Civic organizations add significantly to the quality of life in a city. They provide fellowship opportunities beyond our own immediate families and provide a portion of the safety net to assist our neighbors in need.

Last week, I had the privilege of attending the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Warrensburg Kiwanis Club, of which my father is a charter member. He and three other charter members were honored for 50 years of perfect attendance. As a member of several local civic organizations, including Rotary, Kiwanis, Masons, and Ararat Shrine, I cannot imagine accomplishing perfect attendance for a single year let alone 50, as my friends in both Blue Springs Kiwanis and Rotary will attest! I am proud of my father and his friends for their accomplishment and service to their community for so many years. Warrensburg is a better place because of their involvement and commitment.

Sometimes, as we go about our busy lives, we lose sight of those in need in our community. As we gather in our homes with friends and families this week and give thanks for our many blessings, we must also remember those among us less fortunate. I encourage each of you to get involved with a civic organization, church or local non-profit agency. The camaraderie that emerges as we get involved in community activities allows us to extend beyond our own personal lives, meet new people and make new friendships while we provide service to our neighbors.

There are many opportunities in Blue Springs to get involved. As you drive through the Chicago Street Lights display this season, think about the volunteers at the end, giving out candy canes at the donation barrels. When the Holiday Express Santa Train rolls into town, local volunteers from the Chamber of Commerce, Parks and Recreation and our downtown merchants provide hot chocolate, popcorn and crafts for the kids. The Spirit of Caring concert will provide funds to Community Services League to help families right here in Blue Springs. There are so many opportunities for you to get involved and make a difference in our community. It takes the efforts of all of our citizens working together to positively impact the lives of our neighbors.

I challenge each of you to find at least one organization and volunteer a few hours of your time. So many good things are happening in our city, in spite of the current economic climate. If each of us will reach out and seek opportunities to get more involved, we will enrich each other’s lives and see our community continue to be one of the best in our nation.

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