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Pilot Club celebrates 100 years of volunteerism
Pilot Club members pose with Mayor Cody Schmidt after he signed a proclamation recognizing Pilot International Founders Week. Front row, from left: Charter members Nancy Sundahl, Renee Johnson, Sharon Mauler, Mayor Schmidt, and members Nancy Schuetz and Barbara Watson; back: Betty Schneider, Dan Watson and Rhonda Knudson.

A proclamation signed by Mayor Cody Schmidt recognizes Oct. 18-24 as Pilot International Founders Week. Pilot international has been true to its mission to serve communities throughout the world for 100 years and the Pilot Club of Great Bend has served the community for more than 33 years.

Several Pilot members joined Mayor Schmidt, including the club’s three Charter members, Nancy Sundahl, Sharon Mauler and Past District Governor Renee Johnson.

Pilot International Founders Week recognizes the achievements and contributions of this worldwide organization and the local Pilot club in their promotion and awareness for injury prevention and care for those in need, by fostering volunteerism.   

Pilot International was founded in Macon, Ga., in October of 1921 by Elizabeth Leonard and 40 civic-minded business women. It was the period of flappers, and women had just achieved the vote, when founding members combined their diverse talents in “friendship and service” to improve the quality of life in communities throughout the world. Today’s members, both women and men, strive to further the organization’s humanitarian efforts through scholarships and grants to support research, education and community care-giving programs, in fields committed to brain safety and health and supporting those who care for others.  

December 6, 1987, under the sponsorship of Pilot Club of Pratt, the Pilot Club of Great Bend was chartered. At the end of the first year, there were 30 active members. The word Pilot means “to lead or guide” and the original 30 women members pledged to steer that “True Course Ever,” in a commitment to the community with service in the areas of brain safety and health and supporting those who care for others.

Locally, Founders Week as recognized by the proclamation week that culminates with “Make a Difference Day” on Oct. 24. This “National Day of Doing Good” promotes community-driven service projects and individual acts of kindness.

Great Bend Pilot President Rhonda Knudson stated, “For us, volunteerism is Pilot and a part of our Pilot principles. Simple acts of kindness daily advance the idea of individuals making a difference that can impact a community in numerous ways.”