The Civitan Club of Fairfax is a member of the Chesapeake District of Civitan International. The Fairfax Club was chartered in April 1962. It has received numerous awards through the years, and is well known for its active participation in serving worthy organizations and projects in Northern Virginia, as well as for its leadership within the Chesapeake District.
Civitan International is an association of community service clubs. There are approximately 40,000 men, women, and young people in over 1000 Civitan and Junior Civitan clubs worldwide. While most Civitan Clubs are in the United States and in Canada, there are Clubs in over forty other nations in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Civitan International was started in 1917 by a group of men in Birmingham Alabama. The name Civitan is coined from the Latin work civitas, meaning “citizenship.” “Builders of Good Citizenship ” was a natural motto for the civic-minded group. Service, Knowledge, and Fellowship are three important emphases. And, of course, Civitans help People, and have fun doing it.
What exactly do Civitans do? Civitans have a focus on helping people with developmental disabilities and funding research into illnesses of the human brain at the Civitan International Research Center (CIRC–at the University of Alabama). Thus the Chesapeake District is a major financial contributor to CIRC, and our Fairfax Club also provides significant monies, raised through our various fund-raising projects (e.g. selling White House Christmas Ornaments). The Fairfax Club also contributes monies and/or volunteer support to small group homes and to special schools and projects. The Fairfax Club has helped start two “special” Civitan Clubs in the Northern Virginia area, clubs that are mainly comprised of developmentally disabled persons (the “Proud Hearts Club” at ServiceSource/Central Fairfax Services and the “Broadway Stars” associated with the MVLE organization).
Each Civitan Club is different. For example, besides our many projects involving the developmentally disabled, the Fairfax Club supports the Alzheimer’s Association, provides parties at Assisted Living and Low Income Senior Housing projects, cleans up one of Fairfax City’s Parks (adopt a spot), and sponsors high school students to a weekend Citizenship Retreat. Other “projects” combine service with fund-raising—with the funds all given away to worthy causes.
The Fairfax Club currently meets the first Thursday evening of each month at the ServiceSource building in Oakton for dinner, business, and a program, including some very interesting presenters. Also, every month, there is at least one service or fund-raising project. The Club is a mix of all kinds of people with varied backgrounds. They all share, however, the joy of serving their communities, and especially those with special needs.