August - September - October 2008 Vol. 63 No. 1 - American Turners

August - September - October 2008 Vol. 63 No. 1 - American Turners

August - September - October 2008 Vol. 63 No. 1

National Committee Chairs:

NHPEC-Michelle Lesperance, Cultural-Barb Riley,

Bowling-Terry Bodine

National Officers: (Left to Right)

2nd V.P. John Tozier, Pres. Bill Severns, 1st V.P. Tom Bozonelos,

ETF Electee Ed Colton


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American Turner Topics

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October 24, 2008



William Severns................................President

Tom Bozonelos................ First Vice President

John Tozier.................. Second Vice President

Shirley Luckhardt............ Secretary-Treasurer

Michelle Lesperance ..... Health and Physical

....................Education Committee Chairman

Barbara Riley.. Cultural Committee Chairman

Terry Bodine...........Bowling Committee Chairman

Daisy Leidy..................Past National President

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Greetings Fellow Turners,

Here’s hoping all your summers are progressing well

and everyone is enjoying their Turner societies.

We have just completed our, very successful, 72nd

American Turner National Convention and our thanks go

out to Ft. Wayne Turners for an excellent job in hosting

this event. The entire weekend was well planned and

executed by their committee and members and some

techniques plus procedures were noted for use in future

conventions. Minutes of the convention and reports, etc.

have been forwarded to your districts and societies as well as delegates. Highlights of the

proceedings and comraderie will be touched on else in this issue and on the website. I

would like to humbly thank the American Turners for the vote of confidence and re-electing

me as your National President for the next two years. I will continue to do my level best

to try to do what is best for the Turners.

Our next major planning event will be the National Council meeting to be held

in October at Concordia Turners in St. Louis. This meeting consists of the Executive

Committee, the Chairpersons of all National Committees and the Council Representatives

from each of your district as well as guests/leaders from many other areas of the American

Turners. We have a full agenda this year with many important issues to be handled

And decided on so if anyone has items for discussion please get them to your District

Representatives so they can bring them to our attention.

An item of Turner history was on display at the convention for all delegates and

guests to observe. It was a beautifully maintained field drum and sticks that were used,

by American Turners, in the inaugural ceremony for President Abraham Lincoln. For

those who may not know American Turners made up President Lincoln’s honor guard.

At the opening ceremony of this convention we were treated to a tumbling exhibition

by Ft. Wayne Turner’s girl’s gym team. What an inspiring show, these young people are

what we are all about and they as well as the young people in all of our societies are our

future. But their Turner futures are in our hands now. Let’s not let them down. Thanks

kids good job we are proud of you.

Please don’t forget to visit our website; there are a number of Turners working hard to

keep it looking good and updated. If you have any updates, information or suggestions

let us know by using the “contact us” link. Plus we are working on methods of improving


We in the American Turners would like to recognize and thank the Trustees of these

special funds who have graciously contributed to some of our major endeavors such as

scholarships, equipment grants, computer grants, building loans, Turner Topics printing

and mailing, etc. These groups namely, the New York 1850 Foundation, the American

Turners Endowment Trust Fund, and the American Turners Jahn Fund are responsible for

our having been able to offer these types of assistance and we appreciate their on going


As we now bring this summer to a close and welcome in autumn I wish you all health

and prosperity and success to your Turner societies.

With Turner Greetings

Bill Severns, National President


Illinois District

Turner Camp

Darth Vader landed at Illinois Turner Camp on Saturday, August 9 for the Closing show. He was accompanied by about 75

youth and 15 staff to show how thing are done in the universe. The evening was filled with light saber fights, moon walks and

an appearance of the Men in Black.

The Closing show at Illinois Turner Camp marks the end of the Camp program for the summer, which has been done since

the early 30’s. The campers ranged in age from 5-6 year olds to teenagers. They danced, tumbled, jumped, leaped, acted or

had a good time. Even some of the teenagers that were not in the program did a dance number for the crowd.


Volleyball Court Reconstruction

Illinois District Turner Camp is a special place for special people. Once again our volunteers have stepped up to improve

one of our most useful assets. Many people came together to improve our outside volleyball area in the “Sugar bowl”. The

volleyball area is used by our young and old, alike.

Last fall these volunteers both young and old, dug, graded, dug some more and graded to improve the area, volleyball

courts and water fountain. We now have 3 well groomed courts with new standards, new playing surface, and a new drinking

fountain. Thanks to all of the monetary donations from our five (5) societies and individual members. And of course to the

volunteers that made this possible.

New England District Turnfest


New England District

Providence Turners hosted the 2008 New England District Turnfest on June 28th and 29th. The participating Societies were

Providence, Springfield, Adams and Clinton. The event was well attended with 107 gymnasts consisting of 88 girls and 19

boys. Every year these 4 societies host either a qualifying meet or sponsor the turnfest. To participate in the turnfest you

must first qualify by attending at least two other meets.

