Krogstad takes over as Kiwanis governor; KEEP event is Oct. 5 at Fairgrounds
By Thom Gerretsen
MARSHFIELD – Roger Krogstad has spent much of his adult life helping children in his community. On Oct. 1, Krogstad took on a larger role in helping kids as the new governor of Kiwanis International’s Wisconsin-Upper Michigan District.
Krogstad, a retired owner of Marshfield’s Wildwood Animal Hospital & Clinic, will spend one year overseeing more than 4,000 Kiwanians in 165 clubs across the district. Clubs provide a wide variety of projects for children; youth sports programs, building playgrounds, neighborhood improvements, and more. Unlike many service organizations, he says Kiwanis also prepares future leaders with clubs made up of the youngsters it serves.
Krogstad, a Marshfield Kiwanian for more than 25 years, has been learning the ropes as governor-elect. As governor, Krogstad says his main responsibility will be to encourage and motivate lieutenant governors from each of the district’s 14 regional divisions. He wants them to spread the word about new and successful club projects, so others across the district can improve their own offerings.
It’s how Marshfield’s largest annual Kiwanis festival was born. More than a decade ago, the club followed examples from the former Quarry Quest in the Appleton area, where children learned how to build things and how large construction equipment is used. Now, hundreds of children and their friends and relatives attend the annual Kiwanis Enormous Equipment Playground (KEEP) at the Marshfield Fairgrounds. This year’s event is set for Oct. 5.
Krogstad, who has served four years as a lieutenant governor plus time on the district’s executive committee, can remember when Wisconsin and the U.P. had 10,000 active Kiwanians, two-and-a-half times its current numbers. But as Kiwanis’ current administrative year ended Sept. 30, he says the district leadership has seen the loss stop. “There’s been some turnaround,” Krogstad says, giving credit to the Kiwanis mission statement of “changing the world one child and one community at a time.”
“It’s a good message,” he says. “I’ve been tasked to create two new (local) clubs this year.” One could be in Eagle River, where a new lieutenant governor in nearby Rhinelander will try to build the foundation. Also, Krogstad says people in Slinger, near Milwaukee, have asked for help in starting a club. He says Kiwanis “fits in” well in communities with Rotary and Lions. “We have a different kind of club, posing no conflicts.”
Marshfield’s club meets each Wednesday at noon at The Rivers restaurant in the Holiday Inn, 750 S. Central Ave. But with today’s busy schedules, Krogstad says people in their 30s and 40s – the emphasis for which the club recruits – don’t always have time to attend weekly meetings. He says new clubs can adopt a “3-2-1 Structure;” three hours of service each month, two hours of social time, and one hour for a monthly business meeting.
Marshfield Kiwanis President Doug Wendlandt says it really helps to have a local Kiwanian serve as district governor. “If we need information or resources, we know where to go.”
But Krogstad says the most important part of any service club is its members, and their willingness to meet and serve people. Every group needs dollars to function, but he says the giving of one’s time – the human contact with the children Kiwanis serves – has much more of an impact.