Archive for Thursday, July 6, 2006

New service club begins work

Sertoma of Leavenworth County boasts 26 charter members, including Lansing mayor

July 6, 2006, 12:00 a.m.

Updated: July 6, 2006, 7:27 a.m.

A regional director for Sertoma International quoted the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to explain to members of the newly formed Leavenworth County Sertoma Club the importance of their mission.

"Life's most persistent question is 'What are you doing for others?'" Julie Hejtmanek, quoting the slain civil rights leader, told the new Sertoma members at their charter banquet on Thursday, June 29, at the Riverfront Community Center in Leavenworth.

"You have answered that question with your commitment to Leavenworth."

Hejtmanek was one of a handful of speakers to welcome the 26 charter members to the newest chapter of the third-oldest service club in the United States.

Sertoma, according to the banquet's program, is "a curious word until three very important words come together in: SERvice TO MAnkind." The club works primarily serving people with communicative disorders. In Leavenworth, the club will be "serving those in our community with speech and hearing impairments."

Lansing Mayor Kenneth Bernard is one of the 26 charter members of the county's newest service club and said he joined to "assist and help the community in any way we can."

Terry Cuthbertson, an ambassador from the sponsoring Sertoma Club of Topeka, said Bernard made sure the club was called the Sertoma Club of Leavenworth County, instead of only Leavenworth, to include members from Lansing and other area cities.

During the banquet's dinner, several charter members spoke about how Sertoma has impacted their lives.

Travis Roberts, whose wife, Diedra, is a charter member, spoke emotionally about the hearing loss that affects his young son. In January, his then 10-month-old son, Dalton, was diagnosed with moderate to severe hearing loss. The club has decided to sponsor Dalton and will cover his $2,500 hearing aid cost and other medical expenses.

Alice Hall's said her association with Sertoma began 40 years ago in Iowa when she was awarded a three-year nursing scholarship from the club. Hall took the opportunity to publicly thank Sertoma for starting her education and called it "an organization that does tremendous good."

Sheila Reding, Sertoma's international president, traveled from Sioux Falls, S.D., to deliver the keynote address and said it was difficult to follow the rest of the evening's speakers.

"The remarks I prepared seem inadequate to what you have heard so far," she said.

Reding presented the charter, new member kits and charter pins to the new members and installed the club's officers.

She reminded the club members they are "united to serve, making life worthwhile with service to mankind" and expressed her gratitude to the new members.

"Thank you for choosing to give your time, talents and spirit of volunteerism," Reding said.

The new club will meet the first Tuesday of every month at 12 p.m. at Pullman Place in Leavenworth. For more information, contact membership chairman Kevin Albee at 682-1308.

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