Community club calls it quits


DECATUR — Members of a local service club are saying their final goodbyes. The Sertoma Club had its last meeting before it’s done for good.

The club served the city by helping with everything from the Decatur Celebration to helping non-profits financially.

The club will be greatly missed by all those it had an impact on. It’s the beginning of the end for this service club.

“We’ve been around 50-years and some of our members are still here.”

Make that 63 years to be exact for the Sertoma Club. It stands for Service to Mankind; a motto members have always followed.

“One of the main purposes was to take money into the community to a worthwhile organization.”

The group has been around since the late 50’s. Dick Dechert has stuck with it ever since.

“I came in the club in 1956.”

At one time, the group had more than 100 members, but fast forward to now when there are fewer than a dozen.

“We’ve gotten to the point where we’ve all been president about three times. We’ve all been treasurer about three times. It’s time we are going to dissolve.”

This lunch will be their last because they don’t have the support to help others.

“Businesses and owners have lost the inspiration to motivate their employees to participate.”

Once a week, the club would meet. During those times, it helped the community any way it could.

“Contributed probably over half a million dollars.”

It was only fitting before the club is gone for good, it gives away one final donation; this time to the Northeast Community Fund’s future new location.

One last prayer and a few goodbyes. It’s hard to leave it all behind.

“The final time, it’s sort of a sad day, but it’s a day to reflect on a lot of positive things the Sertoma Club has participated in the community.”

Some men say they’d still like to meet for lunch. A very bittersweet day for some of them who’ve been in the club since the start.

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