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Kiwanis Club distributes flags to benefit special needs picnic

A tradition started years ago by Dean Blevins continues to hold firm to this day.
Members of the Elizabethton Kiwanis Club were out in full force during the morning hours of the Fourth of July distributing flags to area businesses that participate in the annual holiday fundraiser.
Scattered throughout downtown Elizabethton and other portions of the community, flags are placed in front of businesses as a way to celebrate 10 different holidays during the year.
“We distribute these flags during each of the major holidays,” Kiwanian Bill Kyte said. “The money from the flags is used to benefit the special needs picnic.”
Kyte and fellow Kiwanian Tim Broyles explained the significance of the flag distribution, which originated from the now-defunct Civitan Club and championed by Blevins.
“Dean was with the Civitan Club, and they went out of business,” Broyles said. “Even though the were out of business, Dean was still doing this project.”
Kyte added that before the Kiwanis Club absorbed the project, Blevins would often go out by himself and distribute flags.
“I believe it generates around $3,000,” Broyles said. “He would take that money and use it for the special needs picnic.”
Kiwanis Club President said the decision came with ease for the organization to take over the project.
“Dean Blevins used the proceeds from the flag distribution to benefit the picnic,” LeVeau said. “When we took over the project, we wanted to make sure we took it over for him and benefited the picnic. This is a project we wanted to make sure that continues. That’s the purpose of the Kiwanis Club, to help the children of the community.”
Businesses can purchase a flag for the first year for a price of around $40. For each year of continuing the project, the company will receive the flag for $25. All proceeds go to benefit the upcoming picnic.
But along with the flag distribution, the Kiwanis Club delves into other fundraisers, including the annual pancake breakfast and chili suppers. The organization also sells ornaments with all proceeds going to benefit the various charities and nonprofit organizations in the community. Several groups profit from the Kiwanis Club, including the Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County, ARM Pantry, and the Imagination Library
The Kiwanis Club encourages looking to support the different initiatives to stop by their regularly scheduled meeting, which takes place each Tuesday at noon at Dino’s Restaurant.
“It’s easy to give money away,” Broyles said with a laugh Tuesday. “But events like this are where we raise our funds for the different children’s charities in the community. We appreciate all the support from the community.”
For more information visit the Elizabethton Kiwanis Club’s website at elizabethtonkiwanisclub.org or their Facebook page online.