Golden K speaker recalls club’s formation in 1976

SEVERAL DICKINSON COUNTY AREA Golden K members are shown who were part of the original Kiwanis Golden K Club that formed in 1976. Most of these men are still active Golden K members. From left are Bob Bowman, Vance Uhazie, Orice Walters, Dr. Donald Jacobs, Paul Ward, Don Pedo, Jim Verrette and Dr. Paul Jacobs.

The Golden Kers got a beautiful, sunny Monday morning as they gathered for their meeting. Getting the piano warmed up was Alyce Derwinski, while director Lois Outcelt rounded up the singers and the music began. A rousting rendition of “You’re A Grand Old Flag” got those “golden throats” ready for some serious singing. “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” was sung as a tribute to the nice summer everyone has enjoyed.

Happy birthday wishes to Sue (Jim) Benzing and happy anniversary to both Dr. Don and Sally Jacobs on Aug. 8 as well as Dr. Paul and Lorraine Jacobs on Aug. 24. Ginny Determan went home with the 50-50 winnings, Happy Dollars reflected tired but happy Vance and Dorleen Uhazie, who just spent a weekend with a full house of family and friends; and glowing grandparents Orice Walters and Agatha Cavaiani shared their happiness over their grandchildren. Orice’s great-granddaughter, Kainsley, made The Daily News’ front page with the Lego grant project, while Aggie’s granddaughter, Casey, completed the Swim for Diabetes at Teal Lake.

Just mention college football and John Corson lights up. He is ready. Paul Ward shared that his wife, Myrna, won some money at a casino, but he did not mention if she shared any with him. Coming down from their class reunion, Don Pedo was glad to see his classmate, Dr. Don Jacobs, as was his brother, Dr. Paul, who likes it when people mistake him for Dr. Don.

Guests welcomed for the day included Dr. Don Jacobs and Kathy Arnold, director of the Dickinson Iron Community Services Agency.

Program chairwoman Walters introduced Dr. Don Jacobs as speaker. He is a familiar face to many Golden Kers. The process to form a local Kiwanis began on Oct. 1, 1976. Twenty members were needed; they had 30, all men, varying in age and occupations but most of them retired.

Though not originally into volunteering and/or community service, they soon developed enthusiasm for building their community. They grew in “learned leadership” and discovered the “joy of giving.” Word spread and soon their membership grew to 70, with the oldest being 94. They met in small morning groups for coffee.

With many people able to retire early, the seniors found there was nothing to do. Doctors’ offices were reporting an increase in patients with depression. People needed a useful purpose.

So the older Kiwanis members formed another club — Golden K — as a service organization that volunteers in their communities. Dr. Don Jacobs was instrumental in getting that group off the ground. Eventually, the Golden K became an entity of its own.

The local Golden K mostly has retired seniors and is open to men and women. The oldest member today is Henry London, who just turned 97. Ages vary — some are retired, others hope to be someday. Most of these seniors devote many hours to community service.

“It has been a remarkable 43 years for this community,” Jacobs said. “You have exemplified the Kiwanis motto — ‘We Build.'”

Many thanks to Jacobs for his insight on the beginnings of Golden K and for allowing parts of his presentation to be printed here. In closing, he handed out “When Kiwanis Calls” musical sheets for everyone, which Golden K members sang — twice.

The next Golden K meeting will be Monday, with a presentation by Jim Roberts, son of member Bill Roberts. The session begins at 9:30 a.m., the business meeting at 10 a.m. and the program at 10:30 a.m. The Golden Throats will sing Wednesday at Evergreen.