After 31 years, the Kansas chapter of the Polka Lovers Klub has schottisched for the last time to the steady oom-pah-pah beat. Membership has been declining, volunteers willing to serve as officers were hard to find, and most dancers are over 70 years old.
Angie Kaiser is the president of the Klub. She announced the conclusion in the March newsletter.
“As of March 10, 2014, the P.O.L.K. of A. Kansas Chapter is no longer in existence,” Kaiser wrote. “The balance in the treasury (more than $16,000) has been distributed to various charitable organizations, with 50 percent going to Great Bend and 50 percent going to Wichita.”
The group started in 1983 with about 250 members, many who most likely grew up in the tiny ethnic communities of Cuba, Wilson, Grinnell, and Timken.
The Klub’s dance floor and trailer were sold to a Goodland man. Photo albums were donated to the Barton County Historical Society. The boom box was donated to St. Francis of Assisi Church in Wichita, and the copy machine was given to the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Marcy.
“We had some good years and made a lot of good friends during the 30 plus years,” Kaiser wrote. “We all went to a lot of polka dances and festivals around the country.”
More about the end of the Kansas Polka Lovers Klub is online at the Wichita Eagle.