Town & Country Twirlers to host free dance

PRESTON — The Town & Country Twirlers, Preston, will have a free dance at the Preston Town Hall to celebrate the 45th anniversary of their club from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 12.

Past members, current members and the general public are invited to participate or just watch the fun.

The club was formed in early 1973 as a spinoff of the DeWitt square dancers. Ben and Rita Reuter and Leo and Irene Trenkamp were instrumental in starting the Town & Country Twirlers. The first officers were Delbert and Mary Banowetz, presidents; George and Dorothy Beck, secretaries; and Charles and Linda Lane, treasurers.

They started out with a whole $1.75 in the bank and $29.15 in cash. In the beginning, dances were held on the second and fourth Mondays each month. Marlin Spies, of Davenport, was the first club caller and received $40 for his services.

Rent for the Preston Town Hall was $5, so it was a very cheap form of entertainment. According to the records, the club started with 69 members. By 1974, another 48 people had graduated and became members.

Many brought their children, who either played in a corner of the hall, or formed their own squares, and danced too. Bob and Marquerite Banowetz, original members, still dance with the club today. Although the club is not as big as it once was, it still provides the same enjoyment, relaxation and friendships as in the past. Members often get together with other local clubs and have a great time. Occasionally, they also work together doing a demonstration for entertainment at local nursing homes. And none of them will ever forget the major trips that were taken together to New York, Oklahoma, Seattle and Nashville, just to mention a few.

Lessons are periodically given and new members are always welcome.