Noon Kiwanis celebrates anniversary

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 31, 2002

"Just stop and think, what would it be like without this organization in the community? Just think what a difference they have made in the lives of so many over the years. Just think what it would be like without them?."

Unthinkable. That's what it would be. For 80 years the Austin Noon Kiwanis has made a difference

with community service and left an indelible imprint on

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the community.

Dr. Stewart Ross, a professor at Minnesota State university, Mankato, is Lt.-Governor for Region VI.

Jack Zierdt, Spring Valley, is secretary-treasurer of the Kiwanis Education Foundation for the Minnesota and Dakotas district and a past-governor.

Ross and Zierdt were special guests at Wednesday night's 90th anniversary party and cookout at the Ikes Cabin in Todd Park. They each dared anyone to think the unthinkable: life without the Kiwanis influence.

"Our mission and priority is always the same and that is children. We put them first always," said Ross.

"This club has always done a great job of community service. Look at those banners. Look at how they have been honored through the years. Why, just think what it would be like without them?" said Zierdt.

The Kiwanis state officers were excused for boasting Wednesday night. Reaching the organization's 80 the milestone is a very special occasion.

Austin's two other Kiwanis organizations, the Early Risers and the Golden K clubs, are nearing the 30-year mark in their histories.

Meanwhile, the AHS Key Club and People's First Aktion Club are new efforts designed to foster the Kiwanis International mission statement.

After a grilled steak dinner and music by Jack Koppa on the concertina, a short program was held.

Dick Waldman, current president of the Noon Kiwanis, welcomed guests and dignitaries to the anniversary party.

Doug Yeck gave the invocation and true to form, the members and guests joined in a patriotic song led by Joe Morgan, the club's song leader. then came the Pledge of Allegiance and an example of how the Noon Kiwanis does, indeed, place children first.

Amy Bickler, a 2002 Pacelli High School graduate and daughter of Gary and Diane Bickler, received the first-ever Austin Noon Kiwanis club scholarship. in the amount of $1,000. Bickler plans to attend Winona State University in the fall and major in accounting.

According to club president Waldman, member Paul Spyhalski was instrumental in creating the club's scholarship program.

Special guests included Ferris Furtney, a past president and

the oldest living member for over 55 years.

Also, Dr. Richard Nordin gave a historical and personal account of his family's long association with the club. His father, Dr. Walter Nordin joined the organization in 1929 and service until his death in 1994 at the age of 98. At one time, the Nordin father and son duo was one of five such familial combinations in the Noon Kiwanis.

The history of the organization shared with the audience came largely from Gene Roden's detailed account of the Noon Kiwanis club's first 75 years.

Other special guests included a contingent of member of two golden K Kiwanis clubs from Albert Lea and the widows of two long-time members, Mrs. Roger Downing and Mrs. Doris Sorensen as well as others.

There was much laughter and of course lots of singing throughout the celebration. After all, "hearty, clean cut singing" is encouraged among all Kiwanis members.