Asking for Warren countians to answer their call to service, McMinnville Noon Exchange Club held its annual awards and installation banquet Tuesday night.
“It’s easy to become overwhelmed with a sense of helplessness when faced with big problems that affect the world, troubles too complicated for one person to overcome,” declared McMinnville Noon Exchange president Dr. Karla Addesso moments after being sworn in to office. “But here together there are things we can do to make a difference. We can help the people in our community. That’s the mission of Exchange, to make our communities better places to live.”
The Noon Exchange Club has been active in the community since chartering in 1992. The goal of the National Exchange Club is the prevention of child abuse. The local club conducted 52 service projects last year, earning it the E.W. Sprague Award as best club in the three-state district. Projects run the gamut from collection drives to help the food bank, Families in Crisis, Children’s Advocacy Center and Meals on Wheels to organizing the first ever Salute to Veterans at Park Theater this past year and holding its annual Christmas Party for underprivileged children.
“I believe in Exchange,” said outgoing president Ashley Wright. “I believe in our vision which is for a strong America, safe communities and unified people. It doesn’t always mean being the loudest, the smartest, the bravest, the richest or the one with all the answers.”
As part of its annual banquet, the club conferred awards including its scholarship which was given to Karrie Fischer. The scholarship is issued to a member of the Excel Club each year. Excel is a high school Exchange Club which does service work just like its big brother club.
The club also honored a Youth of the Year in Victoria England. She was cited for her work in beginning the Imagination Center at Warren County Jail. It is a library for the families of inmates there, mainly geared toward children to give them activities to do while visiting their loved ones at the jail. England earned the Girl Scout Gold Award thanks to her project. Noon Exchange helped with her book drive after she spoke to the organization last year about her plans. The club also honored its own, conferring the Exchangite of the Year Award to treasurer Zac Sain.