Welcome to the Mankato Downtown Kiwanis Club
PO Box 733, Mankato MN 56002


We meet each Monday at 12:05 in the City Center Hotel

in downtown Mankato and a list of upcoming speakers can be

found in our most recent newsletter located in the "News"

section of this website. 

Please join us!



Mankato School District superintendent and club member Sheri Allen spoke to us about the upcoming operating referendum at our October 16, 2017 meeting.


Club President Briana Barr presented a plaque to Past President Shannon Sinning recognizing his year of leadership and service at our October 16, 2017 meeting.


Our October 2017 Student of the Month, Elizabeth Benzmiller, from Loyola High School.  Pictured with Kathy Brynaert and Briana Barr.


Minnesota State Mankato’s head basketball coach Matt Margenthaler spoke to our club on October 9, 2017.  Pictured with Briana Barr and John Kind.


Annual club picture on October 2, 2017.


Club officers for 2017-18:  (Left to Right)  Sharon Taylor (Secretary), John Kind (VP), Alex Swanson (Treasurer), Shannon Sinning (Past President), Karen Rekstein (President Elect), and Briana Barr (President).


Benjamin Knutson, MD, Mayo Clinic Health System-Mankato, spoke to our club on September 25, 2017 about the opioid crisis in the emergency room.


Tage Wrage was presented as our September 2017 Student of the Month by Karen Rekstein.  Congratulations!


Ron Younge presented our new 5 year strategic plan at the September 18, 2017 meeting.  The committee did an excellent job!


Executive Director Sheri Sanders-Silva and Community Relations Manager Amy Phares spoke to our club on September 11, 2017 about all of the great things happening at Feeding Our Communities Partners (FOCP).


Jon Smithers spoke to our club about aerial photography with his drone on August 28, 2017.  He has taken some beautiful pictures of Kiwanis Holiday Lights in the past!


Moody Bees Honey Owner, Kaylee Carnahan, spoke to our club on Monday, August 21, 2017 about the topic, "What's the Buzz with the Bees?"


Celebrating our victory over Greater Mankato Rotary at the Greater Mankato United Way 2018 Campaign Kickoff tug of war event!


Lieutenant Governor Jim Bock announced to our club on August 14, 2017 that Sharon Taylor is the Lieutenant Governor Elect!  Congratulations Sharon!!


Dr. Bill Lewinski, founder and director of The Force Science Institute, spoke to our club on August 14, 2017 about Policing in an Adverse Society.


On August 7, 2017 former club members Stewart and Liz Ross visited us from Florida!  Stewart spoke about The Formula.  Love it. Share it. Live it.  Pictured with Matt Norland and Shannon Sinning.


John Harrenstein was inducted into our club on August 7, 2017.  Pictured with his sponsor Jim Buseth and club president Shannon Sinning.


Russ Sparks was able to attend the 21st Annual Russ Sparks Kiwanis Golf Tournament Fundraiser at the Mankato Golf Club on July 31, 2017.


Kathy and Larry Van Tol spoke to our club on July 24, 2017 about their new M2 Lofts and Hilltop Florist & Greenhouse.


Nick Frentz spoke to our club on July 17, 2017 about being a freshman senator.

It was announced at our July 3, 2017 meeting that Doug Faust was awarded the prestigious Division Star Award.  Pictured with Sharon Taylor and Shannon Sinning 


Andy Combites, Visual Judge for Thunder of Drums, spoke to our club on July 3, 2017 about the role of a visual judge.  Pictured with Howard Haugh, Doug Faust, and Shannon Sinning.


Katie Olson, Graduate Student at MSU-Mankato, spoke to our club on Witnessing Cuba:  A presentation on the Witness for Peace Delegation to Havana.  Pictured with Shannon Sinning on June 26, 2017.


Justin Mathes was awarded the 2017 "Above and Beyond" Award by Club President Shannon Sinning.

Alison Zelms, Deputy City Manager of Mankato, spoke to our club June 19, 2017 at the Kiwanis Recreation Area about the development of the city's strategic plan.

Peter Larson, Governor of the Kiwanis Minnesota Dakotas District, congratulated our club on winning $25,000 of playground equipment in the national Legacy of Play contest which will help build the Fallenstein Playground.


Ron Younge, Patti Kramlinger, and Phil Slingsby were presented with their Kiwanis Recognition awards by Wendy Kind and Shannon Sinning at the June 19, 2017 meeting.


