Kyle’s Korner ….
It seems like the younger generation does not volunteer for civic organizations like in the past.
Aging members and lack of interest have contributed to the decline of these important groups.
Most civic clubs in Williamson and the Tug Valley area have dwindled down to where membership is almost non-existent. In years past, the Williamson Kiwanis, Rotary and Lions Clubs were huge. The membership was high and the groups were able to do a lot of great charitable works.
The civic clubs are not the only organizations that are effected. The Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce does not have the membership or attendance at its meetings like in the past.
Clubs like the Elks have diminished memberships. The BPOE 1408 in Williamson is struggling to keep their doors open. The Moose Club was once a popular spot for locals to congregate and eat lunch and dinner. Now that building no longer stands and the club is a past memory.
These organizations used to sponsor local youth sports teams and make other donations to non-profit groups like the Tug Valley Arts Council (TVAC). The TVAC has also fought the past few years to bring in quality entertainment, but they still do. Unfortunately, the attendance for some of their shows has not been very good. (The loss of the Rose G. Smith Theater at the old Williamson High School has affected the attendance.)
For whatever reason, it seems as though that many in the younger generation do not have a sense of volunteerism or community pride.
Most of the local clubs have an older membership and they can’t physically or financially do the things they did in the past.
Yet, there are few younger adults stepping in to take the reins of these important organizations.
There is no simple solution. Williamson and many other communities in the Tug Valley have lost population and many of our good, young adults have had to move away to find jobs.
All that can be done is to try to encourage the teenagers and young adults to step in and join these civic clubs and other organizations to try to make a difference in their communities.
If not – we may soon lose many of our charitable organizations.
(Kyle Lovern is the Managing Editor for the Civitas Media Mountain District including the Williamson Daily News and Logan Banner. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)