This page is devoted to our Honorees. Each spring we ask our member clubs to submit the names of an individual or couple from the club who deserves recognition for their work in square dancing and for best representing the tenets of the square dance community. Our past COCDC Honorees then carefully peruse the submitted names and select from this list the person or couple who will receive the title of COCDC Honoree of the Year at our Honoree Dance held each March.
Bill and Gayle Uhl were the Westerville Promenaders 2017 Honoree Couple. The Uhls began square dancing lessons in 1973 with the Matteson Illinois Swing-Thru's, and danced with that club for several years, and have been dancing for over forty years.
There is a cute story of how Gayle got Bill to go with her to square dance lesson. It seems Gayle read in the newspaper that there was going to be square dance lessons on the next Friday night and she was going. Bill's comment to this information was: ''Not me!" When Friday arrived and time came for the lessons, Gayle got ready to go, took the car keys and started to leave the house. Bill asked, “Where are you going?" She said, “I'm going to square dance lessons, with or without you!" Bill knew that sometimes Gayle is 'directionally challenged' ...she may have driven to Iowa or Chicago! So... Bill went along. They have been a dancing pair ever since.
They danced with the Matteson, IL Swing-Thru's until 1980 when the caller retired and then danced with other clubs in their area until their children became involved in school activities and band. The Uhls moved to Westerville, Ohio in 1998. They joined the Westerville Promenaders, taking refresher lessons with Bob Daye in Gahanna in the fall/winter of 2002, and officially joined the Promenaders square dance club in September 2003.
Since joining the Promenaders the Uhls have served in several officer positions of the Grand Square, sometime for double terms. They served as Secretary from 2004 to 2006, Vice President from 2009 to 2011, and Presidents from 2011 to 2013. They are the 2016/17 Presidents of the Westerville Promenaders.
They have also been club reporters for The Cues and Tips magazine from 2004 through 2010 and 2014 to 2016, writing many clever and interesting articles when it seems no news was forthcoming. Also included was the researching, compiling, and writing the club's historical biography which is included on the COCDC's website.
Bill and Gayle have been assistants in the planning and preparation for the Westerville Promenaders' Marietta Weekend for three years. They attended Ohio Conventions in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2012, 2013, and 2016. The Uhls participated in the 2013 Columbus Convention, assisting at the reservation desk and selling tickets for fund raising events. They initiated the program for the Promenaders to donate 50% of the money earned in a card game at every club dance to the 2013 Convention fund. In2016, Gayle participated in the early planning for the State Convention and they assisted in the reservation and ticket selling endeavors. Bill and Gayle have attended two Mid-America dances and helped with the tear-down decorations. On the local level, they have participated in over 100 banner activities and are always ready and willing to go dancing, recently expanding their dancing skills by taking round dance lessons.
Whenever there is a need for volunteers, or the use of their vehicle.....like in the Westerville July 4th Parade, or helping at the Westerville Sr. Center with dismantling the Snowflake Castle to prepare for our club dance, or to pick up students for lessons, or be angels at lessons, you can always count on the Uhls. They always readily volunteer without prodding or pleading. Many of their efforts are done with no fan-fare; they are usually the first to arrive at lessons to rearrange the room we use, setting up tables and chairs, and helping the caller to bring in his equipment and set it up. They do the same thing at the regular dances and are always the last to leave, making certain that the rooms are returned to their regular condition, lights are turned off, and checking with the custodian so he can safely close the building. In June 2016, the Grove City Western Squares held a dance for Relay for Life; the Promenaders had a dance on the same evening. It was Gayle's suggestion that a collection be taken at the Promenaders' dance and forwarded to the Grove City Club in support of their dance. Over $80.00 was collected and sent to the Grove City Western Squares.
Gayle had to have foot surgery three times, but that has not stopped them from getting back to dancing or from being supportive from the sidelines. Gayle will recruit prospective dancers to come to lessons wherever she may be, and can work square dancing into any conversation; grocery store, restaurants, card club, church functions ....anywhere! She even talked with people who were attending an LBJ dance about the benefits of square dancing and encouraged them to attend LBJ lessons. The sweet thing is, she gets results. Her positive attitude and superb enthusiasm is contagious. You can't be around Bill and Gayle Uhl very long without feeling their enthusiasm for square dancing and the friendships it brings. Their continuous support and promotion of square dancing with their positive up-beat attitude, and unending enthusiasm is a model for all dancers.