The venue is jammed packed with events. Each competitor competes all around in the gym and does a minimum of three

track and field events, which including softball throw, 75-yard dash, and standing long jump. The special events include;

running long jump, shot put, rope climb and relay races for each age group. With the exception of rope climb, all these events

are done on Saturday. On Sunday we competed in the Mass Drill, Model Drill, and open the floor to what we term as Rock &

Roll. Here up to three gymnasts make up a two-minute Model Drill type routine to the delight of everyone.

This year the ages ranged from 6 to 32 years old with the three coaches making up the 18 and older group and competing in

a Prep Op format. The rest of the gymnasts are broken down in levels very similar to the USAG program in Levels 2-9. The

requirements are identical to the USAG program for bars and vault, but we only require the listed skills on beam and floor be

performed and let the kids choreograph their own routines. The boys follow the USAG rules in all events.

In track and field the relay races are always very competitive. With one age group for the boys and four age groups for the

girls, the girl’s 12-13 relay races were the most exciting. With two stop watches and three spotters to determine the winner,

it was unanimously decided that this race was a dead tie between Adams and Clinton. The Model Drill is by far the featured

event of the turnfest. Each society spends six months perfecting their drills for this one appearance. This year Springfield’s

theme was ‘Thriller’, Clinton’s was ‘Lion King’, Providence’s was ‘Jungle Themes’ and Adam’s was ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’.

They were all great performances. We hope to upload a video of these performances on the New England District web site in

the near future.

Individual awards are given in every event and society awards are given for the Boys Gymnastics, Girls Gymnastic, Mass Drill,

Model Drill and Overall point winner, an addition of all the points which results in taking home the “Traveling Trophy” until the

next turnfest. The Traveling Trophy is a true work of art that was first given out in 1933.

This year the results were:

Boys – Clinton 13.997, Springfield 13.434, Providence 12.228, Adams 3.679

Girls – Clinton 32.916, Providence 30.914, Adams 28.493, Springfield 25.174

Mass Drill – Clinton, Springfield, Providence, Adams

Model Drill – Clinton, Providence, Springfield, Adams

Overall – Clinton, Providence, Springfield, Adams

For full results of the turnfest and hopefully some Model Drill videos, visit the New England District web site at http://www. .

As always the turnfest concludes with all 107 competitors jointly doing the Mass Drill, celebrating the strong Turner spirit. We

thank Providence Turners for being a most congenial host and look forward to turnfest 2009 in Springfield, Ma.

Turner Greetings

Fred Sontag


Aurora Turners

On July 13, 2008 Aurora Turners held our Annual Blood

drive for Heartland Blood Center. For every unit donated

3 lives are saved. Aurora collected 20 units and all of our

donors received ½ off our August Family breakfast and

entry into a raffle for four (4) $25 prizes. The drive was also

advertised on IBEW, Local 461 outdoor sign.

At our August monthly membership meeting we

honored our 40 year plus members. They included Ed

Colton, Tom Vickery, Ed Kline, Ray “Newt” Seppelfrick,

Jacob Schindelbeck, Charles Rhoades and Mike Klemencic.

Ed and Tom were in attendance and received their Gold

Membership Card and a Plaque.



Akron Turners have been busy these last few months of summer holding a variety of events for our member’s enjoyment. We are

fortunate to have a great entertainment committee that is chaired by Becky Nay. She and her committee have held dinners, euchre

tournaments, fund raisers Dances, fishing tournaments for adults and kids, male review, karaoke and culminating with our annual

family picnic in August.

This years picnic saw more than one hundred members come out to enjoy food and drink with their family and friends. The

day’s activities included a Chinese auction, 50/50 drawing, and golf raffle and chipping contest, a DJ, children’s games reverse raffle,

horseshoe tournament, and canoe races. The canoe race was a first for us and provided lots of laughs as young and old tried their

hand at keeping their canoe afloat.

Unfortunately, several boaters ended up in the water and they had to stagger back to shore pulling their canoes behind them. A

final race between George Spidle and our President Rick Vatalaro was held for bragging rights. The race was close as both of them

frantically paddled to the south end of the lake and back with everyone cheering them on. The race ended in a tie as they both reached

shore, out of breath, at the same time. The weather was sunny and warm and all of the participants who ended in the lake dried off

quickly. It was a great time and our thanks go out to all of the volunteers who helped make it a “fun in the sun Turner day”.

June Ewing


American Turners of Baltimore held a surprise party for Robert “Bob” Seeger to receive his 40 yr member card. Bob comes

from a Turner family. Both his mother and father were members. His father was also a past president of American Turners

Baltimore, serving two different terms.

