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#MemberMonday: A Blast from Sertoma Past

By Brandi McGrath Kong, Director of Member Services & Conferences

It’s always important to look back at the history of an organization to understand where it has come from and the changes and progress that have been made since. It is in this spirit that I share this fun look back at Sertoma history:

100 Years Ago…
In 1923, Sertoma (then still known as the Co-Operative Club) first welcomed women to the organization in the form of a wives’ auxiliary. The first chapter of the Co-Operettes was started in Manhattan, KS, and called themselves the “Co-Op Lassies.”

80 Years Ago…
The Co-Operative Clubs International and National Monarchs Clubs were merged during an event known at the time as “The Wedding.” The merger officially took effect on September 1, 1943.

60 Years Ago…
Hearing health became the official national mission focus of Sertoma in 1963, which affected 24 million Americans at the time of its selection. Sixty years later, hearing and speech disorders now impact over 50 million individuals in the U.S. alone. 

That same year, Dallas Police Detective L.C. Graves, a past president of the club in Dallas, was handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald when Jack Ruby shot and killed Oswald on November 24, 1963.

40 Years Ago…
Sertoma took the national stage when President Ronald Reagan recognized actor Keenan Wynn for his work on the organization’s hearing health programs. Reagan would go on to award Sertoma with the Presidential Private Sector Initiative Commendation Certification for outstanding civic responsibility the next year.

30 Years Ago…
In 1992-1993, Sertoma established its scholarship program. Communicative Disorders Scholarships and Hard of Hearing or Deaf Scholarships continue to provide $1,000 in financial aid to graduate students studying audiology/communicative disorders and hard-of-hearing and deaf undergraduates respectively.

View more notable highlights from our organization’s 111-year past on the Sertoma History page.