The Kiwanis Club of Chippewa Falls was organized on April 21, 1919. Our club has produced one District Governor, Alexander Wiley (1933) and thirteen Lieutenant Governors, the first Alexander Wiley (1932) and the last G. Rex Rathbun (1988).
CHI-HI student Mikhaela Beebe and McDonell student Henry Erickson were recently honored as October’s “Golden Rule Students” by the Chippewa Falls Kiwanis Club.
In honor of their recognition, Kiwanis Club of Chippewa Falls donates $25 to the charity of the student’s choice.
Beebe, daughter of Nicole and Jay Beebe, chose Susan G. Komen for breast cancer research. Erickson, son of Deb and the late Mark Erickson, selected the Chippewa Humane Association.
Each month, two seniors, one each from Chippewa Falls Senior High School and McDonell Area Catholic Schools, are selected. Golden Rule students are nominated by the respective schools’ teaches and staff, using specific criteria including, among others:
"The Chippewa Falls Kiwanis Club is excited again this school year to recognize these high school seniors for living by the Golden Rule”, says Mary Jacobson, Kiwanis Club Facilitator for the Golden Rule Students. “We have been impressed the last two years by the positive character in these young people. We love hearing firsthand the good things they are doing, and have been impressed by their humility, their discipline and their integrity."
By Caleb Brown of the Chippewa Herald
When Dave Raihle Sr. looks back on all his years with the Kiwanis Club of Chippewa Falls, he figures it as time well spent.
Raihle fondly recalls the time when the club bought t-shirts for the athletes of the Chippewa Falls Special Olympics. Prior to that, the athletes didn't have any kind of identifying attire.
"They were so thrilled to have their own shirts," Raihle, now 81, recalled, explaining that the athletes even referred to the shirts as their uniforms. In fact, the athletes were so excited by the donation that several of them showed up at a Kiwanis meeting to express their gratitude.
Raihle said that was a very touching experience.
"There wasn't a dry eye in the club," he said.
It was those kind of moments that kept Raihle coming back, week after week, to the Kiwanis Club.
Raihle, along with three other long-time Kiwanis Club members were honored Wednesday at the Avalon Hotel and Conference Center in Chippewa Falls for their tireless work upholding the club's ethos of living the Golden Rule and community service.
Besides Raihle, the honorees are: Dr. Charles Kemper, Calvin Kraemer and Gerald Joas. All four men were awarded Life Member Status with the club.
This is the first time the club has honored anyone with that title. Indeed, the club invented the honor in recognition of how these men have impressed and inspired other Kiwanis members. The international Kiwanis organization does have a lifetime member status, but that isn't the same as what the Chippewa Falls chapter has done.
Instead, this is a way to locally recognize the work these men have done for their community.
"They give their efforts. They give their abilities any way they can. They give so much inspiration to the rest of us," said Mary Jacobson, current president of the Kiwanis Club.
But the way the honorees tell it, their efforts aren't that big of a deal.
"It was our privilege to serve," Raihle said.
"It's both a pleasure and an honor to be with these people," he said.
At Wednesday's event, each man was honored with a plaque and a brief outline of some of their efforts over their years with the club.
Joas was recognized for 65 years in the club over which time he served on several committees, including the agricultural committee and committees on the group's stand at the Northern Wisconsin State Fair and the Tour de Chippewa. His work with the pancake breakfasts and travelogues was also recognized.
Kraemer was a Kiwanis member for 33 years and served as president in 1976 and Lieutenant Governor in 1981. As president, Kraemer raised the boost (an amount given away in a drawing) from 10 cents to 25 cents. His special projects with the club included the Kiwanis public relations efforts and s newsletter.
Kemper belonged to the Kiwanis Club for 64 years and only slowed when health problems made participating in the meetings more difficult. He was famous for his thought of the day which he offered each meeting, a tradition he carried on even as he was inducted as a life member. Kemer was also president from 1969 to 1970.
Raihle's 38 years saw him serve as both president, vice president on every committee for every special project during his tenure. Raihle was described as having given time, talents and funds to whomever need them without any expectations.
"What these four men have in common is a huge commitment to bettering the community," Jacobson said.
Joas said that the men also worked on many of the same projects.
"Almost everything we did, Cal (Kraemer) was there," Kemper said, while chatting with Kraemer after the meeting.
"It's a very close knit group," Raihle added.
They also share many stories in common.
Kraemer recalled how, when he was president, he traveled to Vienna, Austria for a gathering of the International Kiwanis organization. Getting to go to such events was one of the perks of the office. Normally the convention happened in the United States or Canada so Kramer considered himself lucky.
The next year Raihle was president of the club.
"Can you guess where the convention was?" Kraemer asked those gathered at the meeting. "Minneapolis/St. Paul."
All the Kiwanis members gathered for the ceremony had a healthy chuckle upon Kraemer's adventure and Raihle's misfortune.
Of course the men's combined years of service made it impossible to honor all their actions. The men themselves would have to really sit down and think about everything they did.
"That's a long time to remember," Joas said.
And Jacobson expressed as much in her remarks noting that some of the programs the men started more than 50 years ago are still in operation today.
Dr. Charlies Kemper, Gerald Joas, Calvin Kraemer and David Raihle, Sr. will be inducted as Kiwanis Life Members at a special ceremony on September 30, noon, at Avalon Hotel and Conference Center, Chippewa Falls, by the Kiwanis Club of Chippewa Falls.
Individuals who achieve Life Member Status are those who perpetuate core values of Kiwanis, including the Golden Rule and altruistic service to build better communities.
"These men were instrumental in developing and sustaining committees that still remain today, some fifty years later. They gave of themselves without expectation and created a foundation of our club that gives thousands of dollars back to our community annually, specifically to youth, and will for years to come. Their unselfish character and tremendous accomplishments truly inspire our members. We could not be more grateful and proud of these humble men."
The Chippewa Falls chapter meets on Wednesdays at noon at Avalon Hotel and Conference Center. New members welcome. For more information about the Kiwanis Club of Chippewa Falls, visit www.chippewafallskiwanis.org.
We are proud to announce that Mr. Frank Steinmetz has been awarded the 2014 Kiwanis Agricultural Friend of the Year. Congratulations to Frank.
For the full news story, please visit the Chippewa Herald here.