Local Sertoma club marks 50th anniversary

The Jackson County Sertoma Club celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, marking the organization’s continued commitment to volunteer service to mankind, charitable support and community leadership.

Known to thousands of young children over the years as the Christmas Miracle folks, the club also provides scholarships to graduating seniors of area high schools and assists with hearing aids for children in need. The club also has helped fund speech therapy, made a multi-year donation toward the construction of the Don and Dana Myers Center and done other important work in Jackson County.

The club raises money for these projects and others, such as the Freedom Essay Contest, through the sale of official Seymour Oktoberfest steins and other fundraisers, all of which are supported through the generous donations and people across Jackson County.

“Without community support, our work could not get done,” club President Ryan Begley said.

The club is part of the national Sertoma Inc. family of local civic service clubs. A thriving nonprofit service organization that has been in existence for more than a century, Sertoma Inc. is dedicated to improving the quality of life for those at risk or impacted by hearing loss through education and support.

The local club was chartered March 11, 1972, in Seymour with members from across the county. The Jackson County Sertoma Club has lived out Sertoma’s focus on speech and hearing needs over its 50 years of existence. In the past, it helped fund speech therapy at Schneck Medical Center and continues to help provide hearing aids for hearing-impaired children.

The club established the Jackson County Sertoma Club Hearing Aid Endowment, which provides an annual grant to the Jackson County Hearing Aid Fund for School Age Children. Both funds are administered by the Community Foundation of Jackson County and can accept gifts from anyone to help grow their impact.

Another keynote project is the club’s annual Sertoma Christmas Miracle, which provides toys to hundreds of children 12 and younger.

“Partnering with donors and volunteers to deliver thousands and thousands of toys on Christmas Eve morning over the past 40-plus years, Christmas Miracle is truly a community project,” Sertoman John Fox said. “From our generous donors to our dedicated volunteers, they make the Sertoma Christmas Miracle happen.”

This type of work is common throughout the nation where Sertoma clubs thrive, said Sertoma Inc. President John Kelly.

“Sertomans throughout the United States are dedicated to creating communities that serve the needs of many,” Kelly said. “Without the work of local clubs like the Jackson County Sertoma Club, so much of what we do would not be possible.”

To learn more about the club, send an email to [email protected] or call and leave a message at 812-498-2275.

The Jackson County Sertoma Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at Schwätzer’s German Restaurant, 113 Indianapolis Ave., Seymour.