Highlands Pilot club to be dissolved

The Highlands community missed the Pilot Club Fair in February, which signalled a change in the club’s status, according to local sources.

The local club will hold meetings through May, and then no more. Members of the club will either join clubs in adjoining communities, or not belong at all.

The Pilot Club of Highlands was chartered in April 1998, sponsored by the Pilot Club of Baytown, and had at its inception over 60 members. However, membership has dropped greatly, with only about a dozen current members, not enough to sustain the club and carry on with their community projects.

The first president of the club was Laura Estes, with Janetta Walker as President Elect.

In 2004 the club received the Community Builder Award from Sampson Lodge, for their community projects. These included a long list of achievements, such as landscaping at four corners, the park on railroad land in the center of town, historical signage at the Lynchburg Ferry landing, a welcome sign on Main Street, scholarships, Community Clean-up Day, collecting teddy bears for the sheriff’s office, support for Relay for Life, welcome bags for new teachers, parties and visits to seniors with emphasis on brain-related injuries, flags and decorations on Veterans’ holidays, and participation in Christmas ceremonies at the park and lighting ceremonies at the Ferry landing. The largest and most important project was the Community Fair at the Elementary School, which they sponsored for 13 years.

The current president of the club is Susan Precht. The club has met once a month on Monday evenings, at the Highlands Community Center.

The demise of the club is reminiscent of many other clubs that have thrived and then withered away in Highlands over the last few decades. These include the Jaycees, the Art Guild, and many more.

Pilot Club members interviewed by the Star-Courier indicated that one of the problems with sustaining the membership is that younger people seemed to have busy lives with other interests, and not enough time for a community service club.