×

Golden K looks back

By JOAN JOUPPI

For The Daily News

KINGSFORD — As chairman Ben Determan opened the Golden K meeting, it became clear he had an agenda. Alyce Derwinski on piano, with Don Pedo directing at her side, the group got a few “oldies” in before the gavel hit the bell. Welcoming guests was first on Determan’s list — Kathy Arnold, RSVP director of Dickinson Iron Community Services Agency; Don Roberge, a man who spent many hours on Lake Superior fishing for the “big one;” and Mary Swope, who is working on returning to this area. She also wasted no time in picking the winning ticket in the 50-50 drawing.

With the chairman’s book before him, Determan read the list of committees, board members, schedule for programs and the list of the many projects Golden K does throughout each year. This club is very active in their respective communities in many ways, volunteering where ever they can.

A song from years ago, “Time Changes Everything,” has a message for Golden K members. The club was established 52 years ago and the average age of the present members is somewhere between 60 and 90. In 1967, these people would have been 13 to 28 — a very different world.

There were clubs, organizations, leagues of all kinds like bowling and bocce ball, people active in their communities, supporting local charities, looking after the needs and wants of the less fortunate members of the community.

The Golden K hosted social events, dinners, parties and even had their own band. Their annual banquet list included one woman, “Ellen Wallenfang and her magic keyboard.” Then came change as the club opened its membership to allow women to join. Single, widowed and spouses of a member brought their expertise into the organization.

Now there was a time when we were “shakers and movers.” Today, they still shake a little and move a little slower, but the seniors are still in the game, with a strong desire to do their part in making this world a better place.

Last week, Determan shared this thought,“Doing good deeds for others is the rent we pay for occupying our place on this earth. The world is changing and if we are to survive, we must change. In order to grow we may have to face the ‘social media’ challenge and get our information out there in the ‘Facebook world.’ Let people know we are still an active group looking for ways to help within our respective communities and bring growth to this club. This group wants to know what’s going in their area and they look for ways to be involved.”

The club meets every Monday morning and opens the door to all. The next meeting will have Keith Huotari with his wife, Jayna. They both have a lot of history to share and a long time relationship with the area. Members begin to gather at 9:30 a.m. for those who like to sing, followed by a short business meeting and then the program at 10 a.m.. Anyone interested in the speaker is welcomed join the meeting at any time before 10 a.m.

The Golden Throats will sing Wednesday at Victorian Pines.