Baltimore’s President, Dick Mitchell, presented Bob with his forty year membership card. Friends and family from near and

far attended the celebration, as well as his wife and daughter was in attendance.

The party was held on June 21st; the food consisted of steamed crabs, hot dogs, barbecue, pasta salad, corn on the cob,

watermelon and was enjoyed by all. For desert, a specially made cake for the occasion was served. Everyone had a great time

and Bob was most surprised by the party and thanked everyone for coming.

Dick Mitchell

President of American Turners of Baltimore


Buffalo Turners

Buffalo TurnVerein, now officially known as Buffalo Turners is alive and well. Our society operates a bit differently than

others. We do not have a building to call our own. We no longer have the sub-committees or other activities that can be found

in other societies. While no history of western New York would be complete without mention of Buffalo Turners, gymnastics is

now our only endeavor.

We have rented space, including the gym from a local school district since 1980. Located in our current location since 1986

we have a fully equipped main gym and a separate mini-gym designed with our younger students in mind.

Over 400 students from 18 months to 18 years will participate in classes throughout the year. Our program includes Mom or

Dad & Me, Pre-School and Kinder levels and beginner to advanced instructional gymnastics.

Our competition team, affiliated with USA Gymnastics has just completed another very successful season. The girls came

home with six State titles and many top finishes at all levels.

Our boys team is in the rebuilding stage. We hope to be back in competition within a couple years.

We have not been able to participate in American Turners National Gymnastics Championship. Our students are still in

school at this time with exams still to be taken.

Each year our club hosts our Turkey-Tine Invitational Gymnastics Meet in November. As we are affiliated with USA Gymnastics,

all gymnasts must also be registered with USAG. The meet runs over two days and approximately 200 girls will compete in

Levels 4 – 9. It would be wonderful to have some gymnasts from other Turners clubs. If you are interested, please contact

Barbara Johnson at

Carlstadt Turners

Head Coach Jennifer Mead, assisted by Heather Stubaus, Jennifer Henkelman, and Taylor Trause ended the season with 82

active girl gymnasts. The New Jersey District of American Turners awarded Miss Jennifer Henkelman a $500 Joseph Prochnicki

Scholarship to be applied toward registration at Montclair State University, where she will begin her freshman year.

This summer the C.A.T.S. Gymnastics is offering Training Camps. These half-day Camps are designed for the Gymnast or

Cheerleader (tumbling), wanting to improve her skills while maintaining strength and flexibility through the summer months. A

general increase in interest in Tumbling for Cheerleading within our Gymnastic programs is definitely responsible for enrollment

increase. The Summer Olympic Games may also generate renewed interest in gymnastics.

Classes for Pre-school, Beginners, Intermediate, Advanced Gymnastics and Tumbling/Cheerleading are scheduled for the

start of 2008 fall program. As a side note, Carlstadt Turnverein came to the rescue of the Carlstadt Recreation Cheerleading

Competition Team. Because of a delay in the construction of the new school, they shared our gym facilities. All turned out well,

as they took 1st Place.

Carole Schmidt

Chicago - Northwest

Through the diligent efforts of Coach Yefim Kharpak, the

Northwest Turners Gymnastic Team has come extremely far this

year. He started out the summer last year with 15 dedicated

hardworking gymnasts. By fall of 2007, the Northwest Turners

Competitive Gymnastic Team had 23 gymnasts, of which 18 did

compete. The Team had 14 qualify for State Competition, 3

qualified for Regional, and 1 competed at Level 9 Nationals.

The Team boasts of a Level 5 First Place State Bars Champion,

Level 5 Second place Floor Medalist, Level 6 Second place Bar

Medalist, Level 6 Second place Beam Medalist and Level 6 “All

Around State Championship” and too many top ten places to

mention. It was quite an honor and privilege to have gymnasts

who qualified for regional and Nationals.

We believe the Team will grow again this year. We are

projecting that we will be training approximately 30 gymnasts

for this year’s competitive team. These girls have spent a large

part of their summer developing the skills that they will use for

the upcoming competitive season.

Keep up the good work Northwest Turner Gymnasts!!!!

