Of all the many activities the Civitans have persued since their establishment in 1947, perhaps the most meaningful one was Toys-For-Kids Christmas Cheer program for needy area children. Organized by Willis Fisher and Jake Shocket, the Civitans collected used toys from the community, reconditioned and repaired them and gave them away to children who were not going to have much of a Christmas. The entire club participated and distributed them based on recommendations from community clergy and other leaders.
Beginning for Christmas, 1952 and continuing until the late 1960s, the program gradually expanded to include used clothing and basic foodstuffs. Many of their projects were award winners in state Civitan competitions but this particular project had more positive impact that just about any other they did. Until the day he died, Jake Shocket pointed to this Toys-For-Kids Christmas Cheer program as the most satisfying that he participated in while a Civitan.
From 1952 or 1953, the Fairmont Civitan Club prepare their Christmas Cheer program for needy children. Among those shown are Willis Fisher, Malcolm Andrews, Armon Jenkins, Pitt Fisher, Larry Martin and Hansard Lewis. If you can identify others, please let us know so that we can update. Photo credit: Times-Messenger archive, used with permission.
The program remained strong as the years passed. Shown here in 1964 are Bill Burton, Boyd Ford, Dr. Pete Baucom, Guy Womble, Rusty Perry and Larry Floyd. The man in the hat behind Larry could be Bill Hough. Photo credit: Times-Messenger archive, used with permission.