The Belmond Gridiron Club is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, and the members were chosen as grand marshals for last week’s Belmond-Klemme homecoming parade. The Belmond organization says it is the oldest gridiron club in the state.
The club is open to any male interested in football. The annual membership dues are $20, but members also pay “fines” during the weekly meetings. President Kelly Eide said trivia questions about football and sports are asked, and anyone who doesn’t know the answer is fined a quarter (although no one has to pay more than $3 at any one meeting).
The club’s biggest fundraiser is the annual four-man best shot golf tournament at the Belmond Country Club. All of the entry fees, sponsorships and donations go directly to the B-K football program. The money is used for a variety of purposes, including paying for football camps, meals for the players during road games and camps, equipment, uniforms and transportation. “Anything that the coaches or the team needs, we help them with it,” Eide said.
Steve McLaughlin, who played football as a Bronco in the late 1950s, became a Gridiron Club member in 1965. He is the longest tenured member of the local club. Gilman Soma and Gary Berkland have been members since 1972.
To celebrate the 80th anniversary, the Gridiron Club has been posting historical photos on its Facebook page.
The group meets Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Cattlemans at the Club. The officers, along with Eide, are Mark Jenison, vice president, and Brad Berneman, treasurer.