Recently, the South-West Kiwanis Club of Peoria presented a variety of membership awards at a banquet held at Childers Banquet and Events Center on Dries Lane.
The evening’s awards began with the presentation of Member Emeritus to Dean McCoy, father of Sheriff Michael McCoy. Dean was president of South-West in 1978-79. His service to the club has been distinctive and the club is proud to offer him Emeritus Status.
This year marked the first year that our club awarded the Merle Meismer – ‘Mr. Cheese Man’ – Award for individual sales during our annual cheese sale. This award is named to honor Member Emeritus Merle Meismer (member since 1967), who passed away in March of this year.
Merle is the undisputed, top-grossing cheese salesman over the life of our annual sales program. He, along with his wife Annette, established a sales promotion at OSF Hospital. This opened the doors to the two other local hospitals, as well as the other diverse OSF locations in Peoria. The first recipient of this award was Jan Deissler, whose efforts in the OSF cheese sales and leadership garnished top spot this year. Our club was honored to have Annette Meismer in attendance to witness the first award presentation.
Other awards went to Gene Gitttrich and Ralph Hammel, plus an award to Terry Turner for his outstanding operations of the sale over the past three years.
Awards were also given Jan Deissler, John Day , and Kathy Raiborn for their efforts in our recent Trivia Challenge fundraiser. Additionally, Lauren Obalil was given an award for her part in directing the fundraiser this year. Entertainment was provided by Mr. Michael Baker, a Member the Peoria Magic Assembly. He did a small program before dinner, and another one just before the awards.