The life of a Civitan | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | November 5, 2016 5:00 am
Last Updated: November 2, 2016 at 12:44 pm
Arnold Zipperer remembers his 36-year tenure as a member of the Walterboro Citivans.
By GEORGE SALSBERRY
Arnold Zipperer didn’t know much about the Civitans when he decided to join in 1980.
As the club members met last week to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the international charitable organization, Zipperer was celebrating his 36 years as a member.
“I think I have got the oldest membership,” Zipperer said of his association with the local club. “But I am not the oldest member.”
When he ponders his time with the club, Zipperer said he often finds it surprising to realize he has accumulated that many years as a Civitan. “Time flies when you’re having fun.”
Back in 1980, he joined the club without knowing much about it. “I knew the president at that time, my brother-in-law Billy Hamilton,” Zipperer explained. “That was the connection.”
Joining the Civitans came at a time when his life was changing. “I had gotten married in 1980, and I went to work at First Federal in 1979.
“I’ve enjoyed it. The club, like any other, has its ups and downs,” Zipperer said. Membership is always a concern in a small community, he said.
2016 is an up year for the club. “We are really on a roll. Donald Davis is very organized and has helped this club mature. He has gotten speakers for every meeting, and he is taking care of business,” Zipperer offered.
The Civitans had six new members join this year. “We need to take this momentum and build on it,” Zipperer said.
That new blood, he added, is a plus for the club’s major fundraiser, as it means more workers for the Civitan’s Big Bowl of Rice, a mainstay of the Colleton County Rice Festival. “It is a good project for members. Everyone can participate.”
Over the years, Zipperer said, the club members have the task of preparing the rice down to a science. “We know what we have to do, how much to order,” Zipperer said. The only uncertainty, he added is how much and when to cook. “You don’t cook too much if it is likely to rain. It used to be that Saturday was the big day for cooking rice; lately, the big crowds have been on Rice Festival Friday.”
The funds generated by the rice bowl sales, go to the club’s efforts to assist special needs children and people with physical or mental challenges. “I feel good about that,” Zipperer said. “I always want us to do more, to keep plugging away and trying to do more for the community.”
“I’m just proud to be a Civitan,” Zipperer said, “and if anyone has any interest, come to meeting or call me or Donald Davis.”