On May 3, the Winchester Kiwanis Club inducted two new members. Last January, the club celebrated its 100th anniversary. The first local club meeting was held in the basement of Christ Church on Main Street in Winchester. In attendance were 75 local residents and Kiwanian delegates from Muncie, Portland and Richmond. John C. Brommert, Lieutenant Governor of Kiwanis Clubs of Indiana, gave a speech outlining the principles of Kiwanis clubs and the work clubs had done in other cities.
For more than 100 years, the Winchester Kiwanis Club has embodied these ideals while serving the community. The local club’s biggest fundraising project was its annual newspaper drive which began in 1947 and continued until 2020 when it was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Each year, Kiwanians as well as members of the Winchester Community High School Key Club, and more recently the Lady Falcons basketball team, went door-to-door throughout Winchester to donate newspapers to those who answered their door in exchange for a goodwill donation. The profits being used to fund the many scholarships awarded to local students by the club.
Kiwanis founded and supports Key Club International. Started in Sacramento, California in 1925, Key Club is the oldest and largest service program for high school students in the world. In 2010, Key Club has 250,000 members in 5,000 clubs in 30 countries.
Originally an all-male club, the Kiwanis began admitting women as members in 1987. Among the first women admitted to the local club were Nancy McFarland, Mary-Ellen Bertram, Kathy Beumer and AnnMarie Browne. Current members of the Winchester Kiwanis Club are nearly 50% women.
The club’s two new inductees are women. Morgan Howard is Vice President and Director of Commercial Relations at First Merchants Bank in Winchester. It was a very special day for the other inductee, Leslie Jones.
Jones is the daughter of Fred Pries. In December 1977, Pries joined the Kiwanis club. He has since held various positions with the club and has been chairman of their annual newspaper drive since 1978. In 1983 he opened his office in downtown Winchester. From this office, he continues to help local citizens find affordable, quality insurance options.
Jones is married to Justin Jones, the son of Cheryl Jones of Matchett and Ward. They have two sons Rowan and Luke. She recently joined her father in the insurance business and she and Fred have moved into a new office a few doors north of the old Main Street office in downtown Winchester. They will hold an open house on June 2 to celebrate the new office and Leslie’s arrival at the firm.