Photo by: Susan Braddock

Level 6 Team wins 1st Place at St. Valentines Inv. Classic

John Neugebauer

The Northwest Turners Girls Gymnastic Team had an excellent competitive year. The results were as follows:


Our Level 5 Team had 6 out of 8 gymnasts qualify for State,

which yielded the following medals:

Jada - 3rd Place Bars, 2nd Place Floor

Dana - 9th Place Beam

Janel - 7th Place Bars

Molly - 9th Place Vault, 1st Place Bars Champion,

7th Place Beam, 6th Place Floor, All Around - 3rd Place

Our Level 6 Team had 4 out of 6 gymnasts qualify for State,

which yielded the following medals including a 1st Place AA


Jessica - 6th Place Vault, 8th Place Beam, 4th Place Floor,

All Around 9th Place

Nicole - 9th Place Vault, 2nd Place Bars, 2nd Place Beam,

4th Place Floor, All Around 1st Place Champion

Amanda - 10th Place Beam, 10th Place Floor

Photo by: Susan Braddock

Level 5 & 6 Team 2007 - 2008 Season

Our Level 7 Team had 1 out of 1 gymnast qualify for State but

yielded no top 10 medals.

Our Level 8 Team had 1 out of 10 gymnast qualify for State, which yielded 9th Place on Floor and 9th Place All Around. Ashley

also qualified for Regionals and yielded a 12th All Around Regional Place.

Our Level 9 Team had 2 out of 2 gymnasts qualify for State, which yielded the following medals:

Paula - 5th Place Bars, 9th Place Beam, 11th Place Floor, 8th Place All Around Champion

She also went on to qualify for both Regionals and Nationals.

Concordia News

Concordia has been busy despite the perception that

we just relax around our pool all summer. As our regular

classes wound down in May, we held a Blood Drive in

conjunction with the American Red Cross. We also

celebrated Concordia’s 133rd Anniversary with our annual

Honorary Members banquet and Stiftungsfest exhibition.

These individuals received recognition for their years of

membership as Concordia Turners; Helen Witt-Crawford

– 50 years, Helen Tendler – 50 years, Ken Brune – 60

years and Bob Marx – 60 years. The gymnastics and

dance classes performed a “High School Musical” themed

program and members of our Turnfest team repeated their

performance of the tactics and free exercise from the 2007

National Festival.

Our summer athletic activities have included: Senior

ladies paddleball, Actives and Senior men’s volleyball,

swim lessons, and Shirley Theodore’s water aerobics.

Gymnastics practice continued for those of our gymnast’s who were preparing for the 2008 Summer Junior Olympics. At the

Junior Olympics in Novi, Michigan Concordia was represented by 9 athletes who qualified thru invitationals and then thru the

Ozark District Championship Meet. Concordia has 7 National Titles and received 29 medals. Stefan Dumas is currently on the

AAU National Team and Stars of Tomorrow Team. Alyssa Been is currently on the Stars of Tomorrow Team. In order to keep

our Concordia kids active through the summer, two week-long summer camps were held. Activities included: gymnastics,

swimming, games and crafts.

In conjunction with the St. Louis Police Athletic League, several of our officer members held Sunday afternoon weight

training sessions for high school youths from the surrounding community.

Concordia opened its doors to the neighborhood for free family movie nights. These were held three times throughout the

summer. We also initiated a quarterly member social. Our first event was sponsored by Mattinger Wines with a wine-tasting.


The summer also marked our 3rd Scrapbooking event. These events have been growing in attendance and popularity as we work

to preserve our Turner memories.

Our Construction and Maintenance committee has also been busy this summer putting in over 120 hours of volunteer labor.

Concordia has undergone kitchen renovations, pool improvements, new gym lighting and gym floor refinishing. The kitchen

renovation included installing a new 16’ exhaust hood!

We are looking forward to hosting the National Council meeting in October.

Eiche Turners

Eiche Turners win at Nationals

Eiche Turners Tumbling and Trampoline team competed at the

United States Tumbling and Trampoline (U.S.T.A.) National Meet,

June 17-21, at the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. The USTA

National Meet is a competition for those athletes who have placed

in the top 10% per event and level in each state. The U.S.T.A. has

grown to almost 6000 members, and is an allied member of the A.A.U.

(Amateur Athletic Union).

Eiche Turner won several 1st place awards, top 10 awards and a

National Team Award in Trampoline. Athletes from Frankfort, Tinley

Park, Orland Park, Palos, Mokena, Lockport, New Lenox, and Lemont

make up the team. The following team results for top 10 finishes

are: Kristle Lowell, 1st place Synchronized Advanced Trampoline,

4th place elite double-mini, 6th place double-mini advanced, 7th

Trampoline Elite, 8th advanced tumbling, and 1st place advanced

trampoline. Megan Klee 1st place sub-advanced trampoline, 4th place

synchronized trampoline, 5th place tumbling. Mimi Mack, 3rd place sub-advanced trampoline, 8th sub-advanced double-mini, and 4th

synchronized trampoline.

Skylar Witkin 10th place advanced beginner, Brittany Sauerman, 8th Elite tumbling, Brenna Molinare 9th novice trampoline and

10th novice double-mini. Lauren Young and Sydney Bessette 9th place synchronized trampoline. Mimi Mack, Megan Klee, Lauren

Young and Sydney Bessette together won 3rd place national sub-advanced trampoline team award.