Kevin Krahmer, Music Excellence Award Winner from West High School, pictured with band instructor Brady Krusemark and Club Vice President Karen Rekstein.


Larry and Trixie Korteum presented to our club on Tuesday, May 30th the very interesting 2nd part to the topic, "The Stage is Set".


Jim Graham from CHS joined our club to read a letter written in support of Kiwanis Holiday Lights for the 2017 Kiwanis International Signature Project Contest.  Thank you Jim and CHS!


2017 Mankato Downtown Kiwanis Club Music Excellence Awards


Jeff Lang announced our 2017 Scholarship Award Winners at the May 8, 2017 club meeting.


Lauren Smith, Mankato West High School, was our club's May 2017 Student of the Month.  Pictured with Jim Armbruster and Shannon Sinning


The Prairie Winds Builders Club visited us on May 1, 2017.

The Dakota Meadows Builders Club visited us on May 1, 2017.

The Mankato Loyola Key Club visited us on May 1, 2017.


New member induction of Matthew Brozik and Jolinda Grabianowski on May 1, 2017 with sponsors John Kind and Shannon Sinning.

The Mankato East and West High School Key Clubs visited on April 24, 2017.

The MSU Circle K Club visited us on April 24, 2017.


Aktion Club Theatre and Aktion Club of Pathstone Living.  We are proud to sponsor these clubs!


Jessica Potter, Executive Director of the Blue Earth County Historical Society, spoke to our club on April 17, 2017.

Ellie Hodapp from Loyola Catholic Schools is our April Student of the Month!  Pictured with Becky Kunst and Shannon Sinning


Club member Daardi Sizemore spoke to us on Monday, April 10th about the Library and Archives Collaboration between MSU, Mankato and Fort Hare, South Africa.


Quarterly club induction held on April 3, 2017.  New members and their sponsors pictured with Club President Elect Briana Barr.


Patrick "Packy" Mader spoke to our club on Monday, April 3, 2017 about his book Minnesota Gold.  Pictured with Club President Elect Briana Barr.


Doug Faust spoke to our club on March 27, 2017 about the upcoming Kiwanis Thunder of Drums on Monday, July 3rd.


Our March 2017 Student of the Month is Morgan Anderson from Mankato East High School.  Her parents are Darcy and Dan Anderson.


Katie Pace, RN, SCRN, SW Minnesota Stroke and Joint Coordinator at Mayo Clinic Health System spoke to our club on March 13, 2017 about Thinking FAST:  Stroke Awareness and Prevention.


Jay Haapala, Associate State Director of Community Outreach from AARP spoke to our club on Monday, March 6th about fraud, scams, and identity theft.


Susan Chambers, Mediator & Attorney at Law, spoke to our club about "Dealing Effectively with Conflict" at our February 27, 2017 meeting.


Sister Dorothy Zeller, School Sisters of Notre Dame/Good Counsel Learning Center, spoke to our club about the life and mission of SSND on February 20, 2017. 


John Kind had our club serenade the former club presidents in attendance on President's Day February 20, 2017.


Mankato West High School Student, Abigail Fitzpatrick, was recognized as our February Student of the Month.  Pictured with Ron Younge and Shannon Sinning.


Kelsey Bigbee lived in Nepal for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer and she spoke to our club Monday, February 13, 2017 about her experience.


February 6, 2017 we held our quarterly new member induction.  New members: Mark Roemhildt, Linda Fjellman, Laura Templin, Dean Zimmerli, and Michael Brenna   New member sponsors:  Wendy Kind, Sharon Taylor, Becky Kunst, Chuck Heaberlin


President of Loyola Catholic Schools, Casey Breen, gave our club an update on what today's Loyola is all about at our February 6, 2017 meeting.


Kendahl Loeffler, Kato Public Charter School, was awarded our January Student of the Month at our January 23, 2017 meeting.  Pictured here with Laura Stevens and Shannon Sinning.


VINE Faith in Action spoke to our club at the January 16, 2017 meeting.  Pictured are Paige Schuette, Shannon Sinning, Mike Lagerquist, and Meghan Valasquez.


Kenady Benning from Loyola Catholic School is our January 2017 Student of the Month.


Katie Behrens, Prevention & Outreach Coordinator at the MN Elder Justice Center, spoke to our club on January 9, 2017 about signs and symptoms of elder abuse.


