Selma Exchange Club celebrates 95th year

Published 2:49 pm Saturday, May 28, 2016

A local civic club will be celebrating 95 years of service to the community next week.

The Selma Exchange Club will be having its anniversary celebration at Charlie’s Place, located on 1005 Water Ave., from 5-9 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1. The event is by invitation only.

“We’re definitely still an active group,” said district seven director Judy Friday.

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The club is part of a national organization that was originally formed in Detroit, Michigan, in 1911.

Throughout the country, the clubs give back to communities with scholarships, mentoring, serving the underprivileged and other ways. The main project of the organization, however, is the prevention of child abuse.

“When we raise money and stuff, that’s where our funds go,” Friday said. “We’ve got a couple of homes in Alabama where children can go when they’ve been having problems and all.”

The money is raised through annual barbecue events or bed sheet sales.

Local club president Kelly Sue Giampietro said the group hasn’t done a barbecue sale in the past two years because the bed sheet sales have been thriving.

Giampietro said the anniversary is quite the milestone for the group.

“It means the world for us,” Giampietro said.

Both national and state level club dignitaries are expected to join. Potential members have also been invited to meet the current group.

Giampietro hopes the meet-and-greet will spark up new memberships. She said the group’s membership, much like other longtime civic groups in the area, has been dwindling.

“We’ve lost a lot of civic groups in Selma, I would say, the last two to three years,” They’ve become so small and a lot of the younger people do not participate in civic clubs.”

Giampietro said the group currently has 18 members, but would prefer a group of at least 32 people.

“We need to bring youth into these civic groups,” Giampietro said.

The group meets every Wednesday at the St. James Hotel at 1 p.m.

“We could always use help in the things that we do,” Friday said.