There is technically not an active Knox Kiwanis Club. Even though the remaining members have not given up their charter, the club has for many months been an associate member of the North Judson Club.
What happened to this once proud club? According to Todd Wallsmith, who tried to keep the club together with membership drives, it was the “perfect storm” of calamities that doomed the club.
The most disruptive in a series of occurrences was that during the 2007-2008 year the club lost three presidents when Pastor Leon Pomeroy, School Principal Jim Condon, and Librarian John Brock moved on to other employment opportunities.
Wallsmith, who was the last president of the club, said this week that four or five of the people who used to attend weekly club meetings still meet unofficially at Mikey’s Pizza Pit Shop every Tuesday at Noon to discuss the “topics of the day.”
A couple of the events that the former members participate in are the Knox High School After Prom breakfast and the Christmas Basket program.
“We gave it a sincere effort,” said Wallsmith. “But it might just have been a sign of the times.”
In his popular 1995 book “Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital”, author Robert Putnam bemoaned the fact that Americans have disengaged from political involvement, public meeting attendance, serving on committees, and the loss of membership in civic organizations. (although activity in the recently created Tea Party movement seems to discredit the premise).
Wallsmith didn’t try to analyze the demise of the Knox Club, but he did acknowledge that this generation seems busier with other things and their priorities don’t include joining fraternal organizations.