Eiche Turners’ team competes throughout the year in many events, participates in charity fundraising, hosts a summer camp, haunted

house, trivia nights, performs at exhibitions and annually in the Mokena 4th of July Parade. For more information about the Eiche Team

or tumbling, cheer tumbling or trampoline classes, visit or call Coach Matt Terlep at 815-464-3581.

Los Angeles Turners


Fencing is one of the founding sports of the American Turner

societies and the Los Angeles Turners are looking to restore the old

swordplay as a competitive Turner sport in the 21st century. Fencing

is a sport for all ages because the skills it requires do not fade away

after the age of 35. It does not require much space, nor does it require

a large monetary outlay. It is an Olympic sport and the world, US

and European championships generate a lot of excitement. It is fun,

although fencers don’t actually swing from chandeliers or leap from

balconies like in movies, it is an intriguing and engaging mental and

physical exercise.

Fencing is one of the few sports that have seen Olympic and

world champions in their 40’s (like 4-time Olympian Aladar Gerevics).

College coaches are often in their 60’s and can beat their starting players on a good day. There are special over-40 tournaments

offered across the US and Europe. Fencing is for both men and women. Although the tournaments are separate, for practice and


fun, the men and women often fence each other at clubs.

The fencing “strip” is six-feet-by-40-feet, meaning that most Turner gyms can feature 4-8 strips. The strips do not need to be

“dedicated”, meaning that the gym does not need to be painted or remodeled in any way. A few masking tape markers can designate

the strips for training and bouts and can be removed in minutes after fencing training.

The essential equipment consists of the mask, the glove, the jacket and the weapon itself. All of this can be usually purchased

for under a total of $200 per fencer and it is durable and can be transferred to future fencers. Other than the blade, which can break,

8-10 year old masks and jackets are still in use. Replacement blades are $14-$20. For competitions, electric components are

recommended, which include a metallic lamé over the jacket, a cord and clip for the weapon, and clip for the mask will add some

dollars, but these too are reusable and durable.

Coaches are best recruited from universities. A varsity fencer in his/her sophomore or junior year will give the Turnverein 2-3 good

years of training and usually not take the fencers away to start his/her own school.

The Weapons

Foil, épée and saber are the three weapons used in modern fencing. Fencers usually develop their skills in one weapon. Foil and épée

are point-thrusting weapons. Saber is a point-thrusting as well as a cutting weapon. The target areas differ for the three weapons. All

three can be scored electrically. . For tournaments, teams generally consist of 4 starters, with 1-2 reserves. This is per weapon. The

Los Angeles Turners are mostly saber fencers


The objective of a fencing bout is to score 5 –10 – or 15 points, depending on the round and the nature of the tournament, although

most clubs play for 5 touches in in-house competition and for practice.. Each time a fencer scores a touch, he or she receives a



The foil has a flexible rectangular blade, approximately 35 inches in length. It weighs less than one pound. Points are scored with the

tip of the blade on the torso of the body.


The épée is today’s equivalent of the dueling sword, and is similar in length to the foil, but is heavier, weighing approximately 27

ounces, with a larger guard to protect the hand from a valid hit. The blade is much stiffer. Touches are scored only with the point of

the blade. The entire body is valid target area.


The saber is the modern version of the cavalry sword, and is similar in length and weight to the foil. The major difference is that the

saber is a thrusting weapon as well as a cutting weapon, meaning that the fencer cuts with the blade. The target area is from the bend

of the hips to the top of the head, as with the exposed area of the cavalry rider on a horse.

Fencing was discussed at the national convention in Fort Wayne. If your society is interested, contact the LA Turners at turners@ It would be another great reason to convene!


River City Turners

River City Turners Gymnastics participated in the 2008 USAG KY State Championship

on March 29 and 30. The Championship was held in Bardstown, KY with over 15

clubs and 576 gymnasts competing.

These are our River City Turners KY State Champions

Level 4, 8th place team, Alexis Gibbons placed 1st on floor (9.625),

1st on vault (9.55) and 1st AA (37.4).

Mackenzie Smith placed 3rd on floor (9.375)

Level 5, 8th place team, Kaila Dyer placed 1st on vault (9.225), 3rd on beam (8.8),

3rd on bars (8.65) and 3rd AA (35.025)

Level 7, 4th place team, Kaylyn Turner placed 1st on bars (9.55),

Kaylyn Marshall placed 3rd on vault (9.25) and

3rd AA (35.75), Breanna Acciardo placed 2nd on vault (9.3), and

Brittany Acciardo placed 1st on vault (9.25).

