Kiwanis Club fundraiser lets the good times roll '50s and '60's style

Friday, April 9, 2010
All ages and all outfits came out to the Arena Building Saturday evening, April 4, 2009, for the annual Kiwanis 50s and 60s Dance. (Kit Doyle)

Don't be surprised to see classic cars and motorcycles and people wearing rolled up sleeves and bobby socks in the vicinity of Arena Park on Saturday.

A road cruise of era-appropriate vehicles will help kick off the annual Cape Girardeau Kiwanis Club '50s and '60s Dance at the Arena Building. Organizer Fred Horrell said he expects around 700 people to attend the event, highlighted by a dance contest and costume contest with cash prizes.

The club's annual dance is a fundraiser, which Horrell said supplies money for area youth activities and community needs. Aside from a weekly bingo night, the dance is the club's most successful fundraiser.

"It would probably be easier to name what we don't give to than what we do," said Horrell of the club's donations to local interests.

Horrell said Bruce Channel, a hit songwriter and performer who has traveled from Nashville, Tenn., for the past 14 years to play the dance, always entices the crowd to come out.

One of Channel's songs, "Hey Baby," was covered by Anne Murray and featured in the 1980s film "Dirty Dancing." Former Beatles member Ringo Starr also had a hit with the song in the 1970s.

Horrell will accompany Channel on harmonica in "Hey Baby" on Saturday. A local group, Decade Band, and a local singer, Kim Keele-Jasinski, will provide backup and perform their own renditions of '50s and '60s music.

In 2008, the club established a scholarship for university music students named after Channel, Horrell said. The annual scholarship gives $1,000 to a student for tuition purposes. The student is also asked to play piano at the club's weekly meetings. Next month, Horrell said, in part with the money from the dance, $1,000 scholarships will also be awarded to high school seniors who need help paying for college.

Past community projects helped by money raised at the dance include a concession stand for Cape Girardeau Central High School, maintenance of Kiwanis Park and the Capaha Park grandstand, provision of night vision cameras for the fire department and bulletproof vests for the police department, donations to Missouri Valley Therapeutic Horsemanship facilities and transportation costs of the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center for patients with special needs.

"Anyone who has a need comes to us, and we usually give hundreds to thousands of dollars," Horrell said.

The club does not withhold any portions of fundraiser proceeds for its own use.

Attendees at Saturday's dance can bring their own beverages. The club will set up stands with ice, sodas and popcorn. The crowd will choose the winners of the dance and costume contests. There is no registration required for the event or the contests.

Tickets are $10 in advance at Cape Carpet and Supply, Shivelbine's Music, Minor's Harley-Davidson, Adkisson Insurance Agency, Tom Ward Hairstyling and Van Matre Buick, or from any Kiwanis Club member. Tickets will also be available at the door Saturday for $11. Doors open at 7 p.m. for a social hour, and music begins at 8.

Any owners of '50s- and '60s-era cars or motorcycles are invited to join the road cruise being organized by Sonny Minor, club member and owner of Minor's HarleyDavidson. Cruisers should meet in front of the Arena Building before 6 p.m. to participate.

Map of pertinent addresses

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