History of the West County Spinners
Earl & Lorraine Kinsey
& First President
Roy & Ginny Winter
Don & Jackie Dohm
Just eight and a-half years ago, in August of 1981, Roy and Ginny Winter joined forces with Earl and Loraine Kinsey to try to begin a square dance dub in West St, Louis County. Monday night was chosen as our club night because that was the only evening that facilities at St. Timothy's Church were available.
It took a lot of perseverance to continue in our efforts, as we struggled with only one or two squares each time we met. Whenever there were three squares on the floor, we were elated! Because none of us knew anything about square dancing, we needed lots of help. This was provided by dedicated Angels from the Missouri Promenaders Club. They helped plant the "seed" from which our "tree" grew. Our thanks go to them and to Earl and Loraine, who saw us through many slim times and coached us along the way.
When Loraine informed me that we needed a club banner, I went home and labored over the designing and making of one. Then, to my horror, she
told me we also needed a "traveling" banner! That's when we became acquainted with Raiding and Retrieving.
What a task it was in those early years to get five couples to show up at dances other than our own. Imagine how excited we were when, through the efforts of Tom and Retha Ownby, our Raiding and Retrieving Chairmen, we won our first We Done It Award in 1985!
In 1982 the Winters, Art and Jean Swope, Ray and Evelyn Elliott and Don and Jackie Dohm drafted a Constitution and Bylaws document which serves as a guideline for our club. Our official name of West County Spinners was suggested by Bob Kirby. Our badge, replete with a spinning top, was conceived, and we became bona fide members of the St. Louis League of Clubs.
In the short space of seven
years we managed lo earn the We Done It Award four times, host a very popular annual dance featuring national caller Tony Oxendine, graduate Happy Tapper candidates from our beginner classes, host fabulous potluck Christmas parties, go on hayrides, picnics and mystery raids, earn fun badges and dance at Six Flags, Silver Dollar City, National Conventions and the 1987 Veiled Prophet Fair which was featured on national television.
A square dance club is only as good as its participating members. We have been most fortunate in having many dedicated couples willing to give of
their time and talents to keep the West County Spinners actively involved in a variety of social and benefit events. Our Activities Chairmen, our Raiding and Retrieving Chairmen and our officers have made our club one of the finest in the area,
Our current membership consists
of 50+ couples, complemented by an eager class of new dancers. Whatever we may lack in club size and age, we made up for in enthusiasm and friendship. We like to think of ourselves as the square dance group that emphasizes fun, laughter and an infectious spirit of camaraderie.
We are quite proud of the Turners and Preises who devoted themselves to two highly successful Benefit Dances in 1987 and 1988.
At this time, Dave and Barb Turner are serving on the Board of the 1993 National Square Dance Convention as Chairmen of the Services Committee. Members of their Committee from our club include Chuck and Trudy Krausnick,
Assistant Chairmen; Jerry and Hedy Gershman, Vice Chairmen of Security; George and Jean Sallwasscr, Vice Chairmen of Transportation; Ollie and Marge Ekstedt, Reports and Statistics; and George and Ginny Moellenhoff, Secretaries. Joe and Marilynn Preis are Vice Chairmen of Hospitality Committee on the Social and Special Events Committee.
Marilynn and Joe Preis, along with Trudy and Chuck Krausnick, are the current chairmen for this year's Belleville Festival. As hosts of "The Gay Nineties
- Then and Now" Festival of 1990, we hope that all clubs will enjoy their experience here as much as we did during our first
time around. Our initial venture into the world of the festival took place in April of 1983. As novices, we were extremely impressed with the magnitude of the event, from all the colorful booths to the hundreds of square dancers, to the excitement generated by huge rooms full of happy,
smiling faces. We learned something about decorating with crepe paper streamers that year, too. Those streamers s-t-r-e-t-c-h hopelessly out of shape in rainy weather!
Let us take it upon ourselves to STRETCH out to all the new dancers this year
- rain or shine - encouraging them m their efforts to stay in step. Let's welcome them with handshakes, yellow rocks and lots of good cheer. As smiles and laughter are some of life's treasures, so are events like this where we can share fellowship with hundreds of warm, caring, fun-loving people. West County Spinners wishes you all a most memorable lime.
Written by Ginny Winter Moellenhoff
|Roy and Virginia Winter
Don and Jackie Dohm
Trudy and Chuck Krausnick
Dave and Barbara Turner
Dick and Gail StochI