Editors Corner

By Craig Sniezek

I am writing this with the hope that some of the Societies of the American Turners will read this and help me to get the

Topics out in a timely manner. For more times than I would like to think about I come to the point were I start to put articles

and such together for the next issue of the Topics and I have little or no articles to put in the Topics. I know some of our Societies

are not very active but I know a lot of them are very active year round.

I would like to every society have a publicity person to help promote activities in your society via the Topics. Articles telling

about a fund raiser for your society, a note of the accomplishments of a Turner member, a fund raiser for a local community

group, your gym programs, sports activities, membership parties, or a Turner member doing things in the community, are all

ways to promote your society to others in the organization.

Maybe if your society did something that another society thinks might work for them, your society might help another society

to accomplish their goal. We all need to promote Turners first among our societies and also to the general public, and maybe

along the way some of our societies might pick-up some new members.

Please use the following guidelines for Turner Topics articles and pictures. For the articles please submit them by either USPS

mail or by e-mail. If you have a computer and e-mail send me the article as an attachment to the below e-mail addresses.

Please use MS WORD format for the article as I can merge article for the printer. If you do not have a computer send it to me

and I will type it for the issue. Please do not expect me to write or compose your article for the Topics, as I have no way of

knowing what is accurate.

If you have pictures please send them to me at the below address with a self-addressed return envelope (if you want them

back). If you have digital pictures e-mail them to me. DO NOT SEND DIGITAL PICTURES BY MAIL TO USE, as they will not

scan real sharp. Any questions please call me or e-mail me at:

Craig Sniezek

1440 Crestwood Dr.

Aurora, Ill. 60506

Phone No.

630-892-4417 (home)

630-399-4736 (mobile)




American Turners Gymnastic Survey

Gymnastics is ever changing and the American Turners are also trying to progress with the sport. In an effort to keep up with the times, and determine what the

status is of Turner Societies, I would like to get opinions from as many Turner Members as possible, even if you do not currently have a gymnastic program. You

can fill out the Survey and mail it to me at the address below, or send me an e-mail with your answers. This Survey can also be found on the American Turners

website. ( Answer all the questions or only answer some of them. Any and all responses are appreciated. I ask that you answer the few

personal questions at the end to assist me with demographic and geographical concerns. Feel free to include any additional comments regarding gymnastics.

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Your participation will enable the NHPEC committee to understand our organization as a whole and

assist us in the future for hopefully greater participation.

I look forward to your responses.

Michelle Lesperance

NHPEC Chairperson

1. Does your Turner Society have a gymnastic program that is basically recreational classes? q yes q no

2. Does your Turner Society have a gymnastic program that includes a competitive team? q yes q no

3. If yes to #2, does your team follow the USAG program? q yes q no

4. In the last 10 years, has your overall enrollment in gymnastics increased or decreased? q increased q decreased q no change

5. Are your gymnastic classes/team practices held in your own Turner Hall, or do you rent a gym facility? q Turner Hall q rent

6. Is your gymnastic program only for children? q yes q no

7. Do you have gymnastic classes for adults? q yes q no

8. Does your Turner Society participate in local Turner gymnastic meets during the year? q yes qno

9. If yes to #8, how many? ____

10. Does your Turner Society participate in other non-Turner meets during the year? q yes q no

11. If yes to #10, how many? ____

12. Is it more feasible for your Society to compete at, or host, a National Jr. Gymnastic Championship if it was held in April? q yes q no

13. Is it more feasible for your Society to compete at, or host, a National Jr. Gymnastic Championship if it was held in May? q yes q no

14. Is it more feasible for your Society to compete at, or host, a National Jr. Gymnastic Championship if it was held in June? q yes q no

15. Would your Society be interested in participating in a National Gymnastic Meet for the less-competitive gymnast, using the requirements in the National

Festival Rulebook/Supplemental Handbook (not USAG routines), and held the same weekend as the National Jr. Gymnastic Championship? q yes q no

16. Is your Society usually involved in other end-of-season Gymnastic Championships in May? (i.e. USAG State Meet) q yes q no

17. If you answered yes to #16, would you choose to miss the Turner National Jr. Gymnastic Championship in order to participate in the other meet? q yes q no

18. Does a gymnastic meet in May concern you regarding the possibility of your child missing a day of school because of having to travel? q yes q no

19. Does your child miss school at all because of traveling to other gymnastic meets during the season? q yes q no

20. Do you feel all participants at the National Jr. Gymnastic Championship should be a child of a Turner member? q yes q no

21. Do you think more gymnasts might compete at the National Jr. Gymnastic Championship if they did not have to be members? q yes q no

22. If your Society has participated in previous Turner National Jr. Gymnastic Championships,

how many gymnasts competed? _______

23. Would you prefer a set date from year to year for the National Jr. Gymnastic Championship? (example: always the 2nd weekend of June) q yes q no

24. How far are you willing to travel to the Turner National Jr. Gymnastic Championship? q

Endowment Trust Fund Report

It seems like no matter where we are these days, we are deluged with a constant stream of political campaign rhetoric with the

general theme being for “change”. Compare this to our American Turners and our upcoming National Convention where there are

literally no campaigning and very low-key rumblings for “change” unless it is within our Festival rules.

