James C. Firestone, of Genoa, has been granted the status of life member of Kiwanis International in recognition of valued contributions and dedication to Kiwanis and the community.
He is life member #15675. When asked for comment, Firestone said, “Kiwanis membership equals participation.”
In 1975, by a vote of the delegate body at the International Convention, Kiwanis International established a means for recognizing individuals who demonstrate concern for others though outstanding Kiwanis Service.
Firestone has been an important member of the Genoa Area Kiwanis Club for more than 49 years. He joined the club in September 1959 and has 37 years of perfect attendance.
When Firestone sells football programs or peanuts for Kiwanis, everybody in Genoa knows “no” is not in his vocabulary. When he started as football coach in Genoa, there was a need to provide insurance for players. He set up a fund in the Genoa Area Kiwanis Club that would take care of the problem.
Firestone has been Kiwanis president and chaired the Easter Egg Hunt and calendar sales for many years. He has also met with the Ridgetown, Ontario Kiwanis Club for home and away golf interclubs, a tradition of 60 years.
Firestone is the winningest coach in Genoa football history and in the Genoa Area High School hall of fame. He is also in the Ashland College hall of fame, Ashland County hall of fame and a Kiwanis Legion of Honor member. He has also been the Genoa Area High School’s principal and worked with students at Penta Vocational Schools.
Firestone’s wife Donna attended the Awards Ceremony along with his daughter Angie. They also have two sons, Dan and Dix and another daughter Janet.
A letter received from the Kiwanis Club of Ridgetown, Ontario, Canada states, “We, the members of the Kiwanis Club of Ridgetown who are proud to call you friend, wish to take this opportunity to congratulation you on tonight’s much deserved recognition as a Life Member of Kiwanis.
“You have spent your work life anchoring children and feeding young minds...and you spend much of your leisure working through Kiwanis feeding the bodies, minds and souls of the children of the world; both the young-and-young at heart.
“We are, each of us, are proud to call you friend and very happy to congratulation you on your Kiwanis Life Member recognition. There is no one more deserving.”