A Greenbank couple will make Kiwanis history this weekend when they assume leadership roles within the international organization.
Ron Myers will become the first Whidbey man to serve as governor of the Pacific Northwest Region, an area encompassing several states, and his wife Linda Myers will become the first female president of Kiwanis of South Whidbey, an organization with roots that stretch back 48 years. Both will be sworn in a ceremony from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Freeland by the current governor.
The Kiwanis will also hand out $11,450 to community organizations at the ceremony, which marks the beginning of the Kiwanis year.
Linda Myers said she never imagined herself in the position, but decided to get out of her comfort zone to step up to serve the South End.
“It’s an honor, but it can be terrifying at times because we want to grow and continue helping kids on South Whidbey,” she said. “I decided to do it because I love kids and I love my community.”
The power couple has been involved with Kiwanis for nearly 10 years. They joined the volunteer organization to engage their passion for serving youth. The Myers spent their careers with youth in their community as teachers who retired from their roles before joining Kiwanis of South Whidbey. That passion has translated over to success within the organization, and Linda Myers said since they were both going to be so involved they might as well step into their respective positions.
“There is a simple answer to why I first joined and why I was open to the position,” Ron Myers said. “Because I can make a difference.”
As the new governor, he will preside over 8,200 Kiwanis members. The region is the second largest Kiwanis club in size for the 1.4 million square miles it covers from Oregon to Yukon to the Idaho panhandle. Internationally, the organization has clubs in 80 nations, raising nearly $100 million every year for communities, families and projects.
As he steps into his position, he wants to reemphasize the organization’s dedication to children and ensure the futures of programs such as the Key Club for high schoolers and “Aktion Club” for special education are ensured. But for him and Linda Myers, it’s not about the glory of the position, but the community service aspect of the roles.
“We feel giving back is a wonderful thing to do, and it hit Ron in the back of his mind that he could do something. He plunged into it and I rambled on behind and jumped in too,” Linda Myers said.