Briana Hinz and Heidi Selzler-Bahr from Profile by Sanford spoke to our club today about Health and Wellness Goals for 2017.


Mike Bluhm gave a very unique presentation to our club at the 12/26/16 meeting during the holidays:  History and Display of Handmade Miniature Tools and Steam Engines.  He really has a passion for making them!


Today we had a retirement party for Sherm Rupe who has been our Santa Claus at Kiwanis Holiday Lights since inception 5 years ago.  Well done Sherm, well done!


Bell ringing with Ted and Teddy Ornas.


Bell ringing with Laura Stevens.


Nhan Nguyen, Mankato East High School, was presented our December 2016 Student of the Month.


Luke Howk, MSU College of Business, presented to our club on the topic of "Building a Millennial Friendly Employment Brand" at our December 12, 2016 meeting.


Brian D. Fors from The History Writers shared the program "Is History Threatened by Digital Records" with our club at the Monday, December 5, 2016 meeting.


Marc Chadderdon, Senior Investigator for Nicollet County, spoke to our club about Human Trafficking & Prostitution in Southern MN and the Law Enforcement Response at our November 28, 2016 meeting.


Our club's Purple Prince themed float entry in the 2016 Kiwanis Holiday Lights parade.  We were lucky enough to have club member Natasha Chester design our float in 2015 and 2016.


Jared Lim, Mankato West High School, was awarded our November Student of the Month on November 14, 2016.  Pictured here with his amazing parents.


Katelyn Skrien, Maverick Battalion ROTC Program, gave a wonderful presentation to our club on November 14, 2016 about her travel abroad through the program.


Annual Club Photo taken on October 3, 2016.


Bukata Hayes, Executive Director of the Greater Mankato Diversity Council and club member, gave an amazing presentation to our club today titled:  Respect is the Key to a Greater Community.  We are lucky to have a leader like Bukata in Mankato and our club!


The Greater Mankato Area United Way spoke to us at our October 31, 2016 meeting.  Pictured from left to right:  Elizabeth Harstad, Shannon Sinning, Barb Kaus, and Rande Baker.


Club member Anna Thill, President of Visit Mankato, gave an informational presentation on the Kato Sales Tax (Sales Tax Extension Vote) at our meeting on October 24, 2016. Pictured here with club president Shannon Sinning.


Nick Petersen, Kato Public Charter School, is our October Student of the Month.  Pictured here with club member Mat Thibert and club president Shannon Sinning.


New member induction on October 17, 2016.  Great class of new members pictured with their sponsors.


Coffee and Donuts with Russ Sparks.


Club member Randy Berkland presented Charlotte Lena with the October 2016 Student of the Month award.  Congratulations to Lena and her parents!!


Current Club President Shannon Sinning presented outgoing Club President Matt Kearney with a plaque and thanked Matt on behalf of the club for his year of leadership!


Kent Stanley, MSU Vice President for University Advancement, spoke to our club at the Monday, October 10, 2016 meeting.  Pictured with Patti Kramlinger and Shannon Sinning.


Kenneth Freed, Mankato Symphony Orchestra Director, delivers a private performance to Kiwanis Club members Briana Barr and Sharon Taylor prior to our September 6th, 2016 meeting.


New member Cate Debates was inducted on July 25th and pictured with Club President Matt Kearney.


Our 2016 Distinguished Service Award Winner Jo Thomas pictured with Karen Rekstein, Wendy Kind, and Matt Kearney.


Our 2015 and 2016 Distinguished Service Award Winners:  Lee Nordgren and Jo Thomas


60 Year Member Recogntion:  Kelly Gage


45 Year Member Recognition:  Randy Berkland


35 Year Member Recognition:  Howard Haugh


20 Year Member Recognition:  Tom Rekstein


15 Year Member Recognition:  Jo Thomas (Not pictured, Jaci Lageson)


10 Year Member Recognition:  Scott Wojcik, Tim Ray, and Larry Kuyper (Not pictured, Wilbur Neushwander-Frink)


5 Year Member Recognition:  Alex Swanson, Justin Mathes, and John Kind (Not pictured, Rene Maes and Mark Mitzel)


Al Wortman and Matt Kearney present the February Student of the Month to Lucas Baston from Mankato West High School.


Matt Kearney and Mike Brennan presenting our January Student of the Month Award to Abby Mullin who attends Loyola Catholic Schools.

William "Bill" Edwards and Lee Nordgren receiving recognition for being club members for 62 and 65 years.  Impressive!!


