Ox­ford Amitie Club dis­bands af­ter 63 years of com­mu­nity sup­port

The Covington News - - LOCAL - SAMANTHA REAR­DON news@cov­news.com

Grace Budd-Spradley picked up a yel­lowed packet of seeds la­beled “Mayflower” and turned it over in her hand.

“The seeds re­minded me of Mrs. McA­dory,” Budd-Spradley said. “I was just think­ing about how much she has taught us.”

Ami­tié means friend­ship. The Ox­ford Ami­tié Club took this word to de­fine them, and for 63 years served the com­mu­nity with kind­ness and aplomb.

On Tues­day, June 24, 2014 Budd-Spradley pre­sented Amitie’s re­main­ing bal­ance of $1,417 to Ros­alie Thomp­son of the Cov­ing­ton food pantry, which the club had sup­ported for decades.

The Ami­tié Club was or­ga­nized in 1951 with 18 mem­bers. Both Budd-Spradley and Ruth Bur­son are still char­tered mem­bers to­day.

The mother of four boys, Budd-Spradley said the club mainly or­ga­nized to spon­sor a Cub Scout group.

“That’s how we got in the busi­ness of try­ing to earn money,” she said. “We were cook­ing meals twice a month at the Lions Club and get­ting paid, and that’s how we sup­ported the clubs we were in­ter­ested in.”

For decades the Ami­tié Club would pre­pare and serve meals twice a month at the Lions Club’s meet­ings to earn money for the Cub Scouts. They stopped in 1978 to fo­cus ef­forts on the Cov­ing­ton Food Pantry and other projects.

Two weeks ago, the Ami­tié Club emp­tied a CD ac­count of $5,000 and do­nated all of it to the Lions Club.

“That’s why we do­nated that money,” Budd-Spradley said of the Lions Club do­na­tion. “Be­cause that’s what it was earned for. Of course, through the years we’ve had many other projects, but mainly for the Cub Scouts. We helped a lot of boys go through that pro­gram, and it’s very worth­while.”

The Ox­ford Lions Club spon­sors Boy Scout Troop 211, Cub Pack 211, Scout Crew 147 and the Amer­i­can Her­itage Girls.

“The Lions Club not only spon­sors the cubs, but the girls, boys and other youth groups,” Budd-Spradley said. “They’re very busy and very worth­while.”

Budd-Spradley be­lieves that both Ami­tié’s do­na­tions have gone to very wor­thy causes in the com­mu­nity, since they had been sup­port­ing both the pantry and the scouts for sev­eral years.

In ad­di­tion to these projects, the Ami­tié Club started a kinder­garten in Ox­ford in 1954, par­tic­i­pated in drives for the March of Dimes, Heart Fund and the Cancer Drive, and sup­ported the Men­tal Health As­so­ci­a­tion and vi­sion and hear­ing sur­veys/test­ing in lo­cal pub­lic schools. They have planted trees, do­nated benches and cleaned up trash on Emory Street to ful­fill the goals of their “Clean and Beau­ti­ful” project.

Their monthly meet­ing pro­gram read, “The ob­ject of this or­ga­ni­za­tion shall be to strengthen the civic, so­cial, moral, and spir­i­tual life of the com­mu­nity, to pro­mote projects and to meet the needs of the com­mu­nity, to unite the cit­i­zens of the com­mu­nity in a mu­tual trust and faith and to keep its mem­bers ap­prised of the day.”

But be­cause many mem­bers were get­ting older, and mem­ber­ship had fallen over the years, Budd-Spradley said the or­ga­ni­za­tion agreed to dis­band be­fore their usual July-Au­gust break be­tween meet­ings.

“I’ll miss it along with oth­ers,” Budd-Spradley said. “But it’s not as easy to have the pro­grams and sup­port projects like we used to. There’s more go­ing on in other places where people can sup­port. Ox­ford has been very for­tu­nate to sup­port projects and make this a nice place to live.”

Budd-Spradley turned over the seed packet again and said they had some very in­for­ma­tive pro­grams over the years, and learned a lot from each other.

“I hope the young people will step in and then be able to look back on the good they’ve done.”

Sub­mit­ted photo /The Cov­ing­ton News

Trea­surer Grace Budd-Spradley (right) hands a check of the Amitie Club’s re­main­ing bal­ance to Ros­alie Thomp­son (left), di­rec­tor of the Cov­ing­ton food pantry. The club had sup­ported the food pantry for many years.

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