“Editor’s note: For those who couldn’t come
to today’s special meeting, I’m printing the write-up below that will be
entered as our district entry.”
THE SERTOMA CLUB OF
THE DECATUR BREAKFAST SERTOMA CLUB
2014 SERVICE-TO-MANKIND AWARD
The Decatur Sertoma Club and Decatur Breakfast Sertoma Club are pleased
to present their 2014 Service-To-Mankind Award to Rene and Helen
Corcoran of Decatur, Illinois. Rene is a regular volunteer at the
Decatur Public Library, a long-time member of the Golden K Kiwanis Club
and Helen is the current immediate Past President of the Golden K
Kiwanis Club. Both are active in the First Presbyterian Church of
Rene Corcoran was born and lived two years in New Orleans, Louisiana,
and then his family moved to the ‘sticks’ in old Metairie, a suburb of
New Orleans with lots of blackberry picking and snakes. He graduated
from Metairie High School in 1957. He then worked full-time for Pan
American Life Insurance Company while also attending night school at
Tulane University for two years. In succession, he attended Concordia
College in Austin, Texas, Concordia Senior College in Ft. Wayne,
Indiana, and Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. He interned in
the University Lutheran Church in West Lafayette, Indiana, working with
Purdue University students. He then served as pastor to Zion Lutheran in
Ainsworth, Nebraska, and Hope Lutheran in Birmingham, Alabama. After
five years in those churches, he joined the American Red Cross where he
served in Camp LeJeune, NC, Camp Humphrey, Korea, Little Rock, AR, St.
Louis, MO, and lastly in Decatur, IL from 1980 until 1990. He then
worked in several businesses for several years. In the mid-1980’s Rene
received an MBA from Sangamon State University in Springfield, IL, and
then became an adjunct professor of accounting at Richland Community
College in Decatur.
Helen Mashhoff was born and raised on a farm near Hoyleton, Illinois and
graduated from Nashville, IL, High School. She met and married Rene in
1966 while working as a secretary in the Registrar’s Office at Concordia
Seminary in St. Louis. They are the proud parents of two daughters, Mary
(Mrs. Troy Langer) in Buffalo Grove, IL and Sara (Mrs. David Edgerton)
in Valparaiso, IN and of three grandchildren, Nicole, Nolan, and Cowan.
Helen worked as an administrative assistant in the Electrical service
Division of Bodine Electric in Decatur from 1982 until her retirement in
2002. She is a gardener and an amateur artist, winning an Honorable
Mention at a recent Barn Colony Art Show. Both Rene and Helen enjoy
visiting their families, reading, and working crossword puzzles or the
daily cryptogram. They have enjoyed traveling to Bali, Tahiti, Ireland,
and a Danube River Cruise.
Rene’ was a Noon Kiwanis Club member from 1980 until 2002 when he
transferred to the Golden K Kiwanis Club. Helen became a Prairieland
Kiwanian in 2006 and two years later transferred to the Golden K. Rene
has been Club President and Division Lt. Governor. He is currently the
Club Historian, collecting the obituaries of all former deceased members
since 1981. Helen became the first female Club President in 2012-13.
They jointly chaired the I.I. Mid-winter Convention in Decatur in 2009
attended by 200 Kiwanians; that year he was named the club’s Kiwanian-of-the-Year.
Rene has accumulated over 6000 volunteer hours, primarily in the Decatur
Public Library History Room and in the Audio-Visual Department. He has
been on both the Library and Friends of the Library Boards; in the
latter he manages the “Books Between Bites” Program. Because of his avid
interest in history, Rene’ has presented many talks about Decatur
Helen has recorded over 900 volunteer hours derived from active
participation in several Golden K committees and in community projects
such as, “Let’s Keep Decatur Bee-utiful,” serving meals at the Good
Samaritan Inn, manning the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree and Christmas
Food Baskets and Toys, the Decatur Public Library Book Sales, and
working at the Decatur Celebration’s Kid’s Block.
Rene and Helen joined First Presbyterian Church in 2007. She has been a
deacon and he has been the Adult Discipleship Committee Chair and an
Adult Sunday School “Everyday Issues” class organizer and presenter. He
is currently a ruling elder and church treasurer.
It is apparent that Rene and Helen Corcoran are both wonderful assets to
the community and their church. When asked what motivates them to
volunteer, Rene immediately said, “It keeps me off the streets and out
of trouble!” then added, “Volunteers gain more than those they help.”
Helen chimed in with, “You also get to meet the nicest people, too.” We,
the Sertoma Clubs of Decatur, Illinois, believe that Rene and Helen
Corcoran truly represent Sertoma's motto of ‘Service to Mankind.’ We’re
extremely proud to present them our 2014 Service-To-Mankind Award.
Lloyd Swanson: _____________________________ Date: ________________
President, Sertoma Club of Decatur
Mick Hoehne: _______________________________ Date: ________________
President, Decatur Breakfast Sertoma Club
What a great meeting our club
hosted today for the Service To Mankind Award Breakfast! Approximately
45 persons attended, including members and spouses from both the Decatur
Noon and Decatur Breakfast Sertoman Clubs, Golden K Kiwanis Club
members, five former award recipients, Mayor Michael McElroy, City
Councilman Pat McDaniels, Illinois-Wisconsin District Governor, John
Parker, Great Lakes Region International Director, Cheryl Cherny, and of
course, our two outstanding Service To Mankind Award recipients, Rene
and Helen Corcoran. President Mick Hoehne acted as Master of Ceremonies
and because of our new format, adjourned the meeting at 8:00 p.m.
Special thanks to the joint club committee who chose the honorees and
organized the affair: Dick Vissering, Larry Fouste, Dick Fiala, Mick
Hoehne, and Paul Rosenberger. This was the 42nd year we have presented
VP Will Sudduth would have announced next Friday’s social meeting.
VP Lance Gauble would have welcomed our many guests. ‘BRING MORE
Hugh Rowden would have re-circulated a signup sheet for our
officer’s installation dinner next Friday, June 27 at Yoder’s
Kitchen in Arthur, located on Route 133 that features Amish and
Mennonite cooking. Let’s organize carpooling next Friday morning.
VP Norm Jensen would have re-circulated a signup sheet for our July 3-4
Midnight Bingo. The packet assembly will take place on Tuesday, July 1.
We need many helpers. Breakfast may occur after cleanup around 4:00 a.m.
on July 4 – but without fireworks.
Sheriff Mike Borders would have been lenient today on all the
yellow-shirted Breakfast Sertomans. What a fine turnout of proud
– Regular meeting at 7:00 a.m. at Scovill
Golf Course Banquet Facility
June 27 – Officer Installation Dinner at
6:00 p.m. at Yoder’s in Arthur
July 1 –
Board meeting at 6:50 a.m. at Perkin’s
July 1 –
Midnight Bingo Packet Assembly at 9:30
p.m. at Bingo Hall in Mt. Zion
July 3-4 –
Midnight Bingo at 10:00 p.m. at Majestic
Bingo Hall in Mt. Zion
August 1-2-3 –
Decatur Celebration Elephant Ear Project