The Sunflower Chapter - Hays, Ks.
Originally Written by Lawrence Weigel
On Friday, August 3, 1979, Ruth M. Amem Executive Director and Frances Amen, Headquarters Historian of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia met with a group of people in Hays, Kansas who were interested in organizing a chapter of AHSGR in Ellis County. Irene (Rupp) Leiker was instrumental in bringing the group together, and encouraged the forming of a group here.
It was pointed out that the local chapter would serve all of Ellis county and all of western Kansas. The purpose, it was explained, for organizing a chapter, is to promote a better opportunity to a appreciate our ancestors by learning more about them, so that we the descendants could save and preserve the rich culture which is a part of our heritage. those present were anxious to continue with the formation of a chapter.
On September 9, 1979 an organizational meeting was held in Jefferson School in Hays. The agenda included a welcome by Irene (Rupp) Leiker, group singing, an explanation of AHSGR and a discussion for the procedure to form a chapter. people came as far away as Ulysses, Tribune and St. Peter. 81 persons were in attendance.
Irene (Rupp) Leiker, Norbert Dreiling, Leona Pfeifer and Lawrence Weigel spoke to the group. Much interest was shown, and it was decided to form a new chapter in Hays.
At the meeting held October 7, 1979a name for our chapter was chosen. Officers were elected, by-laws were considered. Iren (Rupp) Leiker who was responsible for the forming of a chapter was elected our new President, Ethel Lock was elected Vice President; Mary Ann Befort, Secretary; Tony Geier, Treasurer; and Lawrence Weigel historian.