American Legion Women’s Auxiliary

The Pearce Keller Unit 17 Women’s Auxiliary meeting of Feb. 1 began with President Susan Bergsten calling order at 6 p.m. Charlene Redman gave the opening prayer followed by a moment of silence in memory of POWs and MIAs. The group then recited the Pledge of Allegiance and the Preamble to the Constitution of the American Legion Auxiliary.

Secretary Charlene took the roll call of officers and executive board with 12 members present, of which eight were on the executive board or officers.

Charlene read the minutes of the January meeting. There were no corrections.

Sharon Pollman gave the treasurer’s report for January, which was approved as read and will be filed for audit.

Membership chair Claudia Maples reported 170 paid members toward the club’s goal of 225.

Andie has the scholarship applications, which are due at 5 p.m. March 30. Lorene will contact Terry Umscheid-McAfee to see if she will judge the applicants. Dianna Horner will help as needed.

The Legion will have biscuit and gravy breakfast on the fourth Saturdays of the month. The next will be Feb. 27. A gun drawing will be held on Feb. 26. Tickets are still available. The oratorical is March 13 at the post home. Lorene says four girls will participate. Lorene announced that Girls State this year will be virtual. Boys State will be at K-State in June. The cost will be $100 for five days.

Charlene gave the closing prayer and Susan adjourned the meeting. The next regular meeting will be at 6 p.m. March 1.



The Gamma Omicron chapter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha held its second meeting of the year virtually on Feb. 10.

Emily Selby from Stepping Stones gave the educational. Their mission is to promote excellence in response to child abuse and prevention through training, program development, advocacy and leadership. Child sexual abuse accounts for 90% of their cases. The agency has experts who talk to the kids about the abuse they have experienced instead of the child having to repeat the same thing to many people.

Claire Beck gave the opening thought. She read a “Prayer to St Valentine” and gave some history about St. Valentine.

The next district meeting will be on March 7 at the Alstadt Galerie in Frankfort. Emilee Ebert, KSU women’s basketball player from Frankfort, will be the guest speaker. Claire Beck will be installed as the district secretary and Judy Ahrens as the district treasurer for 2021-2022.

The chapter voted to disburse funds to several local entities. Some of them are Flint Hills Breadbasket, Flint Hills Community Center, Big Lakes Development Center, Crisis Center, Emergency Shelter, Second Helping (soup kitchen) and the Early Learning Center. Mia Thompson, a senior at Manhattan High, was the winner of the youth scholarship for $500. Some of the other funds will go to Heartspring in Wichita which is a provider of services and therapies for children with special needs and developmental disabilities and to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The chapter will be having a virtual trivia social on Feb. 24. The next business meeting will be held virtually at 7 p.m. on March 10.

For more information on ESA, contact Maureen Wells at 785-477-1070 or Judy Ahrens at 785-477-0564.

Manhattan Rotary Club

Jim Lindquist sang America to open the Feb. 11 meeting. Rotary 5710 will host several foreign exchange students next year and they will need homes to stay in. Anyone wanting to host a student should let Rebecca know. Bill Richter introduced prospective new member Claudia Petrescu, new dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Education at K-State. Steven Graham explained the new procedures for Global Grant Scholarships. Funding sources and timing have been changed for this program that the Manhattan Club has sponsored locally for many years. The club has exceeded its pledge of $18,500 for this year’s contribution to the Rotary Foundation. Bob Ward announced three new Paul Harris Fellow recipients: Ole Olsen PHF+3, Terry Arthur PHF+1, Tom Roberts PHF+1. Cup money for this week is for Shepherd’s Crossing with three matching gifts available and can be mailed c/o Manhattan Rotary Club, PO Box 331, Manhattan, KS 66502.

Jayson Cyr introduced Aaron Wall, executive director of First Tee Manhattan. First Tee’s theme is “Building game changers within our community” using a golf and life skills curriculum. Participants are in three programs: in-school practice using tennis balls; community; and life skills experiences. The Manhattan program also includes Junction City and Fort Riley, but children from anywhere can participate. The program also has partnerships with Manhattan Catholic Schools, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and the Flint Hills Summer Fun Camp. The program teaches golf skills but core values are taught and emphasized. Activities and skills include children ages five to 18. Aaron said they can always use more donated “kid size” golf clubs, and anyone can donate golf balls through Colbert Hills.

In honor of the speaker, Stormy Kennedy will deliver a book to a local school. The club meets every Thursday at noon, now via Zoom. Visitors and guests are always welcome.

Solar Kiwanis

The Manhattan Solar Kiwanis Club met at noon on Feb. 15 via Zoom. Twelve members joined the meeting. President Charlie Sargent led the meeting.

The program speaker for the day was Doug Meloan, director of vehicle operations at Midwest Dream Car Collection. Solarian Jason Maseberg-Tomlinson introduced him. Meloan is a retired local long-time funeral director and began working for the Midwest Dream Car Collection before it opened in 2019. MDCC is owned by Ward and Brenda Morgan and has five full-time employees and about 30 volunteers. MDCC has a regularly changing collection of 65 vehicles on display ranging from 1907 to today. MDCC has educational and events programs along with a children’s studio.

Nominations for Solar Kiwanian Of The Year have closed and club members will be voting for SKOTY based on the nominations received. Vera Williams organized a Zoom interclub with the Salina Kiwanis club.

They will meet via Zoom at noon Feb. 22. Manhattan Solar Kiwanis Club meets every Monday noon, currently via Zoom. Guests and prospective members are always welcome. Advance reservations are not necessary. Contact Secretary Doug Ackley ( or 785-539-4945) to obtain the Zoom link code for a meeting. Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time.

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