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Historic Waukesha Rotary badge box missing

Nov. 12, 2013

The Waukesha Rotary Club meet Monday for its weekly meeting, but one thing was missing: the club's historic badge box.

The wooden box dates to the 1920s when the club was founded, said Club Secretary Colleen Kalscheuer. The box really doesn't have any monetary value, but to the club, it's a necessary item for meetings, and it has been part of the Waukesha Rotary family since its start.

Kalscheuer said it's a neat piece of club history, as members' names from years past are inscribed in the wooden box that has stood the test of time a faithful servant. The box holds the approximately 60 members' badges.

Each member is given a red badge when he or she joins the club. As club members ascend in service and member participation, they graduate to blue badges. The cream of the crop earn a gold or honorary badge after decades of service.

Kalscheuer said she's puzzled as to what anyone would want with the old wooden box full of badges. Plus, she said, "It's really heavy, too!" She wondered who would want to haul it out of the Rotary Building in Frame Park, where the club meets weekly. The box is stored in a kitchen area in the building.

The Rotary Club constructed the building many years ago and donated it to the city. It now is used as a rental facility for special events and for city programs throughout the week.

Facilities Coordinator Mary Palmer said she's been sending emails to everyone throughout her department and beyond to see whether anyone has seen the badge box. "No one has heard of anything," said Palmer after sending another email Tuesday morning.

She said there was no evidence of a break-in at the building, but noted, "this is a multiuse facility that includes rentals and programs. It's used by many."

But who would find a use for an old, wooden box full of badges?

If you know of the box's whereabouts, contact Kalscheuer at ckalscheuer@wi.rr.com or Palmer at (262) 524-3741.

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