GRAVETTE -- Members of the Gravette Kiwanis Club held their annual banquet and installation of officers Thursday evening, Sept. 23, at the Billy V. Hall Senior Activity and Wellness Center. No banquet was held in 2020 due to covid concerns and the 2019-2020 officers continued serving for a second year with no installation.
Members met at 5:30 p.m. for a time of fellowship preceding the meeting. Kiwanis president Dennis Kurczek welcomed members and guests, including Katie Rennard of Siloam Springs, Lt. Governor of MoArk District Kiwanis. Rickie Stark led the group in prayer and members recited the pledge of allegiance to the flag. Charter member Kim Hendren led the singing of "America the Beautiful."
Dinner was served at 6:30 p.m., with garden salad, roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, a roll and blackberry cobbler on the menu. After dinner, guests divided into two teams for a game featuring well-known similes. Team one won the game by only one point. Numbers from the guest list were selected and several in attendance won nice door prizes.
President Kurczek read an article from a 1975 Gravette News Herald telling of the organization of the Gravette Kiwanis Club and their first meeting. He told of some of his plans for the coming year and urged those present to continue recruiting new members and to focus on fellowship since the club is no longer meeting every Friday.
Kurczek introduced guest speaker Lt. Governor Rennard, who commended those officers who served last year without being installed. She acknowledged it was a hard year and said, "Thanks for leading through the challenges of last year." Rennard told the group that every Kiwanis officer is important and board members are also important as they help make decisions for the club. She said she wanted to see the Gravette club have their "best year ever."
Rennard served as installing officer and presented certificates to each incoming officer with special messages for each. Incoming 2021-2022 officers are Lavon Stark, secretary; Colton Moorman, assistant secretary; Dan Yates, treasurer; Jackie Rieff, president-elect, and Dennis Kurczek, president. Certificates were also presented to board members Dr. Nancy Jones, past president, and Bob Kelley, who was not present.
"I hope your year exceeds all previous years," Rennard concluded. "You love your work; keep doing it!"
Following the installation, past district governor Dan Yates presented a pin to new member Allison Kurczek and read a letter from past Kiwanis Lieutenant Governor Sue Story, of Bentonville, who sent the club the message, "I am so proud of you!" Yates also presented 2019-2020 club officers with a patch for their banner recognizing Gravette as a distinguished club for 2020 and presented president Kurczek with a patch honoring the club's contribution to the Earl Collins Foundation. Yates is a board member of the foundation, which awards scholarships to graduating seniors from Arkansas and Missouri.