Morrison sworn in as new President of Richmond Heights Kiwanis; Club is looking for members who want to help young people

RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Ohio – William L. Morrison, Jr. was sworn in as the new President of the Richmond Heights Kiwanis Club on October 7th with a mission to increase membership and continue to work to serve young people and local organizations who help others .

Morrison was a Newburgh Heights police officer from 1990 to 2007 and it took some persuasion to become a Kiwanian. After serving with the NHPD, he served for the next eight years as the chief security bailiff of the Garfield Heights Municipal Court. While working for the court, Morrison received a good-natured nudge to become a Kiwanian. “Judge Deborah J. Nicastro followed me for three years to come to Kiwanis,” he said. “So I joined the Independence (one of the communities the court serves) Kiwanis.”

When Morison and his wife Benita – parents of four children and grandparents of seven – were looking for a ranch-style home in 2017, they moved from Cleveland to Richmond Heights. Morrison, who enjoys his work with the Independence Kiwanis, decided to join the Richmond Heights Kiwanis Club in 2018 while continuing to remain a member of the Independence Club. In retrospect, Morrison is happy to have followed the judge’s advice.

“The organization is amazing,” he said of Kiwanis. “What I like most about it is our ‘one child at a time’ motto, which means that we strive to serve children.”

Although Kiwanis is an international organization that operates in more than 80 countries, each club has local projects. The Richmond Heights Kiwanis Club hosts fundraising drives to raise funds for scholarships for young people and to donate to organizations such as the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, Ronald McDonald House, and two dozen others. In 2020, Richmond Heights Kiwanis awarded four scholarships to students who lived in the city.

As the club’s new president, Morrison plans to meet soon with students from Brush High School who have signed up for the school’s Key Club, a type of junior Kiwanis club. Richmond Heights Kiwanis Club members educate Key Club students about business, support students with fundraising projects, and show them how to make a positive contribution to society. Morrison also hopes to meet with Richmond Heights High School staff soon to revive the Key Club that once existed at the school.

“My main concern,” he said of the immediate future, “is membership.” The Richmond Heights Club currently has 23 contributing members (at $ 120 per year), of whom 12 are active members. The club meets on Thursdays from 6pm to 8pm at Kiwanis Lodge, 27285 Highland Road, in Richmond Heights Community Park.

“Anyone who wants to become a member can just show up for a meeting every Thursday at 6:30 pm,” he said. “Our expectations (from members) are only to have ideas to help young people.” Members do not have to live in Richmond Heights.

The Richmond Heights Kiwanis Club has a long history in the city. It was founded in 1962 and built the lodge that is now owned by the city and serves as the main venue / venue for Richmond Heights. It recently reopened after an extensive renovation.

Current members of the club include Mayor David Roche and District Councilor 2 Frank Lentine. Lentine introduced 71-year-old Morrison as the club’s new president during the Richmond Heights City Council meeting on October 12th.

“Kiwanis has played a large, active role in the city of Richmond Heights for several years,” Lentine told his fellow councilors, “and we are not going to give in with our activities now. (Morrison) has some great ideas for our leadership.

“He will be a great guy for us and we look forward to his leadership.”

The next day, Morrison said, “We work well with the City of Richmond Heights and they have helped us a lot. Without them there would be no (local) Kiwanis per se. “

When asked what he experienced as a Kiwanian and what new members might feel, Morrison said, “Fellowship and a good feeling that I have helped the community.”

You can find more news about Sun Messenger here.