Clubs Clay County Historical Society

The March meeting of the Clay County Historical Society was held at the Austin Whittemore House on March 24.

President Cleo Erickson opened the meeting with the program, "The History of the Beginning of the Police Department in Vermillion, South Dakota." The audience learned of the many men who served Vermillion well, beginning in 1877. The officers were required to walk the "beat" to which they were assigned. The first motorized vehicle was a motorcycle and was operated by William Bliss as he patrolled the streets of Vermillion in the late 1930s.

This type of patrol lasted only a couple of years due to the noise caused in the city by the motorcycle. The following vehicle was a convertible Model A Ford with a spotlight and hand-operated siren. Thus began the use of cars.

Anyone interested in the rest of the story may stop by the Austin Whittemore House and read the rest of the story.

The business meeting was held, followed by refreshments and visiting by those attending the meeting. The annual meeting will be held April 13, beginning with a potluck supper at 6:30 p.m. at the Austin Whittemore House. The public is invited to attend.

Vermillion Rotary Club

In their meeting Tuesday noon this week, Rotarians were alerted by Chuck Yelverton, the event chairperson, that April 14 will be Helmet Day this year. The Rotary Club annually presents bicycle safety helmets to all Vermillion second-graders.

Becki Stoddard, coordinator of Vermillion's alternative high school, updated Rotary members on this community program now entering its third year. Enrollment is currently 17 students, three of whom are full time at the school and 14 of whom take classes at both the alternative school and at Vermillion High School.

Housed in the lower level of Community First State Bank, the program is funded 50 percent each by the Vermillion Public Schools and through a grant from the South Dakota Department of Labor. Classes are offered in mathematics, English, social studies and job skills, while students attend Vermillion High School for science offerings.

Stoddard explained that success of these programs is measured in large part by what percentage of the students have either completed requirements for high school graduation or returned full time to the high school for the remainder of their secondary education. In these terms she reported a 77 percent success rate for the program's first two years. This compares favorably with similar programs elsewhere and also reflects a significant contribution toward lowering the high school dropout rate.

Rotary guests included Jenica Berndt, Mark Rodvold and five students from Vermillion High School: Jon Spader, Todd Stephens, Travis Taggart, Jared Thedorff and Jordan Thompson.

Vermillion Jaycees

The general membership meeting of the Vermillion Jaycees was called to order by President Elizabeth Acosta on March 21. Tim Dew and Jon Callahan were introduced as new members.

Special presentations were given during the Management Development report on Vermillion Public Library Reading Program, Special Olympics, and the Vermillion Chamber of Commerce. A regional rally will be held in Humboldt on April 15. Make plans to attend. Sandbox fill will be on May 6. Dena Brady will be chairing this project. More information will be available at next meeting. Call Dena to volunteer.

Concession stand is coming up soon. Anyone who would like to volunteer to chair or co-chair this project should contact Elizabeth as soon as possible. The newsletter will be available by e-mail soon. Please let Elizabeth know your e-mail address so you can receive April�s newsletter via e-mail. The new polo shirts are in. Please pay for your shirt as soon as possible.

President Elizabeth Acosta led the Community Development report. Seven Jaycees helped with the SD Public TV Festival 2000. Almost $5,000 was raised and fun was had by all. Great Strides began yesterday. Ryan Bear is the team captain and the members of the team are Patty Schwasinger, Lisa Miller and Hope Schneider.

The second annual Easter Egg Hunt was discussed. No one was willing to chair this project, but May baskets for senior citizens was discussed. Anyone who would like to chair this project should volunteer at the next meeting.

We have been approached by March of Dimes Walk America. They would like us to help with this project again this year. Anyone interested should contact Ryan Bear.

Under the Individual Development area, Brad Updike, one of our members and soon-to-be tax attorney, has offered to give a course on tax preparation. However, it appears as if all members in attendance have already filed so this course will not be offered at the next meeting.

Under the Membership area, a new member orientation was held Friday, March 17.

A chapter report was given by President Elizabeth Acosta. Currently we have 25 members including our seven new members this year. Our goal is 40 members by the end of the year. We have 14 new sustaining members for a total of 28. We would like to have 40 by the end of the year. Elizabeth has challenged the chapter to attain a total membership of 40 by the end of the year. If we achieve that goal she will do our chapter the honor of providing us with a new Jaycee Creed.

The next meeting will be April 4 at the Chamber of Commerce. The public is invited to attend.

Senior Citizens Center

A dreary fog-banked day on March 22 had 53 card players: 20 pitch, four pinochle, three skip-bo and 25 bridge.

Bridge prizes went to: Marlys Miller, high; Adeline Isaacson, second; Ernie Miller, third; Robin Eisenmenger,fourth; Louise Scott, blind bogie; and Monica Ballard, low.

Refreshments were furnished by Louella Matson, Louise Scott and Phyllis Christol.

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