Polka club celebrates 38 years

Staff writer

The Midwestern Polka Club of Kansas had a birthday party Saturday at the Marion County Lake Hall. The club was organized in 1974 and has been holding an anniversary dance every year at the lake since 1977.

About 75 people attended the party. As soon as the Dave Salmon Polka Band of Omaha, Neb., started playing, couples were out on the floor dancing to tunes such as “Waltz Across Texas” and “Doodle-De-Doo.”

At least 19 individuals from Marion County are members of the club. Locals attending the Saturday event included Mary Ann and Keith Conyers of Marion and Irma Benda of Pilsen. Joyce Buckley, formerly Joyce Steiner of Durham, is vice president.

According to treasurer Velma Compton of Wichita, the club’s current membership is 215, down from a peak of 400. Compton decried the fact that the art of polka dancing is dying out as the older generation passes. She said some clubs in other states have closed. The Kansas club includes a few individuals from Oklahoma and Iowa.

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