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Hope Kiwanis Club Hears Program From Dennis Ramsey On History of Club

By Staff, 10/26/21 2:36 PM

Kiwanian Dennis Ramsey gave a program about history over the past 50 years in the Hope Kiwanis Club.  He cited three other members who have been in the club for over 40 years.  Ramsey and Bill Coffee joined in 1975.  Bob Willis joined in 1972, and Floyd Young has been in the club for 51 years.  There is at least one more active member with over 40 years, Randy Wright.  He joined in 1979.

Ramsey noted upon attending his first meeting he was elected treasurer.  He based his program on some of the records he kept during that period.

It was noted when Ramsey joined the club, dues and meals were $11.  During that period, the club averaged 64 members in attendance weekly.

Ramsey said in those days the clubs were important for networking.  He said most of the businesses in town had an employee in one of the civic clubs.

The meeting places of the club were detailed.  Prior to the mid 1960’s, the club met at either the Barlow Hotel or the Diamond Cafe.  Beginning in the mid 1960’s, the club moved to the new Town & Country Restaurant.  In the 70’s it moved to the Sheraton for a time before going back to the Town & Country.  Later that restaurant became Perry’s and the club later followed Perry Campbell when he opened the Western Sizzlin’.  Most of the clubs met there for the next 20 years.  After the Western Sizzlin’ closed, the Kiwanis Club went to the Country Club for a time and has met now for several years in the Amigo Juan’s banquet room.

Ramsey noted some of the various donations the club made during the years including to Hempstead County Hospital, the “UArkettes” from the University of Arkansas”, the Community Center Fund, School of Hope (now Rainbow of Challenges), equipment for ball park concession stands at Fair Park, and paying to rebuild the Kiwanis Pavilion at Fair Park.

Some other activities Ramsey detailed included a civic club basketball tournament, pancake suppers, Halloween candy sales, light bulb sales, popcorn sales, and of course the club’s variety show which ran from the 1940’s to mid 1980’s.  He noted the variety show, for several years, was presented two nights in Hope and one night in Blevins.

Lots of the members shared some of their own stories, mentioning such former members as Henry Haynes, Dean Murphy, Guy Grigg, and Harry Hawthorne.  There were also a couple of stories about the club’s Christmas Tree Sale in the 90’s.

The Kiwanis Club greatly enjoyed the trip down “memory lane”!