The Catalyst Club will host their Good Neighbor Banquet
Wed, 09/06/2023 - 8:31am admin
The Catalyst Club will hold their 41st “Good Neighbor” Banquet at 1:00 pm on Sunday, September 24th at the Wall Community Center. The Catalyst Club originated in 1981 when Lyndell Peterson and Elnoris Kjerstad were fixing fence and having a discussion about their many good neighbors and how there should be a way of recognizing them for their good deeds. That discussion led to the formation of the Catalyst Club whose sole purpose has been to nominate and select good neighbors each year and honor them with a banquet.
This year two individuals and one couple will be honored. This year’s honorees include Cindy Weaver of Wall, Wendy Allison of Quinn, and Rod & Gloria Gunn of Rapid City. Honorees selected have demonstrated the qualities of being exceptionally good neighbors; those people who are always there to lend a helping hand when needed through volunteer work, community service, and just being a kind and helpful person to those who live and work around them.
Wendy was nominated by Camden Sawvell. He stated: “I am nominating Wendy based on all the volunteer work she has done for the Wall and Quinn communities.” Wendy is a member of the Emmanuel Lutheran Church where she assists in preparing meals served for funerals and other church events such as baptisms and confirmations. She also donates food for these events.
Wendy helps with the local Meals on Wheels program when needed. If there is a benefit held in the community you can bet Wendy will be involved. She does everything from soliciting items for the auction, planning a meal, to lining up an auctioneer. She has also contributed some unique items for these benefits. For a benefit being held for a lady in Philip who had breast cancer she decorated bras to sell. For another lady’s fundraiser she decorated hats to sell as the lady always wore a certain style of hat. She has also helped with fundraisers at the golf course.
Wendy was selected for the Volunteer of the Year Award by the Wall Chamber of Commerce in 2020. She was also named as Friend of the Wall FFA. She helped the organization with their people auction and was a judge for the district contests held in Wall.
In the spring she participates in the Country Cupboard food drive and the Quinn Easter Egg Hunt. She contacts families and posts flyers for these events. In the summer months you will find Wendy being a time-keeper at high school, 4-H and regional rodeos. She also helps with play days at the rodeo grounds. In the fall you will find her helping with the Quinn Celebration. She has also helped out with the Wall Celebration and Jean’s Day at the Federal Credit Union where she is employed. Wendy has definitely proven herself to be a very “good neighbor” in the communities of Wall and Quinn.
Cindy was nominated by Carol Hoffman who described Cindy as “the most kind and considerate person I know. “NO” is not in Cindy’s vocabulary. Every time you ask her to do something, she never hesitates to say “YES”. Cindy is a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Wall. She is always ready to lend a hand, from setting up tables and chairs for an event to baking cinnamon rolls or breads. Cindy has been making cakes for 1st communion and confirmation for years. She is willing to cook for funerals, and contacts others to help out also. She is the first to step up when help is needed in the kitchen. She also enjoys baking or making soup to take to the priest. Cindy and Casey’s house was one of the stops for the high school CCD class color run this year. The kids stopped and did an activity and then got color thrown on them.
Cindy was a cook at Wall School for 19 years where she enjoyed cooking for our youth. She is a self-employed baker and cook. She enjoys baking any cake you request, and will even whip up a meal for you if you do not have time. She is known as our “local cake baker.”
Cindy was involved in our local Lion’s Club for many years before it dissolved. They served a taco lunch after the Wall Celebration parade for many years. She helps out at the Wall Food Pantry to distribute food and also helps when Feeding South Dakota comes to Wall. She not only helps to distribute the food, but also delivers it to those who cannot meet the truck.
Cindy is always giving her neighbors rides to Rapid City for appointments, going to their house to trim their hair, or taking those baked goods or a hot meal “just because.” Cindy reaches out to anyone that might need a ride to church. She also helps neighbors paint or redo a deck. She is just an all-around “GREAT NEIGHBOR”.
Rod & Gloria Gunn
Rod & Gloria were nominated by Connie Simon. She nominated them as they have contributed a lot of volunteer services to all of the communities they have resided in. They have lived the past forty years in Rapid City. They also lived in Enning for three years where Rod began his career with the REA. While residing there he served as the local fire chief, and Gloria was president of the local women’s club. They later moved to Wall where Rod was active with the Jaycees, and Gloria served as room mother for their daughter’s class. She also worked for the Wall School District as the elementary principal secretary. Their last move was to Rapid City as Rod continued his career there with the WREA. Rod’s career brought him many committees and awards, but his being asked by the SD Rural Electric Association to supervise a contingent of 24 linemen from across SD to restore power lines in Louisiana after hurricane Katrina meant everything to him. Gloria was busy raising her children and later working for Technology & Innovation in Education as a desktop publisher and exhibit hall manager for the annual conference. She taught herself how to use numerous software programs and was able to help the education specialists showcase their work throughout the state.
Rod & Gloria both retired about 15 years ago. They said they had no plan for what they were going to do. Gloria explained: “I am convinced the good Lord was watching out for us, and I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. That prompted me to join the Rapid City Cosmopolitan Club (the club that fights diabetes) and Rod joined shortly after, and we have been very involved since then.” Rod and Gloria both keep very busy in the club by ushering at Rush hockey games, concerts, Broadway plays, rodeos and sports shows. Most weeks find them at The Monument for one to three events. They say the schedule can get crazy, and they have both taken on manager roles which brings more responsibility to their volunteer jobs. Gloria also manages the volunteers for Summer Nights on 7th Street, a downtown street concert where they check IDs throughout the summer. Most of the money made at these events is donated to help children and adults to control their diabetes. They are especially proud of helping sponsor Diabetes, Inc. Kids Kamp for children with Type1 diabetes.
In addition to their volunteering through the Cosmopolitan Club, Rod has been mowing the Mary Hall Park area behind his house for 15 years, saving the City Parks from having to do it. He also mows 3 of his neighbor’s backyards, and in the winter uses his snow blower throughout the neighborhood. The couple also donate to Feeding South Dakota, along with donating items to Youth & Family Services for families in need. It is obvious that Rod and Gloria have devoted much time and effort to volunteering. As to why they do it, Gloria explained: “All this information does not tell you what our time at all these events has brought to our lives! I was not prepared for getting back more than we gave, but that is exactly what happened! So many friendships with so many people. We still enjoy sitting and watching tv, but when it’s time, we are anxious to get back to our volunteering.”
Tickets for the banquet are available from Linda Eisenbraun and Carol Hoffman or other Catalyst Club members and should be purchased in advance. Please note the change in time from previous years.