Noon Exchange Club installs officers, donates $15,000 to local organizations
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Copperas Cove Noon Exchange Club installed its new officers for 2019-2020 and distributed $15,000 to local organizations during its installation dinner held at the Shilo Inn & Suites Thursday evening.
The funds came from fundraising efforts such as the Noon Exchange Club’s annual MayFest and went to five organizations who work to prevent child abuse, which is the mission of the Exchange Club.
The first organization, AWARE Central Texas, received a check for $1,500. Executive Director Misti Biddick was joined at the dinner by half of the center’s staff. Biddick shared how the money would help the center, which is one of three nationally recognized CAP (Child Abuse Prevention) Centers through the National Exchange Foundation in the state of Texas.
Last year, the National Exchange Club allowed the organization to send a staff member to be trained in “Darkness to Light” curriculum which trains community members on how to recognize, report and react to child sexual abuse and other forms of abuse.
Biddick shared that Thursday’s donation would go towards sending another staff member to go through the training to expand the program in the community.
AWARE also offers free parenting classes and juvenile intervention classes.
The Noon Exchange Club also gave $1,500 to Rita Burgess, with the Coryell County Rainbow Room, a 24-hour volunteer-run resource center located in the Child Protective Services Office and filled with items caseworkers can take to help make the transition of children from their home to their next place easier. These items range from clothes and shoes to beds and mattresses and car seats.
Hope Pregnancy Center received $3,000. Director Anna Leach shared that the Center has been blessed with many donations this year and that this donation from the Noon Exchange Club will go towards providing free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, parenting classes and Shaken Baby Syndrome classes. The Center also provides supplies to parents for the first year of their child’s life.
“We just want to give that mother and child as much as they can possibly get,” Leach said.
The Cove House received a donation of $4,000, which was accepted by Executive Director Brian Hawkins and Chairman of the Board Kevin Keller.
The Cove House has four facilities- two family houses, a women’s shelter and a men’s shelter.
Hawkins said that this money would be used to support the families at the shelter. In 2017, the demand for family housing got so high that the Cove House dedicated all four housing units to be used by families with children for three months, he said.
Currently, there are two families in the family units and more families waiting behind them.
“We appreciate these funds, and we take care of a lot of kids with them,” Hawkins said.
Communities In Schools received a donation of $5,000. Executive Director Michael Dewees explained that the organization is a dropout prevention organization that partners with Copperas Cove ISD. Each campus has a site coordinator who provides academic, behavioral and social services to at-risk children and their families. The money will go towards the site coordinators’ campus budgets that they use to help serve children, by purchasing school supplies, clothing, shoes, jackets and more.
“We could not do this without the support of the community,” Dewees said.
The Noon Exchange Club also swore in their 2019-2020 officers and Board of Directors at Thursday’s dinner. The 2018-2019 District President Larry Holly swore in board members Angela Fields, Janet Johnson, Marsha Siler, Second-Year Officers Laura Jordan and Paul Inman, Sandy Blount as treasurer, Ira Brand as past president, Mike Blount as president-elect and Brian Hawkins as president.
“It’s a humbling responsibility when you come in between the two men that I’m coming in between, the years of experience in this club and dedication to it, and I just hope that I can do half the job that they’ve done over the years so we continue to see this club grow and move forward,” Hawkins said following the installation of officers.
The Noon Exchange Club of Copperas Cove also recognized Laura Jordan as the club’s Exchangite of the Year.
Jordan has been with the club for two years. Inman said Jordan “hit the ground running.”
“She rolls her sleeves up, gets involved, and it’s recognized and noticed, so we really appreciate her efforts,” Inman said.
Jordan thanked the club for the award.
“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate being able to work with all of y’all and then getting the opportunity to do the things I do,” Jordan said. “I am blessed to be in the position to have the timing to do the things I want to do. I know there are a lot of people who wish they could do that.”