March 19, 2011 5:47:00 PM
Jan Swoope - [email protected]
When Pilot Club of Columbus celebrates 70 years of service and friendship this week, no one will be more proud than Sara Noah. Nearing 90, Noah is the longest-tenured member of the civic club which was chartered Dec. 16, 1940.
Since joining in 1966, Noah has seen the launch of numerous projects, served the club in almost every capacity, and even served as district governor, as did three other club members, Ann Townsend, Marie Coggins and Linda Alderson.
"I remember I was honored when I was asked to join," Noah said. "It wasn''t a club that was clique-ish; everybody was everybody''s friend, and that impressed me."
An anniversary reception will be held March 26 at Broadacres United Methodist Church, 618 31st Ave. N., at 2 p.m. Members of the Mississippi District Administrative Council, along with local dignitaries and members of surrounding Pilot clubs, are invited to the special event.
Mission of service
Pilot Club''s mission is to further Pilot International''s humanitarian efforts through charitable, educational and research programs, with a specific vision of achieving awareness and prevention of brain-related disorders and disabilities.
"In line with International''s mission, members of the local club strive to improve the quality of life in our community through various civic events and projects," added club president Martha M. Rodgers, a 30-year member. "I have a great sense of pride in our accomplishments and involvement."
Lifeline, a home emergency response system for seniors and others at risk, has been the group''s signature project for three decades. Members install and service the approximately 135 units the club has placed in Lowndes, Monroe and Clay Counties.
Through rummage sales, a pancake breakfast and auctions, Pilot also funds other projects including the Sara P. Lawrence Memorial Scholarship to a student entering Mississippi University for Women, and sponsors the Anchor Club at Caledonia High School.
Members also assist with activities at the Ellisville State School in Columbus, support the R.I.D.E.S. therapeutic riding program in Caledonia, provide food baskets at Thanksgiving and Easter to those in need, assist serving meals at Trinity Retirement Center and ring the Salvation Army bells.
For 20 years, the club organized and directed the annual Columbus Christmas parade. It also organized three new clubs, in Starkville, West Point and Amory.
"We like working together," said Noah. "I just enjoy it so much. I''ll have 50 years in before long, and I plan to keep doing everything."
President-elect Jane Lee shared, "Pilot Club is near and dear to my heart and has been a part of my life for over 30 years. It''s very rewarding to me to be part of an organization that contributes to the community."
Pilot Club, which is open to business women and men, meets monthly. For more information, contact Lee at 662-574-7169.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.