By Frank Lewis
It doesn’t take long to find out who the most important people in Tracy Ison’s life are. They are her children – 22-year-old Sean, 21-year-old Shelby, and her one-year-old granddaughter Laylan.
“They are my life,” Ison beamed. “Both my children are going to college and Laylan is going anywhere she wants – she’s the boss.”
As if having an active family life and a full time job were not enough, now Ison is taking on the duties of president of the Lucasville Kiwanis Club despite only being a member for a year.
“I went to the Indianapolis conference (of Kiwanis) and I have been real eager to learn, and so they just said – ‘why don’t you just try being president?’” Ison said. “So I said, ‘okay.’”
Ison said the president she succeeded, Angela Castle, is going to be the assistant lieutenant governor of Kiwanis. Castle inspired the local chapter with a monumental goal last year.
“Angela’s dream was because Kiwanis was a hundred years old this year, we were going to do a hundred projects,” Ison said. “We do three to four every month, so we were going to have to expand ourselves and we did really well.”
Ison said the organization, consisting of only 17 members, had some small and some large projects, but when the smoke cleared, they had completed the 100 projects. She credits the club’s secretary, Leanne Allen and treasurer Gary Crandall for their continuous input in helping the club succeed.
Lucasville Kiwanis meets twice a month, every other Monday, from 6-7:30 p.m.
“We had an ice cream social with one of the churches in Lucasville,” Ison said. “We stuffed shoeboxes for Christmas, or it might be something like having a guest speaker to bring us up to date on what’s going on in our area and to give us some pointers on what we can do to be a help in the community. We also give donations to some of them who need help.”
The focus of Kiwanis International is on projects to benefit children in the local community.
“My goal is, not a hundred projects, we are going to expand,” Ison said. “We are a great group. We can get a lot of stuff done. We work really well together. But my goal is to make us grow. We need more members. We have a lot of kids to take care of. We have Clay, Northwest, Lucasville and Minford kids that we take care of and we need some more members.”
One of the things she is passionate about is having bike rodeos.
“I’ve done those with Boy Scouts and we had a blast,” Ison said. “So we want to do a bike rodeo but that takes a lot of manpower. So we were talking to a local church in Lucasville and he had had the same idea. So I think we’re going to try to partner together and have our first rodeo down there in Lucasville, but I would eventually like to have it in another location also and maybe have two a year.”
Ison shared that she is attempting to garner some bicycle helmets so that every participant will have one.
“That’s becoming more difficult than I thought,” Ison said.
Ison said she has had no trouble balancing her time among her family, her job and Kiwanis.
“Before I became an actual member of Lucasville Kiwanis I had helped for years on the Easter Egg Hunt and the spaghetti dinner, which are our two biggest projects of the year,” Ison said. “So I always kind of worked behind the scenes in Lucasville and this year I got the opportunity to join, so I did.”
Ison does not hide her inspiration for being active in the Lucasville Kiwanis.
“Doing the projects is not that hard because you are so eager to see those kids smile, that you just make time,” Ison said.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis