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True community space

Morse Community Club embraces life in the village
Morse Community Club members Marge Knepp and Brian Tucker hanging out at the club Thursday, Nov. 2. The club will host its annual soup supper Saturday, Nov. 11 from 5 until 8 p.m. (photo by Doug Lindner)

MORSE– The Morse Community Club, at 2542 Putnam St NE off Iowa Highway 1, is the place to be if you’re looking to kick back and enjoy community fellowship. People there chat about work and crops, and update each other on how the family is doing. It’s a relaxing, family-oriented, community-minded atmosphere, said Brian Tucker, who has been a member of the club for the past five or so years.
The club is open to the public every Friday and Saturday night at 7 p.m., and occasionally opens early for special events, like a big sports game on TV. Bartending duties rotate among eight-to-10 members, who serve on a volunteer basis.
Tucker and other members are looking forward to their upcoming Fall Soup Supper, to be held on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 5 to 8 p.m. The club will serve chili, chicken noodle and vegetable beef soup, carrots and celery, desserts, and beverages.
The club also has a pancake breakfast in the spring, as well as regular potlucks and bands. Santa and the Easter Bunny make an appearance at the club during their respective holiday seasons.
The club is a nonprofit and whatever money it can donate goes to the food pantries in Solon and West Branch, as well as the fire departments and libraries in those communities. The club donates a few thousand dollars annually, and always keeps its impact close to home, Longtime Morse resident Marge Knepp said. There are plenty of groups donating to national and state organizations; members of the Morse Community Club instead seek to honor the work of Solon and West Branch community services.
Knepp remembers when the club first began meeting, with maybe a dozen or so members according to her memory, at the local hog-buying station. As it grew, meetings moved to the schoolhouse. In 1963, the club was built. Participation has climbed since to more than 90 memberships, made up of individuals and families. Although the club is open to all, membership dues help cover costs and support local causes.
Knepp and her husband laid blocks for the building and she remembers how fun it was. Similarly, Tucker remembers he had a great time helping power wash the building years ago.
“We always have a good time,” Tucker said of the work they do to maintain the building and land. “(Those jobs) are always going to turn into fun.”
The members who can turn power washing into a party are the same people you find there on Friday and Saturday nights, ensuring every night has a fun, relaxing vibe.
“Our hope is to grow the club without giving up what it is,” Tucker said. “You don’t come in and just sit and talk with the people you came with. You’ll be brought in (to the fellowship). You’re going to get a welcome.”