George F. Hixson’s unprecedented contribution to Kiwanis International is the reason the George F. Hixson Fellowship was established on October 1, 1983, and Hixson is the only person in the history of Kiwanis who held the office of President of Kiwanis International for two consecutive years. 

Each year Kiwanis Clubs across Florida celebrate the recipient of the highly esteemed George F. Hixson Award.  This year’s Kiwanis Club of Clermont Award recipient is Thom Battisto because of his leadership, generosity, and service to the Community and Schools throughout South Lake County.

Thom has been a Kiwanian for 10 years.  His years and hours of service are significant and prove his true dedication to the Kiwanis Club of Clermont serving as an officer and a valued member of the diverse and successful organization!

Born in Chicago, this Italian has a special heart and love for family, friends, dogs, community, and Food!  He has shared his home, his food, his talents and his family with us over the years including his father Pops /Joe, his partner Wayne, and his dogs Toby, Flash, Bailey and the youngest of all Sunny!  Thom shares his Read to Sydney 501 (C) 3 organization with us, giving us the opportunity to partner with his events and social media postings.  

On a personal level, Thom is a wonderful Host and Cook.  For two Kiwanis events with children, he brought his treasured pizza oven to feed the kids and give them the experience of making their own pizza…..  although this Chicago Italian does not recognize pineapple pizza as an option on his menu.

Thom actively supports and participates in all projects and fundraisers and is not afraid to take on a challenge that is integral to success.  To be more specific……he is recognized for the following accomplishments.

  • Serves as an SLP Advisor to Building Blocks Aktion Club and recently set up our newest SLP Aktion Club at DreamPlex
  • Serves as Secretary, and Officer to our Club and facilitates all required duties and club agendas
  • Raised $7,000 for Neighborhood Center of South Lake for their summer program feeding students
  • Serves as Youth Services advisor with Terrific Kids program
  • Coordinated a $1,700 grant from Kiwanis for Paula Whetro’s new Building Blocks location.
  • Coordinates Read to Sydney projects with our club as a partner and includes the Book Mobile Van where you will see our Club’s Sponsorship decals!
  • Facilitates the placement of 10 lending library boxes throughout South Lake community as a sponsored partnership for both organizations
  • Coordinates and offers his home for our Annual Yard Sale Fundraiser and anyone who has worked that fundraiser knows we will get fed!
New Hixson Award recipient Thom Battisto with other George Hixson Recipients from past years/

Thom takes his work seriously, meets deadlines, and represents the Club every week in many ways.  He also brings laughter to the meetings with his comments and personality!  Thom is an inspiration to all!

Congratulations Thom!

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