on a (gear) stick
fish bus delivers to
locals more than just lunch
proceeds to local charities
Helen E. McKinney
LA GRANGE, Ky. (December 2004) The Kiwanis
Club has a long history in Oldham County. Residents have become accustomed
to seeing the clubs bright blue Fish Bus parked on the corner
lot beside the public library for the past 40 years.
The bus is run by volunteers who over the years have donated their time
and talents to serving the community. Current president Jerry King joined
after retiring from the service in 1992 and said that to become a member,
individuals must be nominated by an existing member.
by Don Ward
Fish Bus serves lunch for a
good cause twice a month in La Grange.
Kings father-in-law, Tom Moock, has been a member
since he moved to La Grange. Around 1965 a neighbor asked him to join
the club. In his late 20s, Moock had never belonged to anything
before, he said.
Belonging to the club requires a lot of work, said Moock.
The club meets every Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Oldham County Fairgrounds.
Were the only club in the district with our own building,
In the past, members moved from restaurant to restaurant to hold meetings.
The railroad donated property on which to build a clubhouse, said Moock.
But certain members objected to this plan, and after tabling the idea
for a time, a space became available at the Oldham County Fairgrounds.
For $35,000, a permanent building was constructed, said Moock. Members
did all of the inside plumbing and electrical work themselves on the
clubhouse, located at 2505 W. Hwy. 146.
But volunteering is not something new to members of the Kiwanis Club.
We are strictly a volunteer group, said King. Every member
must participate in fund raisers. All money goes to charities,
The group is responsible for chartering the sponsorship of Little League
Teams in Oldham County, hosting an annual Easter Egg Hunt and providing
10-15 families in need with food baskets and groceries during the holidays.
Members will tackle any project big or small to do anything to
benefit children, said King. This includes assisting the American
Red Cross, Salvation Army, Boy and Girl Scout troops, and buying eyeglasses
and clothes for elementary aged children.
The Kiwanis Club has donated to almost everything that comes along,
said Moock. We dont have one special project that we do.
The club even donated labor and money to establish a rescue squad in
Oldham County in the mid-70s. A sense of satisfaction in knowing they
have helped someone in need, spurs members on to the next project.
The term, Kiwanis, is derived from an expression in an American Indian
language of the Detroit area. Nunc kee-wanis means we
trade or we share our talents.
Kiwanis International was founded on January 21, 1915, in Detroit and
is now headquartered in Indianapolis. There are more than 8,600 Kiwanis
Clubs with nearly 300,000 members in 94 nations and geographical areas.
In a typical year, Kiwanis Clubs invest more than 6.2 million hours
of volunteer time, leaving a lasting impression on future generations.
In the 1960s, some civic-minded men in Oldham County held fish fries
to benefit the Catholic Church and school, said Moock. It was decided
they should move onto the bus and continue what they were doing. The
reins were handed over to the Kiwanis Club, and they have been frying
and selling fish ever since.
What began as a mens club changed direction in 1987. After several
years debate, womens membership was approved. Kings wife,
Candy, is the clubs treasurer, and his daughter is also a member,
marking three generations of family involvement.
Moock has had the honor of holding the position of Lieutenant Governor
of the club twice, once in 1977 and again in 2001. This position governs
the Louisville district, which includes Elizabethtown, Shepherdsville,
Shelbyville and Carrollton.
At the time, 16 clubs were in existence but have since been consolidated
into 11. Moocks duties as Lieutenant Governor included scoring
and tallying donated hours, keeping a record of members attending meetings,
and keeping track of money. The club was in the top three at the end
of the year, said Moock.
It was a full-time job, he said. It was required that he
attend a certain number of meetings in his district a year, which averaged
out to 100 dinners a year.
The Fish Bus is parked in La Grange on the first and third weekend of
every month. This is the fourth bus for the Kiwanis Club. They generally
last about 10 years. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. every Friday and
from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
For more information, contact King at (502)
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