NORTH WEBSTER — Approximately 75 people attended Lakeland Kiwanis Club’s 50th anniversary party held at Quaker Haven Camp Monday night, April 22.
Kiwanis from North Manchester, Bremen, Milford, Syracuse and two Goshen clubs helped Lakeland Kiwanis celebrate an evening of good memories and laughs. Garet Becker, club vice president, went around the room asking Kiwanis members to introduce themselves and state what Kiwanis meant to them.
For many, it was a way to meet new people after moving to the North Webster area. Others remember being involved in numerous community projects, such as helping to move the library.
Noted guests included Jim Redslob, who now lives in Cincinnati, Indiana District Governor Julian “Jud” Rouch and Land of Lakes Lt. Gov. Melinda Roose. Redslob served as president of the Lakeland Kiwanis Club in 1994-95, lieutenant governor in 1996-97 and Indiana governor in 2002-03.
Lakeland Kiwanis Club was chartered April 21, 1969. Lorin Badskey, who would be named Kiwanis International Governor in 1972-73, is credited with starting the club. A member of the North Manchester club, Badskey and his wife purchased a house at Webster Lake. After moving in, Badskey decided North Webster needed a Kiwanis Club.
When the club started it had 23 members. Within its first decade club membership grew to 105 and it was recognized by the Indiana Kiwanis District for phenomenal growth.
The club was well known for its corn and sausage roast, an club event that continued for approximately 48 years, bike-a-thons, Travelogue series and even a hobby and craft show.
Lakeland Kiwanis helped charter both the Wawasee and Milford Kiwanis clubs as well as assisted in establishing three Builders Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs for middle school students, two at Syracuse and one at North Webster Junior High Schools in its first decade.
Today Lakeland Kiwanis has 47 members.
Rouch noted when he became Indiana Lieutenant Governor he learned how dynamic the club was with a young president at the time, Becker. Becker has served as club president at least three times. Lakeland started a satellite club, probably the first in the district, that continues to meet. Today Lakeland Kiwanis meets at 6:30 a.m. Mondays and noon Wednesdays.
“It’s just an example over the last dozen years the impact the club has on the community,” Rouch said. “This community would be lost without the club.”
In her remarks, Roose said “We do have a wonderful division and a lot of that had to do with the Lakeland club,” as she congratulated the club. Roose’s father, Dan Watson, was a charter member of the club. She spoke of how her father used to go to Wyatt to pick up the corn for the corn and sausage roast. She thanked Lakeland Kiwanis for “50 great years.”
Club president Annette Mock presented Sandy Cobbum with a special “Gift of Kiwanis Award-Silver Level,” for her work with the Builders Clubs as well as for bringing in several new members to the club.
“There’s no one who can hold a candle to the Lakeland (Kiwanis) Club and the Land of Lakes Division,” Redslob said. “We don’t fight among ourselves because we fight for one thing, the kids and the community.”