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‘Active’ local group gets new lease on life

DOBSON — The Aktion Club at Surry Community College faced a dilemma when its parent organization, the Mount Airy Kiwanis Club, recently faded from the local civic scene due to dwindling membership partly caused by the pandemic.

This left the Aktion group — the only service club for adults with disabilities — needing a new sponsor in order to meet organizational requirements and ensure its continued operation after being chartered in 2011.

Even though it is not based in Surry County, but a city about 35 miles away, Winston-Salem, another group came to the rescue.

“Twin City Kiwanis took us under their wing so we could continue to be chartered,” Diane Barnett, an instructor at Surry Community College who is the adviser to the Aktion Club, happily reported this week.

Failing to do so would have been a blow to area charitable programs and citizens the Aktion Club has aided over the years through numerous community service projects.

Despite suffering from conditions such as autism, Down syndrome, birth defects and others, its members have taken an active role — as the group’s name implies — through projects to help feed the area’s hungry year-round.

This most recently involved Kiwanis Aktion Club members partnering with Lowes Foods in Mount Airy to assemble bags of food for a “Friends Feeding Friends” holiday drive. The bags went to the food pantry of Yokefellow Ministry for distribution to those in need.

About 1,000 bags, or 7,000 pounds, of items were prepared by the club on top of other efforts over the years. These have included a summer feeding program that fills a void for local youth in the absence of school lunches.

The Aktion Club, which had 15 members at last report, also has conducted fundraisers to provide donations to local charities.

Upcoming fundraising events

As the new sponsor of the SCC Aktion group, the Twin City Kiwanis Club will host PanJam ’23, the club’s 63rd Pancake Jamboree, on Feb. 24 at Benton Convention Center (lower level), 301 W. 5th St., in Winston-Salem.

Club members will serve all-you-care-to-eat pancakes, sausage and a beverage from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. continuously that day.

Tickets, available at the door, are priced at $9 for adults and $4 for children 12 and under, with takeouts to be available.

Proceeds from the event, the club’s only fundraiser, benefit local, nonprofit youth charities and one in Vietnam. PanJam is one of Winston-Salem’s oldest non-profit fundraisers. It was cancelled the past two years because of the pandemic

Radio station WTOB (980 AM) will broadcast live at PanJam ’23.

In addition to the Winston-Salem event, Barnett, the Aktion Club sponsor, announced that the group will be the beneficiary of proceeds for dining at 13 Bones in Mount Airy on March 2.

All day and evening, including at the restaurant’s drive-through window, customers only need to inform a waitress that they are dining for the Aktion Club and 10 percent of their bill sums will go to the group, according to Barnett.



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