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Weirton Kiwanis Club begins new club year

Local and district officers recognized

October 6, 2008
By LYNNELLEN WINKLER, Community editor

The Weirton Kiwanis Club held its officer installation luncheon on Sept. 30 at Undo's Restaurant in Weirton.

Outgoing President Kitty Kochman called the luncheon meeting to order and introduced Duke Horstemeyer who served as master of ceremonies for the event. Betty Jo Welch asked all to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and Horstemeyer led the singing of "America."

Horstemeyer introduced distinguished guests and provided the invocation.

Article Photos

KIWANIANS OF THE YEAR NAMED – Old friends and club members John Alatis and Walter Larch were chosen as the 2008 Co-Kiwanians of the Year. Both men have been involved with the Weirton Kiwanis Club for many years. Pictured above from left are Alatis, Kiwanis Club Immediate Past President Kitty Kochman, and Larch. -- Lynnellen Winkler

Following lunch, Kochman summed up her year as president by recalling many of the club's accomplishments, including the Rose Sale, "Bell Ringing" for The Salvation Army, the dance and picnic for clients of the Hancock County Sheltered Workshop and Opportunity Center, "Terrific Kids," Peanut Day and sponsoring Weir High School's Key Club.

Kochman said, "This is the first time we held the installation at noon and I'm very pleased with the turn out." She continued, "I'd like to thank my officers and board of directors for their support and members for their participation."

At the conclusion of her remarks, Kochman announced the winners of the 2008 Kiwanians of the Year.

"Choosing one was too difficult," said Kochman.

Old friends and club members John Alatis and Walter Larch were chosen as the 2008 Co-Kiwanians of the Year. Both men have been involved with the Weirton Kiwanis Club for many years and have held offices at the local, district and state levels.

West Virginia Kiwanis Governor-Elect Tina Larch presented the "Home Club" Banner to West Virginia District 1 Lt. Governor Aggie Monezis.

Monezis served as installing officer for the event and installed the following officers for the 2008-2009 club year: Kochman, immediate past president; Sue Shank, president; Mary Byers, president-elect; Lynnellen Winkler, vice-president; Mary Kay Olashuk, treasurer and Donna Donohue, secretary. Monezis presented each officer with their appropriate lapel pins. The new board of directors members are Rik Rekowski, John Hudson, Walter Larch, Irene Mindzak, Monezis, Welch, Horstemeyer, John Alatis and Tina Larch.

Shank presented a 'thank you' gift to Kochman for her leadership.

Luncheon guests included Dave and Donna Ranson, and a contingent from the Wellsburg Kiwanis Club, Janice Smith, Bill Shannon, Leon Cox, Sonny and Mary Ann Marino and Phil and Betty Consalvo.

Representatives from Weir High School's Key Club attended the installation luncheon. Attending were West Virginia Key Club Governor J.M. Alatis, Kacey Bertha, Megan Givens, Jenna Maine, Stephanie Randolph and Amanda Thorp.

J.M. Alatis said, "Congratulations to all as the Kiwanis Club is ending a successful year of service. I am looking forward to working with the new board of directors and slate of officers. Division 1 is the best division and is talked about by Key Club members all over the country. Together, our clubs can accomplish a lot of good, quality acts of service in the coming year."

Shank added, "All of our clubs are struggling with membership and I want building membership to be an important part of my presidency. I have challenged my officers and board members to ask those close to them to join Kiwanis."

The meeting concluded with the Kiwanis Prayer led my Irene Mindzak. The prayer, used by Kiwanis Clubs all over the United States and Canada, was written by a multi-faith committee of clergy from the Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Orthodox faiths in Weirton.

(Winkler can be contacted at

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