On Sunday, August 3, over 100 members and former members celebrated the club’s 50th anniversary. The party and program were designed to honor the past and celebrate the future of the club.
Our club was founded by 13 Vashon families on August 11, 1964. Based on their vision, these families and other who joined soon after began the journey to build a club that today includes one of the best 9-hole golf courses in the Northwest, a sparkling pool enjoyed by many children and adults, our tennis courts, and our outstanding restaurant, Mileta Creek. Above all, the club fosters and promotes a strong sense of community and camaraderie among its members.
A number of these founding members or their families were able to join the festivities as our guests, and received public recognition by John Bender, our club president. They each put up $500 to fund the down payment on the property. Soon thereafter, the “original” members, around 200 families, joined, and purchased propriety memberships for $350 a family. John also recognized the original members or their families who were able to attend, thanking them for their long-standing membership in and contributions to the club. Barbara Steen was recognized as the longest continuing member of the club.
Mike Kimmel, who served several terms as club president, gave an overview of the club’s growth to what is now is. He talked about the golf course, the decision to build and the construction of the swimming pool (1966), and development of the clubhouse, which grew over the years.
Bob Lande and Bob Kellum spoke about the men’s activities over the years, including golf tournaments, volunteer work on the golf course (especially by the “over the hill gang”), support as the sponsor of the Vashon High School Golf Team (our own Andy Sears is the current coach, ably assisted by Neil Jungemann and Mark Brownell. Neil has worked as one of the team’s assistant coaches for many years), and, thanks to Bob Kellum, a story or two about the events that happened over the years during some of the golf junkets.
The Ladies Club was well represented by Dorothy Neal and Sonja Huntington. While enjoying a great golf and social schedule, they have over the years raised substantial funds for the Susan Komen Race for the Cure (over $60,000) and more recently in the Rally for the Club ($16,000 to date). The latter funds have driven important updates to almost every aspect of the club, including the golf course (irrigation system), the grounds (landscaping) and the swimming pool.
Members and guests reminisced about their time at the club, encouraged by photos gathered and digitized by Eileen Buskirk. These photos, explanatory statements, and news articles traced the club from its founding to the recent past. We all thank Eileen for her substantial effort to gather, organize and prepare the materials for our enjoyment.
Following closing comments by Craig Wilcox, General Manager and PGA Golf Professional, John Bender gave a campaign toast to the past and the future of the club, and to all those who made it possible – every member, every volunteer and our outstanding staff.
The co-chairs of the planning committee for the event were Mary Van Gemert and Steve Benowitz. Other members were Deborah Bender, Donna Dederer, Eileen Buskirk, and Sonya Huntington.