Let’s have a birthday party.
That’s what Carl Boivin, president of the Kiwanis Club of Brownwood, thought as the club he leads approached its 96th birthday.
In honor of the birthday, the club had its monthly meeting Thursday in the board room of the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce, the former Harvey House — and the location where the club had its first official meeting in 1923.
Thursday’s meeting was mostly routine, except for the location — the club usually meets at the Brownwood Country Club — and a decorated cake. Boivin and others made several references to celebrating the club’s 96th birthday in its former home.
“This was our 96th year,” Boivin said. “I’ll be ending my presidency at the end of next month and I’ll be taking the rein of lieutenant governor. I’ve been studying some of the history of our club and I just thought ‘let’s have a birthday party.’
“This is where the first official meeting of the club happened. It was here at the Harvey House. It’s part of our foundation and when I found out this room was available, I said let’s see if we can get it.”
Boivin noted the club has served the youth of the community for 96 years, and “hopefully we’ll serve the youth for another 96 years,” Boivin said.
“Our mission is to change the world and a community one child at a time.”
Dion White, chief executive officer of the Center for Life Resources, presented the program and talked about the organization’s mission over the seven counties it serves — 13 including Early Childhood Intervention.
White said he’s been with Center for Life Resources since 2010, when there were 150 employees who served 3,000 people. There are currently around 240 employees who serve 4,500 in the seven counties, White said.
“So that’s huge growth and most of that was in the last couple of years,” White said. “For most businesses, growth is a good thing. In our growth, it just means there are that many more people who are hurting or needing help.”
Texas is ranked 49th in mental health funding, White said.
“It’s hard to summarize what we do, but at the end of the day we help people, whether they’re veterans, or people with a diagnosis of mental retardation … we have an autism program.”
White listed other services the center provides, saying his job is to “take care of everyone in this room. I work for you.” Cooperation among counties and between the center and law enforcement is “better now than it’s ever been and that’s because we’re all on the same page,” White said. “ We all have a common goal and that’s to make a difference in someone’s life.”