Jisoo Kim, a student at Mankato West High School, being honored as our November Student of the Month. (Pictured with club member Kathy Brynaert)


Karen Rekstein presenting newly elected Club President Matt Kearney and his family with a book signed by our club members in hopes of a speedy recovery!


Our club's newly elected officers.  Pictured from left to right:

Sharon Taylor (Secretary), Alex Swanson (Treasurer), Matt Kearney (President), Shannon Sinning (President Elect), Matt Norland (Past President), Briana Barr (Vice President)


Our October Student of the Month Abbi Peterson from Kato Public Charter School pictured with Tom Rekstein.


Wilbur and Matt Kearney with the newly elected officers of Aktion Club Theatre!!


Great picture of Wilbur and Matt Kearney at Aktion Club Theatre!


Lt Governor Michael Tobin presenting Matt Norland with a token of our club's appreciation for a great year under his leadership!  Thank you are leaving some big shoes to fill!!


Lt Governor Michael Tobin installing our new Board of Directors.  Pictured with Becky Kunst.  Not pictured:  Stan Bruss, Kale Riley, and Ron Younge.


At our September 21, 2015 meeting we inducted new members.  From left to right, Mark Miller, Christi Wilking, Mike Lagerquist, and Mike Kunkel.


At our September 21, 2015 meeting the club announced donations of $3,000 to the Kiwanis Education Foundation, $3,000 to the Kiwanis Camp Patterson Foundation, and $2,000 to Kiwanis Camp Patterson for Recreational Equipment.


At our September 21, 2015 meeting we recognized Hunter Oberle as our September Student of the Month.


The newly elected officers of our Aktion Club Theater group for 2015-2017!  Pictured from left to right: Torrance Simondet, Luciana Hassing, Melissa Steel, Michelle Stoufer, and Timothy Anderson.  Congratulations to all of you!!!  The Mankato Downtown Kiwanis Club is SO PROUD of all of our Aktion Club Theater members and the work they are doing!  Keep it up!!


Justin Mathes (left) accepting an award from Matt Norland for serving as our club Treasurer the past 4 1/2 years at our 8/3/15 meeting.  Alex Swanson began serving as club treasurer on August 1, 2015. 

Thank you Justin!!


Phil Slingsby, Matt Kearney, and Matt Norland present a check for $3000 to the Mankato Area Mountain Bikers on behalf of our club to create a new Kiwanis Kids Loop as part of the mountain biking trail system out at the Kiwanis Recreation Area.

Kent Thiesse spoke to our club about The Business of Farming on 7/13/2015.

Quarterly new member induction at our June 22nd, 2015 meeting.  New Members pictured with club president Matt Norland.

June 1, 2015 meeting with the 50 years plus Award as Members.  Kelton Gage, Chuck Heaberlin, Lee Nordgren, Russell Sparks, Fred Lutz.  ( Not in photo Brett Taylor, Paul Meyer, Bill Edwards, Don Linder )

June 1, 2015 meeting.  Don Linder's family joined us from as far away as Kansas City to help us celebrate his award!

June 1, 2015 meeting with Karen Rekstein presenting Lee Nordgren with the Above and Beyond Award.

June 1, 2015 meeting with the 45 Year Member Award.  Lyle Jacobson

June 1, 2015 meeting with the 40 year member award.  Robert Spiegler

June 1, 2015 meeting with the 25 Year Member Award.  Daniel Osdoba (Anne Smith not in the photo)

June 1, 2015 meeting with the 20 Year Member Award.  Steven Olson, Kathy Brynaert, Doug Faust (not in the photo Mike Brennan)

June 1, 2015 meeting with the 5 Year Member Award.  Jim Williams, Joe Farnham, Matt Kearney, Chris Austin, and Sheri Allen (not in the photo Patrick Casey, Garrick Rudolf)

2015 Kiwanis Music Award Winners.  Pictured from left to right:  Shealyn Kawlewski, Linnea Moore, Mackenzie Juberien, Emma Murray, Katherine Alto, Adrianna Lastimosa, Thomas McDermott, Erika Dobie.


May 2015 Student of the Month Emma Murray, Mankato West High School.

Mankato Loyola Key Club visited us on May 4 , 2015.

MSU Circle K Club visited us on May 4, 2015.

At our April 20th meeting Sam Ziegler from Greater Mankato Growth spoke to the club about Project ABE.

