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Organization Reports

Rotary District Gov. Dale Basham visited Connersville Rotary Club in December. Pictured after the meeting are, from left, Gena Hartman, club secretary; Wes Widdoes, past president; Rebecca Bly, governor’s assistant; Basham; and club president Brian Durham, with the district governor’s banner.


Rotary District Gov. Dale Basham from Muncie was Connersville Rotary Club’s guest speaker at the club’s last meeting in 2018. His talk theme was “Be the Inspiration.”

Rotary has 530 districts in more than 160 countries, more than 35,000 charters and 1.2 members. Our Connersville Rotary Club, chartered in 1919, will celebrate its 100th year in 2019. 

Basham recognized Wes Widdows, previous club president, with a Governor’s Award plaque, and Rebecca Bly, a native of Connersville, with an award for her position as Governor’s Assistant.


The Connersville Kiwanis Club met Jan. 2 at The Pizza Place. President-elect Frank Oakman called the meeting to order. The club enjoyed singing, “Auld Lang Syne.” It was actually done well!

Mike Fort, a former member, introduced his daughter, Annie Fort, who was the speaker of the day. Annie told about her work in Lesotho, Africa, with Touching Tiny Lives. Lesotho is a mountainous country surrounded by South Africa. Touching Tiny Lives serves to provide meals, education and outreach to young children and their families. TTL receives packed, nutritious meals from sources. Ivy Tech in Richmond is sponsoring one of those meal-packing sessions on Feb. 25.

Annie explained to the club that children are the same all over the world. They all are excited about life and enjoy playing games. TTL’s motto is “one child at a time.”

The board will meet Wednesday.


Josiah Wedgwood Chapter of Questers #172 had a regular meeting Dec. 20, 2018, at Mary Dalton’s White Christmas farmhouse. Guests were given tours of the collections and decorations. The 15 members present answered roll call by telling how they discovered a truth about Santa. Milah Frost withdrew her membership. Minutes of the October meeting were corrected to read, “bats, rats and silhouettes.” Minutes were approved as corrected.

A grant request written by Patti Starr and Sarah Smith was sent to the state Questers. The grant would help with restoration of the largest Fritz Conway painting, now located at the Fayette County Historical Museum.

These positions are open for State Questers: president, first vice president and corresponding secretary. A discussion of membership followed. Suggestions included accepting couples as members; changing meeting times to accommodate working people; meeting places other than homes; and forming a new chapter.

The next meeting will be Feb. 28 at Higher Praise Worship Center. Starr will give a Golden Books presentation. Sarah Smith made a motion to adjourned, seconded by Paula Davis.

A program by Robin Nickel followed, about the history of Santa Claus, and especially the Coca-Cola Santa or Haddon Sundblom. He began sketching for Coke in 1924 and created a different Santa each year beginning in 1931. His Santa illustration shows a tired, sleepy Santa who is rejuvenated after he drinks a Coca-Cola.  A framed collection of Coke Santas on National Geographic back covers, collected by Nickel’s father, was shared with members.

The earliest Santa masks were found in the Middle Ages. She shared egg-carton Santas as well as the history of St. Nicholas, Belsnickle, Moore’s “Twas the Night Before Christmas” Thomas Nast’s Harper’s Weekly jolly old elf and Prang’s post cards.