In 1918, the world was winding down from its first global conflict. The U.S. employment service opened as a unit of Dept. of Labor. Mississippi became the first state to ratify 18th amendment (prohibition). The first Tarzan movie was released by Hollywood. And a local fellow who would become well known in his community for decades of community service to different organizations, from the Shriners to the Crippled Children’s home, to the Community Fund and many other causes in southern West Virginia was born.
Odis Ratcliff will be celebrating his birthday soon and it will be a milestone. At a time when most men or women have settled into seclusive retirement, Ratcliff still serves his community as a volunteer, helping a number of organizations that help others by raising funds. Be it selling tickets to a fundraising event, or helping the Lions Club with a project, Ratcliff is still one of the most active community volunteers in Logan County.
“I will be turning 95 on January 31,” Ratcliff told friends recently at a meeting of the Lions Club of Logan, where he remains one of the local service group’s most active members. In fact, Ratcliff, who is the oldest member of the club — and still one of the most active — was signing the application form for the newest member, Kathy Guy. Guy herself is no stranger to community service and volunteerism and has been well known in her community for lending a helping hand to church and community functions. Earlier in the month, she was appointed to a committee in the City of Logan to work on removing dilapidated structures from the town. Guy will be inducted at a special ceremony later this year, noted longtime Lion Roger Perry.
“I know she will be a good member,” Ratcliff said at the Jan. 15 meeting at Gatti’s restaurant. At the meeting members discussed recent projects such as ringing the bells for the Salvation Army and other activities, some of which Ratcliff himself was in charge of, as well as plans for upcoming meetings. President Chuck Puckett said on Jan. 29, the new Salvation Army Lieutenant will be the scheduled speaker.
Club members also discussed proposed fundraising projects.
“We are self-sustaining, but we do need to do more fundraising,” Treasurer Tom Aguirre said. Ratcliff noted he would like to see the group increase the funds it spends each year on eyeglasses and eye exams for children and the needy. Members discussed different ideas, and Ken Nunley said the members could look at each person trying to come up with a feasible idea.
“Whatever we do, we need to go at it 100 percent and we will be successful,” Nunley added. Ratcliff agreed, noting that the club needed to be more aggressive and organized at events such as the annual rubber duck race fundraiser.