The Kiwanis Club of Lebanon has announced plans to continue a tradition that has been around for some 29 years. The annual Lebanon-Wilson County Library Roast has been a spring event for nearly three decades. Last year would have been the 30th consecutive year for the roast but it was canceled due to COVID. After an earlier board meeting this year, it was decided not to continue the event all together.
“We felt our ‘roast event’ had run its course and with the two years of not holding the event due to the pandemic, the board decided this was the time to discontinue its sponsorship,” said Jim Mills, longtime Lebanon-Wilson County Library Board member, “We are excited for the Kiwanis Club to pick up where we left off.”
The event was normally held the last Tuesday in March and honored local men and women in the community through a catered meal and a fun “roasting” exchange that followed.
“We have been brainstorming and looking for a signature event that would honor a local businessperson in our community. One of our board members got word of the library roast possibly being discontinued and we saw this as an opportunity to continue that tradition while we put a different spin on it,” said Sean Dozier, Kiwanis Club president.
The local civic club will be celebrating its 75th anniversary on Monday with a celebration at the Farm Bureau Convention Center. The long-time local chapter of the Kiwanis International plans on kicking off the year with this event sometime during the first quarter of 2022.
“Details are forth-coming on the time, date and format, but we promise it will be a great night that pays tribute to a local community leader,” said John B. Bryan, Kiwanis member and longtime Library Roast fan and participant. “We see this as a bittersweet transfer. The Library Board has raised thousands of dollars to benefit local libraries in Lebanon, Mt. Juliet and Watertown and we hate to see this effort ending. But on a good note, the Kiwanis Club of Lebanon will continue to use funds generated from our event to benefit the public libraries in Wilson County as well as other notable charities we serve.”
Preliminary details and honorees are being considered at this time and an announcement is forthcoming, according to club member and “roast” committee member, Susie James.
“This will be a fun, well-managed dinner and show as it always has been — and we promise to keep the jokes alive and well. We are honored to have the library board’s blessing and support as we plan our event. We need everyone that supported the Library Roast for 29 years, to help us carry that tradition on in the name of Kiwanis,” she said.
Submitted to the Democrat.