There may not be tomorrow, but there is today.
— Chuck Fletcher
By Philip Case
Chuck Fletcher has a straightforward objective: “to touch a life each day through my mentoring, actions and life.”
Making the objective become a reality is another matter that requires time, focus and dedication — in short, a lot of work.
But Fletcher, a Frankfort resident, doesn’t mind putting forth the effort to help identify people who have needs in the community and then to marshal the forces necessary to meet those needs.
“There are so many needs in our community and people who need help,” Fletcher said. “Getting the people who need help with those who can provide that help is what’s important.”
Fletcher, a management information consultant with the Kentucky Department of Education, has served in a variety of capacities with Kiwanis International, on the local, state and national levels, and in various positions with teachers’ organizations and teacher retirement.
He served for 32 years, mostly in Anderson County, as a teacher and administrator.
“Every day is important,” said Fletcher, 65. “It’s a blessing just to put your feet on the floor and think, ‘What’s in store for today?’ Then you go out and do the best you can and maybe you can change something for the better.”
Fletcher is president of a new Kiwanis club in Lawrenceburg. “We’re up to 13 members now and are growing and building slowly.”
He’s been president of the Kiwanis Club of Frankfort and is on the board of Frankfort Regional Medical Center. The number of offices he’s held in the Kentucky-Tennessee District of Kiwanis is long.
“I think you get people involved in service clubs and with service opportunities not by talking about what your group is doing but by showing them,” he said. “I like to invite a prospective club member to go with me to a service project, not just invite them to come eat a free meal with the club.”
While membership is generally down in service clubs and volunteer organizations, Fletcher has found that those who are participating want to do something.
“When I was governor of District 10 of Kiwanis that encompasses Kentucky and Tennessee,” he said, “I tried to convince them to get excited and take that excitement to their clubs to share what’s going on.
“Excitement is contagious, and when people see you care and you believe in what you are doing, then they get excited. You have to care about people and communities.
“The year I was governor, ours was the only district in Kiwanis that grew.”
He says the key to getting people involved in anything is to invite, encourage and work in the community. He believes current volunteers need to be challenged to get them interested, make it fun for them so they will come back.
A new law recently went into effect that is impacting what non-profit organizations can give back to the community.
“We all now have to pay taxes on money we raise, especially if we sell tickets for something,” Fletcher said. “That really hurts our efforts.”
Fletcher is also a member of the Franklin County School Board, where his overriding concern is what’s best for the kids.
“I think if you get on the school board you need to come with that interest rather than some agenda,” Fletcher said. “Doing the best we can for kids from the time they enter school until they graduate is what we should be about.”
Turning philosophical, Fletcher says we all need to practice love. “Educate people, ‘who am I’ and ‘who are you.’ I want to know you and for you to know me.
“I can’t stand the word hatred.”
Fletcher says he tries to live like “there may not be tomorrow, but there is today.”