As for “change” I can’t help but think how little our Endowment Trust Fund has changed since it was chartered in 1946. The

original concept still remains with minimal change over the following 52 years. That does not mean we have not been progressive

and taken on additional functions nor have not created more benefits to assist Societies and/or individual members who qualify.

In fact, we currently offer more benefits and do more financially than ever before in our 52 year history within the American Turner

National organization.

Gone, but not forgotten, are all the original founders of the Endowment Trust Fund. Many additional Trustees have served the

best interests of this Fund over the years with little fanfare and virtually no politics involved. This has strictly become a labor of

love for those who have taken their time and provided guidance thru numerous administrations.

So, I ask all of you two favors! First, please make every effort to attend our National Convention in Ft. Wayne, IN this August and

if you can’t make that event then secondly, consider a future donation to the Endowment Trust Fund to aid us in serving the best

interests of our American Turners!

With Turner greetings to all,

Ed Colton

President Endowment Trust Fund

Donations Since Last Issue

In memory of John Haderlein

John & Marilyn Neugebauer

Charlene Gebhardt

Frank & Janice Braun

James & Gloria Pechous

Woody & Pat Vockeroth

In memory of Gerald E. Kennelly

James & Gloria Pechous

Jerry & Joan Jacquin

Patrick & Debbie Kennelly

Michael & Shawn Stevenson

Monongahela Turners in memory of Robert & Nellie Volker, Clyde Behling

and Robert Anthony

American Turners New York in memory of Anna Weisz

Mr. & Mrs. Robert Seeger in memory of 50th Anniversary & Robert’s 40 years of membership

NYTV 1850 Foundation

New England District

Central States District

New York District

Aurora Turners

Ft. Wayne Turners

Jean Wiethop- In memory of Ted Wiethop

Fritzie Warnken- In memory of Harry Warenken

Dennis & Sandra Zeller- In memory of Harry Warenken

Betty Frantz- In memory of George Boysen


72nd National Convention

The 72nd National Convention was held in Ft.

Wayne, Indiana at the ft. Wayne Turners. It opened

Friday, August 1, with a gymnastics performance by

the Ft. Wayne Turner gymnastics class. The girl from

7-8yerar old to young teens performed a wide variety

of tumbling, gymnastic moves, and a variety of other

physical feats.

The official start of the National Convention,

followed immediately after the gymnastics presentation.

The Friday evening session had a review of reports from

the National President down to the Turner Historian.

The Saturday session of the convention started with

committee meetings in the morning followed by a

wonderful lunch. The afternoon session on Saturday

reconvened the convention, and had the reading of the

morning committee meetings. Also the election for

national officer where held with the following results:

National President- Bill Severns- Akron Turners

1st Vice President-Tom Bozonelos-Aurora Turners

2nd Vice President- John Tozier-River City Turners

Health & physical Education-

Michelle Lesperance-Sheboygan Turners

Cultural Education-Barb Riley Ft. Wayne Turners

Bowling- Terry Bodine- Ft. Wayne Turners

The Convention voted to have Aurora Turners be

host of the next, 73rd National Convention in 2010.

Other items of importance were that for the National

Gymnastics meet children of non-Turner members can

now compete with a small surcharge and that they are

members of that class for the previous ninety (90) days.

Also no society may bid a National Tournament unless

they have a full team to play in the tournament.

The Saturday night meal was chicken, pork, and all

the fixing’s. The evening also had a group of about ten

Turners signing a few German songs. Al Udovich was

also presented his 50 year pin and Gold card, along with

his wife Carol (article will be in next issue). The night

finished with a DJ in the Rath’s with several national

officers showing off their talents as singer, including



National Health & Physical Education Committee Report

By the time you receive this issue of Turner Topics summer will be just about done. I do not have much to report. The National Jr.

Gymnastics Championship was cancelled because no Societies registered. The National Softball Championship ended up being

just an Invitational Softball Tournament because not enough Turner teams registered. As in the past few years, again there was not

a National Volleyball Championship. No Society even submitted a bid to host it. This certainly paints a dismal picture of the future

if this continues. The only positive news I have is that the Golf and Bowling National Championships were well attended. I have

not received final results, but I’m sure they will be posted on the American Turners web page.

If any Society or District is interested in hosting a National Championship please submit a completed Bidding Guide Worksheet,

which can be found in the American Turners Informational Brochure. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact

myself or Shirley at the National Office.

