Golden K Club honors original members

From left are Kristin Sommerfeld, current director of Dickinson-Iron Community Services Agency; Orice Walters of Golden K; RSVP Director Kathy Arnold; and Tamara Juul, executive director of the Dickinson Area Community Foundation and Dickinson County Hospital Foundation.

KINGSFORD — A “Day of Recognition and Reflections” was the program and celebration Monday morning at Golden K.

History is a valuable tool for all things that happen in a lifetime. Everything has a beginning and Golden K thought it was time to reflect back on its history.

At a recent meeting, Dr. Donald Jacobs gave present-day Golden Kers a look back at the origins of this organization. Jacobs saw that as members of Kiwanis retired, they often would get depressed with not going to work daily as usual. So he looked into establishing a Golden K club for retired Kiwanians through Kiwanis International. The Golden K for Dickinson County, now known as The Dickinson Area Golden K, was born in the mid-1970s.

This Golden K now is the largest in Michigan and part of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program.

This special day was to recognize all past and present Golden K members from 1976 to about 2006, including many former presidents and board of members.

SOME OF THE original members of the Golden K Club. From left, in front are John Jamar, Bill Trudell, Lorraine Luba and Ed Simbob; in back are Jim Verrette, John Aune, Bob Langsford, Bob Bowman, Paul Ward, Doug Machus, Don Pedo and Vance Uhazie.

Certificates of appreciation were presented to: Paul Ward, John Jamar, Bob Langsford, John Aune, Don Pedo, Bill Trudell, Bill Roberts, Al Galeazzi, Vance Uhazie, Doug Machus, Jim Verrette, Bob Bowman, Sam Chartier and Ed Simbob. Also honored were Henry London, Bruce Stuart and Jim Pollard, who sent greetings from his home in lower Michigan.

There was a moment of silence and the singing of “Auld Lang Syne,” remembering all past members who were instrumental in the earlier days of Golden K.

Mini-sub sandwiches and a decorated cake were served.

Guests for the day included Judy Sielaff with her mother Beverly Johnson, whose late husband Jack was an active GK member.

RSVP Director Kathy Arnold and Kristin Sommerfeld, the previous RSVP and current director of Dickinson-Iron Community Services Agency, each gave a brief but rousing look back at their experiences working with Golden K and their many worthwhile community service projects.

Tamara Juul, executive director of the Dickinson Area Community Foundation and Dickinson County Hospital Foundation programs, reflected on the GK Scholarship and its impact on the lives of youth and seniors, Senior volunteers put on parties for special needs children, provide assistance at many community events and hold peanut fundraiser annually that goes back into local charities and scholarships.

Also, they do spring and fall road clean-up, bingo and the Golden Throats sing weekly at nursing homes. These are just a few ways Golden K members have helped over the past 40 years.

Several shared their memories of being with Golden K from its beginning — Bill Trudell, along with his wife, Margaret; Paul Ward, who also assisted emcee John Corson with the program; and Bob Langsford, who was known by other honorees as a well-organized machine when it came to keeping records, files and group members on their toes.

Jacobs had noted earlier in the meeting that the club ceased to be an all-male organization and accepted women. Members soon discovered women not only were more talented singers but also willing to do most of the work.

Lorraine Luba was recognized for her faithful duties to Golden K since about 2001, supplying the Happy Dollar slips and also keeping the kitchen humming for special needs parties and picnics.

Alyce Derwinski keeps the piano rocking two days each week for singing. LaVerne Calcari, Dorleen Uhazie, Diane Aune and Sue Proudfit fill the coffee pots — the list goes on and on, as each member fills in wherever needed.

This organization has done itself proud working throughout the community to make life a little better for others.

The First Presbyterian Church in Kingsford opened the building to Golden K from the very beginning for almost 44 years. They are more than accommodating to our needs as the club continues to meet there every Monday morning.

It was a festive and colorful celebration of blue and gold with many GKers wearing bright gold shirts.

Happy anniversary was sung for Fran and John Jamar, 64 years; soon-to-be 64 years for Ed and Marge Simbob; and Al and LaVerne Calcari, 65 years.

The next Golden K meeting was this morning.

The Golden Throats will sing Wednesday at Evergreen Assisted Living in Kingsford.

Members also were reminded of plans for a road clean-up Monday, Sept. 30.


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