Community House brings entertaining summer events to the Peninsula


Danna Webster, KP News

Don Fifer's large combustion engine designed by Economy Engines is among the displayed machinery at Old Timers Day. Photo by Kristen Pierce

This summer, two excellent events served as fund-raisers for the Key Peninsula Community Services (KPCS). These events earned a few thousand dollars for the benefit of the KPCS, which  sustains a food bank for local citizens and provides luncheons and activities for seniors. Annually, KPCS also presents food baskets during the Christmas holiday for those in need.

In July, the second annual Ty Hardin Charity Golf Classic hosted 10 four-man teams in a “Four Person Scramble” tournament. And in August, the annual Old Timers’ Day logging show and family festival was held at the Longbranch Improvement Club. It is the goal of KPCS to make each event better every year, according to Linda Hubbard, executive director.

The Ty Hardin Charity Golf Classic topped last year’s event in number of contestants, prizes and a grand celebration. Prizes were awarded for best contest scores, a putting championship, the longest drives, and the closest to the pin. A special grand prize was awarded for a hole-in-one, which was achieved by Jamie Leary of the Horseshoe Lake golf club home team. A steak and chicken barbeque, with all the trimmings, was provided for the golfers and their supporters.

Edith Kinder is one of nine local residents 90 years and older who were honored at Old Timers Day. Photo by Danna Webster

This was the 21st year for Old Timers’ Day, where the clubhouse schedule and logging field show were enjoyed by an estimated 400 people. The cooking staff reported slicing over 35 pounds of onions for hamburgers that were served at the barbeque. Between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., the cooks were running nonstop between the kitchen and the outside grill because they were “having a hard time keeping the hamburger barbeque supplied,” said Helen Saxer, KPCS volunteer.

The barbeque was only one of the meals the volunteers provide for the Old Timers’ Day event. They also served a pancake breakfast and spaghetti dinner to the loggers. Those meals fueled the loggers as they competed in such contests as large and small chain saws, obstacle course, tree fall, chopping block, and double and single bucking.

The clubhouse program featured music all day long under the rafters of the beautifully restored Longbranch Improvement Club. The Key Singers, the Down Home Band, the Rhythm and Shoes Cloggers, and the High Plains Drifters were scheduled performers. Between acts, talented local musicians serenaded the hall with organ, guitar and vocals featuring old time country and gospel.

A trademark of both events was uncommon generosity. One-dollar raffle tickets were sold for each occasion, and prizes that flowed to the winners were provided by numerous donations from local businesses. The golf classic participants won guest passes to golf courses, meals, computer repair service and a grand prize of a $100 dinner at the Beach House. Lottery winners at Old Timers’ Day won oil paintings, 50 pounds of meat, cords of firewood, and the top cash prize of $500, which was won by logger Nick Boquist.

David Johnson, 13, demonstrates his dexterity picking up a plunger and other small articles. His friend Ryan Brackens, 13, looks on. Photo by Kristen Pierce

According to Hubbard, KPCS needs volunteers. Volunteers can help with next year’s events and fill holiday food baskets. Help is also needed for stocking shelves and general assistance and maintenance at the building.

Hubbard wants to see the younger group of Key Pen residents find the enjoyment of volunteering. “Somebody who has never volunteered doesn’t understand the sense of satisfaction. That’s a legacy around here to pass down to the younger generation,” she said.