Samantha Sipes, Kato Public Charter School, our April Student of the Month.

Our April 2015 Student of the Month Xia Nelson from Mankato Loyola High School.

Barb Dorn, Executive Director of the YWCA Mankato, spoke to our club April 6, 2015.

Mary Kaus and Amy Kolb spoke to our club about RAW FUSION 2015 on March 30, 2015.

Doug Faust with Matt Norland as Matt receives the Claire Faust award.

Our latest class of new Kiwanis Members!  What a great group!!

Our March Student of the Month is Grace Karkoska from Mankato East High School.


The four pictures below were taken with club members and volunteers distributing 1200 books to area children as part of the MN-DAK project!

Club Member Rene Maes with Sara Beyer and Jessica Doyle of the Loyola Builders Club.  Checks for $60.00 and $324.80, money they raised to contribute to The Eliminate Project which is the Kiwanis Worldwide Project aimed at eliminating neonatal tetanus.  Thank you!

Rebecca Bergman, President of Gustavus Adolphus College, spoke to our club on February 23, 2015.  Pictured with Shannon Sinning.

Kiwanis Holiday Lights presented this check to our club at the February 16, 2015 meeting.

Pictured are nine of our club's past presidents and our current club president Matt Norland.

Shealyn Kawlewski our Student of the Month at the February 9, 2015 meeting pictured with Kathy Brynaert and Matt Norland.

Member Wilbur Neushwander-Frink speaking about both of our Aktion Clubs at the 1/26/15 meeting.

Mara Goings, Kato Public Charter School, our Student of the Month at the 1/26/15 meeting.

Cadet Zachary Yozamp speaking at our January 19th, 2015 meeting about his experience in the Army ROTC and the Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency Program.  Pictured here with club member Dennis Murphy.

Celebrating 100 years of Kiwanis International on January 21st!

Our January 2015 Student of the Month, Emily Gaspar, standing with Kathy Brynaert and Matt Norland.

Jennifer Hyk from the American Red Cross spoke to our club on January 5, 2015.

New Member Induction on December 15, 2015.  Left to Right:  Matt Norland, Kale Riley (new member), Janessa Becker (new member), Shannon Sinning

In 1922, Kiwanis International sent hundreds of barrels of Mankato Flour to Russia for famine relief!

On December 8, 2014 Shellee Hague spoke to our club about the ECSE program at the YMCA.

Cory Weston from Mankato East High School was our December Student of the Month.

Our November Student of the Month John Kurtz from Mankato West High School.

Our October Student of the Month Kelsi Pettit from the Kato Public Charter School.

Our club approved the new Kiwanis Reading Oasis at Hoover Elementary on November 3, 2014.

Pictured from Left to Right:  Matt Norland, Sheri Allen, Heather Mueller, Dan Kamphoff, Stephanie Davern, Stewart Ross, and Tom Rekstein

New Member Induction at our October 20, 2014 meeting.

Pictured from Left to Right:  Tony Solano, Jim Fleming, Dwain Petersen, Bukata Hayes, Dennis Murphy, Rebecca Kunst, Randy Berkland, Christi Wilking, Tim Peterson, Tracy Mickley, Aaron Wangen, Matt Norland

Jonathan Zierdt from Greater Mankato Growth spoke to our club on October 13, 2014.

Kelly Holmin from Loyola High School was our October Student of the Month.

Installing Matt Norland as President of the Club and recognizing Jaci Lageson for her great year as Club President!  October 6, 2014

Lt. Governor Darryl Meyer installing Matt Kearney as President Elect on October 6, 2014.

Lt Governor Darryl Meyer installing Matt Norland as Club President on October 6, 2014.

Bukata Hayes signing up to become a member of our club, mid-meeting.  Dwain Peterson demonstrates the "right way" to bring a guest to one of our Monday lunch meetings! 

Kiwanis Adopt-a-Highway crew from Saturday, September 20, 2014.

Barb Kaus, President of the Greater Mankato Area United Way, spoke to our club on September 15th.

Kiwanis Holiday Lights work night!

Rion Wendlund was our September 2014 Student of the Month.

Kiwanis Recreation Area Clean Up Day on August 16, 2014.

Matt Norland, Jaci Lageson, and Justin Mathes at the 2014 Minnesota-Dakotas District Convention.

The Benefits of Yoga with Gena Heminover on September 2nd, 2014.








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