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Social club in David City to disband

December 27, 2018

After nearly 70 years, David City’s Northside Club is coming to an end.

Not to be confused with the cafe and truck stop in David City sporting the same name, the civic social club was founded in 1951. Members have met about once a month to do activities and go on social outings. It currently has nine members: Barb Dehner, Shirley Warholoski, Rita Polak, Lorene Woita, Virginia Miller, Betty Tarr, Marie Cunningham, Bev Bennett and Virginia Rerucha.

Woita has been a member since the group was first created in 1951, while others have been in the club for more than 50 years. Dehner said they decided to disband because it was getting more and more difficult to transport people to meetings due to their age and health. Most club members are in their 90s.

“I said we were never going to put an end to it,” Dehner said. “But you know what, I saw myself being picked up by gals because I couldn’t drive anymore. There are three gals in walkers, and it’s a chore to move people around.”

Bennett said this type of group isn’t as appealing in current times to the younger generation. The club stopped recruiting new members because it was difficult to have enough space in their homes for so many guests.

“We decided about 10 years ago that our homes were no longer big enough for 18 people, so we just stopped inviting new people to join,” Bennett said. “It just kind of slowed down after that.”

The club’s philanthropy included making holiday cards for Meals on Wheels and raising money for Relay for Life, Cunningham said. For the past six years, the club had raised more than $2,500 for the event, which has its funds go toward the American Cancer Society.

“This last year, we raised $5,000 during the summer, just our little group,” Cunningham said.

Whenever a member was in need, Bennett said the club was there to lend a helping hand.

“When someone was in need or had someone who was ill, we were there to make food, send cards, help them with rides, whatever they needed,” Bennett said. “It’s just a crutch to us.”

Cunningham said the club name comes from the fact that most of its members at the time of its creation lived north of the train tracks in David City. But, Dehner said, over time the group became more than just a club.

“Over the years I think we became more of a family than just a club,” Dehner said.

Although the group won’t have any official meetings any more after this month, Bennett said members will continue to keep in touch and grab coffee together.

And Cunningham agreed.

“We won’t be an official club, but we will always officially be friends,” Cunningham said.

Eric Schucht is a reporter for the Banner-Press. Reach him via email at eric.schucht@lee.net.

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