The Durant Kiwanis Club held its annual recognition banquet and installation of officers on Thursday night. The event was held in the Black Box Theater Room in the Durant Public Library.
The banquet began at 6:30 p.m. and ended at 8:30 p.m. The event opened with dinner and musical entertainment Dr. Tristan Eggener and Jessica Black.
After entertainment, group singing and recognizing new members, awards and recognitions were given. A variety of Kiwanis members gave recognition for service to Kiwanis and the community.
Kiwanis President Barbara O’Steen gave a special award to Max McClendon for his 47 years of service with the Kiwanis without missing a meeting.
McClendon Joined the Kiwanis in 1965 and served as president in 1972. He also started the first Kiwanis Easter egg hunt.
John Bates was honored by Kiwanis and retiring Sheriff Bill Sturch as Law Officer of the year.
Sturch said that “you always remember the people you ask to do something and they don’t.” According to Sturch, Bates is the kind of person that when asked to do something he does it.
Layperson of the year was awarded to Robert Howard. Layperson of the year goes to a member who is not part of the clergy at any church but has made an impact in both Kiwanis and the respective church.
Kiwanis member Kevin Dale said that each year, the club recognizes a person who distinguishes themselves on a spiritual level.
He said that Howard has done this during his eight years with the Kiwanis. Howard is also on the Board of Directors for the Kiwanis Club of Durant.
Kiwanian of the year for 2012 is Darrell Mendez. Among other activities, Mendez acts as a Boy Scouts leader.
“I can’t think of a better role model for these young men.” said Betty Clay before giving Mendez his award.
Mendez said that he was very blessed and that the Kiwanis Club gives each member the opportunity to help and give back to the community.
After a short speech from the 2011-2012 President Barbara O’Steen, the installation of the 2012-2013 officers began.
O’Steen said that when she was selected for president, she felt both privileged and worried about making the right decisions. “I promise to give our new president all the help that I can” she said.
The officer installation began with the new president, Chris Pierce.
Greg Clay said “he has been an incredible servant to this community.”
Pierce was selected to Kiwanian of the year in 2007 and served as President Elect for the 2011-2012 year.
Other officers are, Barbara O’Steen: Immediate Past President, Darrell Mendez: President Elect, Betty Clay: Secretary and Jeff Shattuck: Treasurer.