A Spotlight on the Wayne Co. Civitan Club

Ms. Myrtle Harvey (right) at the age of 97 joining her local Civitan Club. She was welcomed by club President, Marla Beavers (left).

Chartered on July 22, 1991, the work toward building the Wayne County Civitan Club started months before. With assistance from our Executive Director, Phil Garner, and other invested community members, the club quickly became an active force in our Wayne County community—with a mission to raise awareness and supports for people with disabilities.

Mr. Garner recounting the first time he attended a Civitan meeting in North Alabama said, “I listened as the members asked questions regarding [a] presentation about the [local] band program. And after the dinner and presentation were finished, they begin to handle the club’s business. One item caught my ear. The club had made a substantial donation to the Allen Thornton Career Technical Center in Lauderdale county to buy computers. This school at the time worked with special needs students. Of course, I was interested having only worked with Buffalo River Services for a couple of years, I was always on the look out for resources. Then the president began to explain that Civitan International had a focus on helping people with disabilities and especially intellectual disabilities. He talked about the Civitan Research Center some. I decided right then and there that Wayne County needed a club like that.

I went back to work and started the process of trying to find out who would be the resource for getting a club started. I was eventually put in touch with a fellow named Charlie Baker. He was a dynamo. He had so much optimism over the idea of starting a new club that it made me wonder what I had gotten myself into. I don’t remember all the conversations that we had but I do remember that I asked him what do we do first. Charlie said, “plan and have a meeting!” To which I replied and “who is going to attend?”. Charlie said “advertise and see what happens!”

So that is what he did, and it wasn’t long before the club was taking off and contributing in myriad of ways in the community. Throughout the club’s 27 year history, they have participated in numerous annual fundraising events, charities, and volunteer projects. They specifically have assisted Buffalo River Services, Inc. in very noticeable ways. First, they annually raise funds to purchase Christmas gifts for all of the Wayne County residents—many of whom who do not have family members to support them throughout the holiday season. They also have been inclusive in getting some of those we support to serve in the club as well. Bobby Brown has been a member for years—and most often out sells all of the other club members when doing fundraising. Ms. Myrtle Harvey has most recently joined to volunteer. Considering that she has decided to do this at the age of 97 is nothing short of AMAZING!

We want to encourage you, if you have not already, to become familiar with the Wayne County Civitan Club! There are many opportunities for you to support them each year. If you would like more information on assisting the club, or if you are interested in joining, contact the Club President, Marla Beavers, at

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