Exhibit Hall named for longtime member

Published 5:08 pm Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Greenville Kiwanis Club honored one of its own Monday night.

The club’s board and fair committee formally christened the Butler County Fairgrounds’ exhibit center as the James Peavy Kiwanis Exhibit Hall.

“This was a really big surprise,” said Peavy, who celebrated his 92nd birthday last week.

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Family and Kiwanis club members posed with the new sign – inscribed with the Kiwanis Club emblem and Peavy’s name – that will be hung at the entrance of the fairgrounds’ longtime exhibit hall.

Peavy said he has been a member of Kiwanis since the 1940s.

He has helped direct the annual Butler County Fair since 1985.

There’s little doubt Peavy has left enduring contributions to both Kiwanis and Butler County.

“Mr. James Peavy has been a real blessing to all of us,” said fellow club member and friend Allen Stephenson. “There’s no telling how many young people have received scholarships and money for college because of his efforts and the help he gave to Kiwanis.”

His involvement with Kiwanis was year-round, said daughter Merry Petitti.

She recalled Saturday mornings spent with her father walking up and down Commerce St. in Greenville.

“One of the first things we did for Kiwanis was to re-fill the gumball machines at all the businesses and then go home and roll the pennies,” said Petitti.

Health issues have forced Peavy into a wheelchair, but Stephenson said the 92-year-old’s mind is still as sharp as ever.

“His mind is a whole lot better than mine is right now,” said Stephenson.

Following the ceremony, Kiwanis members enjoyed a barbecue rib supper. The 54th Annual Butler County Fair opened on Tuesday night and will run through Saturday, Oct. 4. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. daily through Friday and at 1 p.m. Saturday.