Sertoma Club marks 40 years

Published 9:40 am Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Albert Lea Sertoma Club is celebrating its 40th year.

The club was chartered on Jan. 10, 1970, with 27 members. Since then, membership has gone from 27 to 60, and presently there are about 15 members. There are four members still with the club who are charter members: Gerry Gehling, Bob O’Sell, Bob Blong and Keno Knutson.

The word Sertoma means Service to Mankind. The club’s mission is helping the speech and hearing impaired, and participating in community needs. It has have provided hearing and testing systems for local schools, camperships, audio and video to needy organizations. The group also contributes funds to the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and Arc and SPIRE, to name a few. Once the club donated $20 for a tank of gas and a meal for a stranded traveler. The first donation was a recorder to the ALPHA school when it was on the corner of James and Fourth Street. The club has contributed over $70,000 in the community since it started. The first fundraiser was a Mother’s Day candy sale, which netted $200. Since then, club members have sold light bulbs and candles door to door, sponsored a circus, a country show with Del Reeves, Big Island Rendezvous food stand, mini golf during the Freeborn County Fair, and also fish fry dinners.

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Every year Sertoma likes to honor a person in the community that has given their time and talents in providing service to the community. The club also likes to honor a Sertoman who has put time and effort toward club activities. The club also believes it should enjoy the fellowship of its members by having various social events during the year.

The club is always looking for new and energetic members. Anyone is welcome to join.