation Banquet.



The Welcome Civitan Club, chartered  in 1946, created the Welcome Easter Parade,which is the largest such parade in North Carolina. For 47 years, they have given a Christmas dinner and dance for the clients of the Workshop of Davidson Inc. The Welcome club awards health service scholarships, funds the summer reading program at the library and contributes to the Greater Things Outreach Program, the Boy Scouts of America and  the Guidance Counselors Benevolence Fund. The Welcome club participates in Civitan International and District projects,  Boys & Girls Homes, Victory Junction Gang Camp Fellows Program and volunteers with Special Olympics.



The West Davidson Civitan Club, chartered in  1950,  serves the Reeds and Tyro communities. They contribute to the West Davidson Food Pantry monthly, hold an annual ice cream party and Christmas party for special needs people, donates fruit baskets for nearly 100 shut-ins and widows. The club partners with Reeds, Tyro, and Churchland Elementary and West Davidson High schools. Through donation boxes in restaurants and stores, the club funds local projects as well as the Civitan International Research Center in Birmingham, Ala. Their largest fundraiser is the pit cooked barbecue shoulders and turkeys sold during the holidays. Just about all the monies raised from these efforts go to fund the community service projects.



The Central Carolina Club, also in Lexington, was chartered in 1957. They award 10 scholarships of $1,000 each. They contribute to the American Legion and The Salvation Army and have made donations to the YMCA, Hospice of Davidson County and aided Davidson County residents who were affected by the 2011 tornado.  Money from their Civitan candy boxes is given to Civitan International Research Center. They also contribute and volunteer with Special Olympics.



The Thomasville Civitan Club, chartered in 1954, is the home club of District Governor David Sullivan and District Area Director Howard Stone. The club makes annual contributions  to Cooperative Community Ministries, Fairgrove Family Resource Center, Meals On Wheels, Salvation Army, provides two scholarships, hosts a Christmas party for the Davidson County Civitan Clubs. Other organizations have received contributions: the Civitan Cottage and Christmas project at Boys & Girls Homes, Junior Civitan dance-a-thon, Junior Civitan sno-do, Special Olympics North Carolina and Victory Junction Gang Camp. Fundraising projects are Claxton Fruit Cake sales, the Civitan Candy Box Project, spaghetti supper, yard sales and a golf tournament. 



The Silver Valley Civitan Club, chartered in 1959, is  one of the strongest clubs in District West.

The signature service effort is Project Santa, which began in 1967. Each year, some 350 to 400 families in need, including people with disabilities and seniors, receive gifts. The value of the gifts distributed in 2012 was an estimated $16,000.

In the past 25 years, the club has provided more than $120,000 in support to South Davidson High School.

Since 1978 members have given thousands of hours of volunteer service to Special Olympics in many capacities. For more than 30 years, the club in multiple capacities has served with Special Olympics.

Silver Valley Civitan Club concentrates its contributions to benefit people with disabilities as well as the Civitan International Research Center and the Workshop of Davidson, Inc.

Working with Denton Ladies Civitan Club, the club organizes  the annual Civitan Clergy Appreciation Observance  and co-sponsor the South Davidson High School Junior Civitan.

Silver Valley has presented the Distinguished School Citizen Award and the Distinguished Citizenship Award.

Donations are presented each year to Silver Valley Elementary School and Boys & Girls Homes of North Carolina. The club supports the North Carolina District West Drug Awareness Project, an activity booklet available to each kindergarten students in public and charter school in the state.

Families are assisted with donations to home delivered meals, the South Davidson Family Resource Center and through an emergency fund for local families in need.

The Silver Valley Civitan typically meets at 7 p.m. the second and fourth Monday at New Jerusalem United Church of Christ.


Thank you to Don Osborne and Gary Arnold who compiled information for this story.