In the last issue of Turner Topics there was a Gymnastic Survey. I have included the Survey in this issue for anyone who may have

missed it. Thank you to those who took a couple minutes out of their busy schedule to complete the Survey and send it to me.

But I need to hear from many more members in order to compile worthwhile statistics. Please take a few minutes to complete the

Survey. Everyone’s responses and opinions are important.

In July I attended a meeting of the USAG Advisory Council. This is a newly formed group consisting of organizations that have

gymnastics as part of their program. I was joined at the meeting with representatives from organizations such as the YMCA, AAU,

Special Olympics, U.S. Men’s & Women’s Coaches Associations, Sokol, National Federation of State High School Associations,

etc. The Advisory Council was formed to enable these organizations to work together to help USAG improve gymnastics across

the United States. We are focused on targeting and developing the “grass roots” programs and improving public awareness of the

benefits gymnastics has to offer people of all ages and ability.

While attending the meetings, I was able to relax in the evening and watch the Olympic Trials for Gymnastics. The United States is

sending a very talented group of gymnasts to Beijing this August for the Olympics.

Until next time, support your local Turner Society and get involved.

Michelle Lesperance

NHPEC Chairperson


St. Louis

Ted Wiethop

Theodore J. Wiethop. Jr. (Ted) passed away on June 16, 2008 at the age of 81. He was a 61 year member of Concordia Turners and

the American Turners.

He was active in the Turners from the time he joined the exercise and gymnastics classes at Concordia as a boy. Upon returning

from serving in the Army during World War II, Ted competed in the 1948 National Festival held in Saint Louis. He continued to

participate in National Festivals through the 2003 Festival held in Aurora, Illinois. He was active in gymnastics, track and field,

bowling and volleyball.

Through the years at Concordia, Ted held offices in various classes and served on the Board of Directors. He served in the

positions of Treasurer, Vice-President and President of Concordia. He represented Concordia on the St. Louis District Council for

many years and served as District President. He represented the St. Louis District at many National Conventions. Ted served on

the National Council of the American Turners. He also served as a Trustee of the National Endowment Trust Fund.

Ted was a proud recipient of the American Turners National Honor Key. He is survived by his wife, Jean Wiethop, and sons Ted

Wiethop and Chuck Wiethop, all of whom remain active in the Turners.

Hope Foster Bridges

Long time member of Concordia Turners, Hope Bridges, passed away last December at the age of 90. Hope came up through

Concordia in the kids classes. While at Concordia she studied ballet under Otto Eckl. At the age of 16, she became a

professional dancer and toured extensively throughout the United States. After World War II she returned to an active life

at Concordia and began volunteer teaching several classes. She is most remembered for over 25 years of teaching Saturday

morning tumbling classes. She competed in many District and National competitions including many National Festivals. In

1974 Concordia honored her with its Honorary Lifetime Membership in recognition for her contributions to the organization.

She is survived by her niece, Diane Wallace, and nephew, Jimmy Jordan, and their families.



November/December 2008

All copy to Craig Sniezek by October 24

All copy to printer by October 30

Page proofs to Turners by November 5

Topics in the mail by November 11

Labels needed by November 3

Email Turner Topics info. to


THE August/september/october


It now costs 70 cents to get a change of address

correction from the Post Office. Save your

organization money by reporting your change of

address promptly.


Coming Events 2008

National Council - Concordia

October 3, 4


National Bowling - Syracuse - TBA

Bowling - Syracuse


Golf - Akron

July 8-9-10

SOCIETY ___________________________________________________ YEAR JOINED _____________________


Member Name ________________________________________________________________________________

New Street Address _____________________________________________________________Apt. No. _______

City ______________________________________________________ State __________ Zip ________________


Old Street Address _____________________________________________________________Apt. No. _______





(logo) American Turners 52 nd National Festival Entry #_______

Springfield Turnverein, Feeding Hills, MA June 27 – July 1, 2007

American Turners National OfficeOfficial INDIVIDUAL Registration Form

P.O. Box PRINT 4216 ALL:

1127 E. Kentucky Street

Louisville, KY 40204

Name: _______________________________________________________________________________Society_________________________

Last First M Turner Society

Address: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Street City State Zip

(______)________________________ (_____/_____/_____) ______ _________________________

Phone # Date of Birth Age Nat. Turner Card #

E-mail address: ____________________________________


List Allergies/Medical Problems/Current Medications

_______________________________________________ (_____)________________ _________________________

Person to Notify Phone # Relationship

This Entry Form MUST be POSTMARKED No LATER than Midnight: 45 days advance of Festival: 05/13/2007 AND

Your Check MUST accompany this form to be ACCEPTED!



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