An invitation from a hometown doctor to a Lion’s Club meeting in 1964 led to Keith Elwick of Vinton becoming a member of the service club going forward, and The Iowa Lion took notice in their February newsletter.
“I was their guest that first day and it sure didn’t take long for me to say ‘sure’ to joining,” Elwick, now a young 102 year old said. “It was a good, sound organization. Now I can’t imagine life without it.”
Elwick, a farmer, business owner, and inventor, was recognized for 56 years as a member of the local club in the newsletter and for his birthday back on November 12. His life was detailed from his farm machinery innovation to his fondness for the annual racoon hunt put on by the Vinton Lions club.
“That hunt almost got out of hand and made us wonder why we were picking on the poor raccoons,” Elwick chuckled. “It was always in fun and we always looked to it each year. We tried our best not to cross ways with animal lives people.”
As a member of Lions over the years, Elwick continued to insist guest speakers be brought in to talk with the members during their weekly lunch hour meetings.
“It seemed like for a while there when we were getting together we simply gathered at the table to eat and to play games,” Elwick said. “I said we could do better than that. Anyone in charge of the organization can find something of worthwhile interest to learn about. It’s programs like these that assist a great bunch of people.”
Elwick was charmed by the spotlight in the newsletter and noted he’s lived a “flowery life” in Vinton raising his family in town and running Hawk Bilt Farm Equipment in addition to running his family farm before eventually selling the land to become a recreational center.
“We’ve always been part of an active community and my life couldn’t have been any better,” Elwick said. “I’m delighted to be here in Vinton and be a part of Lions. We have a great hospital here, 14 churches and all the facilities you need for a rural community No complaints here.”
While on the subject, Elwick highly encouraged “young men and women” to join the Lions Club to help “keep the world right on sailing.”