Lynn LeMaster learned to square dance with Bucks & Does Singles, graduating with the Class of 2005. She has been serving on the Club Board since April, 2007, first serving as Treasurer-Elect (07-08), then Treasurer (08-09), President-elect (09-10), President (10-11), Past President (11-12), Treasurer-Elect (12-13), Treasurer (13-15) and now President (15-16).
Lynn has served on several committees for special dances: Columbus Relay for Life Dances, the Tony Oxendine Dance, Bethlehem on Broad Street Charity Dances and Yellow Rock Dances. She was the first to schedule a bus trip to Lubeck, WV for Keith & Karen Rippeto’s Relay for Life Dance in April, 2007 and continued to organize and promote that annual event for Bucks & Does for five more years.
Lynn has been the Class Coordinator for Bucks and Does lessons since September, 2010. That duty entails creating a class schedule, collecting information on the New Dancers, keeping attendance records of them and the Angels, giving weekly tips to the New Dancers and keeping the New Dancers informed of the square dance world.
Lynn comes early to help set up for classes and dances. Since the club moved out of First Congregational Church in Downtown Columbus in June of 2012, she has maintained the club supply basket needed for dances. She has been entrusted with the key to Gahanna Community Congregational Church.
Lynn is currently serving her second term for the Central Ohio Corporation of Dance Clubs (COCDC) as Vice President for 2014-16 (first term was 2012-14). She attends the 6 meetings per year and runs the meeting in the President’s absence.
Lynn was a member of the 2013 Ohio Dance Convention Committee and served as the Registration Chair for that Convention. She processed 694 pre-registrations, deposited payments, and organized the special event lists. She and Tim Hellinger put together a bus trip to square dance in Columbus Friday morning of the Convention. Not only did they fill one bus, but two more! And no one was left behind! Along with Sue Williams, they assigned the Volunteers for the Convention and made table assignments for 300 people eating at the Mike Albert as Elvis Dinner Show. She continues to serve as a member of the 2016 Ohio Dance Convention Committee and is the Registration Chair, Tour Bus Leader and Volunteer Coordinator again for that Convention.
In addition to Bucks & Does, Lynn is also an active member of Hi-Timers. Lynn met her significant other, Tim Hellinger, at the Snowball Dance in February, 2006. Together, they started a square dance club in their new town of Granville: The Maple Leaf Squares in September, 2011.
We don’t know of any person in the Central Ohio area who works harder or is more dedicated to promoting square dancing and square dancing activities. She contributes hours of her time every week to make the square dance world just a little bit better. She is a great candidate for this honor and we highly recommend her to represent Central Ohio!
Our 2015 Honorees are Larry and Tahna Pasqua of the Westerville Promenaders. The Pasquas have been dancing since 1980. Larry was introduced to square dancing in his senior year (1958) at Columbus Mifflin High School. James Janard (Singing Caller State Champion, two years running) introduced it and taught it at school dances.
In 1977, Tahna and Larry moved to Brattleboro, Vermont. They started taking lessons about three years later. They joined the Green Mountain Squares, a plus club. While in Vermont they served as club secretaries, participated in east coast conventions and special dances, and took part in many banner activities before moving back to Westerville.
The Pasquas joined the Promemaders in the fall of 1990 when the club danced at the Grange Hall in Westerville. Over the years, they have served multiple stints as Secretaries, Treasurers, Banner Chairs, and Vice Presidents (responsible for scheduling callers and cuers) to the club. They have participated in over fifty banner events, demos, mystery trips, and Burr Oak / Marietta weekends. Larry has entertained the Marietta crowd in numerous comedy skits over the years and frequently handles hall and refreshments setup at club dances.
The Pasquas earned their first angel dangle (for lesson attendance) in Vermont and have helped with lessons ever since. They have attended and/or participated in many state conventions. They have served on registration teams, sold raffle tickets, and helped other teams as needed. They always attend the Snow Ball dance and Honoree dance when in town and have helped with setup and refreshments. They have held demo dances at their church and have arranged to make the church available for "NEST" demos and a convention potluck thank-you picnic.
Larry has served on or headed up the Westerville Promenaders audit team five times. He has participated in the club Constitution Review Team three times, and has represented the club in dealing with the Premenaders liability insurance contract, their IRS filings, and State of Ohio non-profit status filings. In addition, he is the club liaison and handles contractual issues with the Westerville Senior Center.
