History

Though Sertoma was born way back in 1912 in Kansas City, the St. Cloud area didn’t have a presence with this service organization until almost fifty years later. The St. Cloud Downtown Sertoma Club came into being on April 25, 1959 and chartered with seventy-five members. That original group began as a breakfast club, but when membership eventually dropped below thirty registered individuals it was decided that the club would begin holding its regular meetings over the noon hour. From that time until the late 1970s we grew to a membership of more than 100. On March 18, 1981 several members, including Gene Binsfeld, departed and helped start the St. Cloud Westside Sertoma Club. The two clubs operated as separate entities for almost thirty years, with the Westside Club’s membership eventually outnumbering the DT Club’s numbers.

Sertoma is like other service organizations, in that it can be challenging to find and keep good, active members in its clubs. Due to that concern and the genuine desire to keep a presence for the organization in Central Minnesota leadership from both St. Cloud clubs began discussing the possibility of once again creating just one area Sertoma entity. That concept became a reality when on October 1st, 2010 the clubs merged and formed the current St. Cloud Area Sertoma Club.

Sertoma for many years was a male-only service organization. The DT Club started talking about allowing female members in June of 1986. Women were formally allowed to join beginning on March 10, 1987. Prior to that time the St. Cloud area had a very active La Sertoma Club made up of the wives of Sertoma members.

The first president of the DT Club was Robert Nicol, and the first Sertoma district governor from the club was Ernie M. Mahon. Nicol and Dick Dorn were charter members of the original DT Club, and they have continued their membership through all of these years.

The DT Club held its weekly meetings at several locations over the years. They included the Press Bar, the St. Cloud Hotel, the Spaniol Hotel, the Sunwood Inn, the Americana and Radisson hotels. The Westside Club held its meetings at the St. Cloud Holiday Inn, which continues to be the site of the weekly meetings of the now-consolidated St. Cloud Area Sertoma Club.