About 150 people gathered at Weymouth Country Club September 1 to celebrate a landmark occasion: the 100-year anniversary of The Kiwanis Club of Medina. The event also acknowledged the 50th anniversary of the Medina High School Key Club.
Following a welcome by President Barb Woodard, Past President and Hall of Fame member Robert Fenn signaled the official beginning of the program with the Presentation of Colors by the Honor Guard of American Legion Post 202, also celebrating its 100-year anniversary. The Reverend Cornell Carter, also a past president, then delivered the invocation.
Woodard introduced the distinguished guests seated at the head table: Rev. Carter/Immediate Past President; Alan Penn/Past International President and his wife Jeri; John Devilbiss/Past International Trustee; Dr. Kip Crain and his wife Becky; Faith Levine/Ohio District Governor; Tim Cornelius/Ohio District Governor-Elect and his wife Ann; James Janocik/Ohio District Treasurer-Elect; Diana Stevenson/Division 16 Lt. Governor; Bob Leasure/Division 16 Incoming Lt. Governor and his wife Barbara; Jeffrey Eble/Ohio District Key Club Administrator; Mansi Pathak/District 16E and 16W Key Club Lt. Governor; Medina City Mayor Dennis Hanwell and his wife Chris; and Colleen Swedyk/Medina County Commissioner.
A video prepared by Past President/Hall of Fame member Dale Weygandt summarized the development and growth of the Medina Kiwanis Club. The following members portrayed the early residents of the then-village who had the foresight and determination to establish the successful organization: Robert Fenn, Laura Todia, Jonathan Steingass, Lou Livengood, Rick Melzer, Harold Waite, Rex Rickly, Cornell Carter, Bill Young, Curtis Perkins, Jim Plumber, Marcia Young, David Gedrock, Mike Short, Terry Shuman, Nancy McNeal, Keith Dirham, Dan Groh, Owen Blakslee, and Linda Hoffmann.
Several guests shared congratulatory messages: Bill Young read a message from the State House signed by Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor John Husted; Jon Steingass read a resolution from Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof; Medina City Mayor Dennis Hanwell, speaking on behalf of the city, presented a proclamation; Commissioner Colleen Swedyk extended congratulations on behalf of the Medina County Commissioners; Brian Feron presented a proclamation from the Medina County Historical Society; and Nancy Abbott presented a commendation from State Representatives Steve Hambley and Darrell Kick.
Past International President Penn shared several interesting notes about Kiwanis members and activities, among them the fact that Medina is the only one in the world with four clubs. He then shared the real reason he was at the podium: to present the prestigious Hixon Fellowship honor to Dale Weygandt.
Weygandt has been a member of Kiwanis 24 years (23 years with perfect attendance). He has earned several awards, and has been inducted into the Hall of Fame for three organizations. His list of accomplishments is long and impressive. His wife Nancy hung the medallion around his neck as family members and friends shared the occasion with him.
The committee that planned the event under the leadership of chair Barb Woodard included Joan Rundle, Laura Todia, Dale Weygandt, Terry Shuman, David Gedrock, Nancy McNeal, Robert Fenn, Bob Fenn, and Owen Blakslee.
Kiwanis, a fraternal organization founded in Detroit,in 1915, is a "global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world, one child and one community at a time." It now has clubs in 80 countries. The Medina club was formed in 1919.
Among its many worldwide activies is working with UNICEF to improve health issues. In the community Kiwanis has been instrumental in developing leadership clubs that include K-Kids in elementary schools; Builders Clubs in middle schools; and Key Clubs in high schools.
Dedicated members work hard to raise funds by conducting pancake breakfasts, doing Christmas caroling, selling barbecued chicken at events such as Art in the Park, having Mother's Day flower sales, and so much more.
The raised funds enable them, among other things, to take 90 children shopping every Christmas, build play areas for youngsters in local parks, continue their tree planting program, and send students to Boys and Girls States. The Kiwanis Club focuses on the youth of tomorrow.