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After 100 years, Valley Falls Forget-Me-Not Club holds last meeting

Forget-Me-Not Club membersThis picture of the Forget-Me-Not Club members was taken Aug. 4, 1999. They are, seated, Ruby Coons, Rose Reichart, Lucile Smerchek, and Vera Welborn; standing, Patty (Davies) Miksch, Marge Schoonover, Dorothy Sullivan, Artith Todd, Mary Freeland, Gay Trimble, Karen Botkin, Mary Lou Reich, Frances Kirkham, and Madeline Gragg. A note with the picture lists those not present: Dot Damme, Dorothy House, Mary List, and Libby Boyd. The club met for the last time Dec. 1 on the eve of the club’s century mark.

by Clarke Davis

The purpose of the Forget-Me-Not Club was to socialize and have a good time. It began meeting in Valley Falls in the spring of 1911 when William Taft was president. Its last meeting was held Dec. 1.

“There are only five of us now and we decided to call it quits,” said Karen Botkin.

The club doesn’t meet in January and February and Karen was going to be gone for the March meeting, so they simply decided to end it now instead of on the anniversary of its 100th year.

Forget-Me-Not Club

Meeting for the last time were, seated, Karen Botkin, Dorothy Boyd, and Dorothy Sullivan; standing, Dodie Bolz and Dee Bayless.

Gathering last Wednesday for a dinner at Sunset Haven were Botkin, Dodie Bolz, Dorothy Sullivan, Dorothy Boyd, and Dee Bayless.

All current members joined the club in recent years or at least within the past 25 years, except Dorothy Boyd, who first joined in 1942. Bolz and Botkin are second generation members.

Honorary members who have moved or can no longer attend are Lucile Smerchek, Vera Welborn, Gay Trimble, and Frances Kirkham.

There were as many as 25 members in 1985.

The women believe it was started at the time of an illness or death when a group of neighbors got together. They think it was also tied to the Lutheran Church in its earliest years, or if not the church its members were predominately Lutheran.

While it was never a service club, it was not without its charitable acts. Instead of paying the 10-cent monthly dues — they were never raised — members often brought food for God’s Storehouse. Donations of food also replaced the annual Christmas gift exchange in recent years. Donations have been made to Jan’s Kids at Christmas and money has been spent for memorials and a donation to Sunset Haven for providing the meeting room.

Even though they haven’t collected the dues for the past two years, treasurer Bolz reports a balance in the treasury of $89.81. That money will go to Jan’s Kids this Christmas and some of it to the museum.

Botkin held the club’s early records and secretary Bolz has kept the minutes since 1985. All of these records including the club booklets will be turned over to the museum for safekeeping.

The main business of the club when it met was its roll call. Those answering roll had to tell a joke, read a poem, or tell a story.

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Posted by on Dec 18 2010. Filed under County News, Featured, The Vindicator. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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