Tahna and Larry do many things behind the scenes and are always ready to step in to assist when needed or asked. They support not only the Promenaders, but square dancing in general, and their experience and knowledge is very valuable to the club.
The Pasquas shared that they appreciated the club's support through prayer and encouragement as they went through cancer treatments. Congratulations to Larry and Tahna for being named our COCDC Honoree couple for 2015.
Tom & Erma Wolf of Grove City Western Squares are the COCDC Honoree Couple for 2014. In the nineteen years that they have square danced, they have served their clubs (Tracktown Shirts & Skirts and Grove City Squares) in many capacities, including years as banner chairs and COCDC representatives. Every year they can still be found serving as angels for new dancers. They support GCWS in many additional ways including serving as greeters, working the desk selling tickets and collecting money, bringing refreshments, setting up the food table, cleaning up during and after dances, and always thanking the visiting dancers for attending their club dances. They do all this work with the biggest smiles and pitch in to help others when needed without being asked.
Tom & Erma have also done much to support the larger dance community. Oftentimes, you can find them helping out when they attend other club’s dances, cleaning up, helping to put away chairs, and helping the caller and cuer to carry out their equipment. They joined The Heart of Ohio Traveling Squares in 1999, a camping square dance club in which they were active for several years. They have traveled to dances all around our nation to help support square dancing. They served as a sponsor for Mid America Square Dances in Louisville, Kentucky. They have attended numerous square dance weekends, national conventions and state conventions. Often they have served in a helping role in some way. If they see a need, they are the first to step-up and take on the job with a smile without even being asked.
This couple has served on several COCDC council committees including the Honoree Dance Committee and Toys for Tots Committee along with many other dances for several years. They have been very active supporting the Relay for Life Dance bus trips to Lubeck, W.Va. They always volunteered to sell raffle tickets and split-the-pot tickets, and then volunteered to help with setting up the buffet dinner, and worked on clean-up until the job was completed. One could always count on them to serve on the planning committee for the Relay for Life Dances in Columbus. Their contributions of food and support made the load lighter for all dancers. Often times, this couple would jump in and help with the annual Bucks & Does Charity Dance to benefit the less fortunate by selling tickets and working at the food table all the way to the final clean-up.
In 2005, they served to help with the Labor Day weekend Dance-A-Rama Dance Festival sponsored by Single Square Dancers USA when it was held in Columbus. Although they were not members of the sponsoring club, they worked the desk, collecting money, selling tickets, and providing directions for out of town dancers. In 2006, they stepped up to promote Dance-A-Rama in Rochester, New York by providing a place for dancers to meet the tour bus, opening up their home to allow dancers to use all the needed conveniences, serving coffee at their own expense, and providing a safe place for dancers to park their cars while traveling and participating in the convention activities. And of course, they traveled on the bus to the convention. Their great sense of humor added to the fun to make the long bus trip more enjoyable. As a result of their dedication and continuous hard work in our square dance community, they were awarded the Yellow Rock Award at the Yellow Rock dance in November 2011.
This couple stepped up and took on the role of Hospitality Chair for the 2013 State Convention. That volunteer role required them to attend a couple of years of planning meetings for the convention. They were instrumental in helping to set-up the Coffee & Cookies with Columbus, a marketing activity for the 2013 State Convention, at the 2012 State Convention in Akron. They helped with the set-up, served as one of several hostesses to ensure that the guest’s needs were met, and talked with visitors about the upcoming convention. Then, they returned and helped with the convention after party for all Columbus dancers in the same event room. While in Akron in 2012, they worked the registration table for the 2013 State Convention providing relief for other workers to leave the table. Then, they attended several skit practice sessions and joined in the skit in 2012 to promote the 2013 convention in Columbus.
This couple’s role for the 2013 State convention did not stop with their job description. They used their personal connections and got the tee shirt for the convention designed and printed so that the committee would have a model shirt to work with at no expense to the planning committee. Their thoughtfulness saved a lot of time with a job well done. They both spent a lot of time manning the front table giving up valuable dance time of their own to answer all kinds of questions and to help sign dancers up for extra activities. Their help saved the day by providing quality service. This couple also helped with the fund raiser dances by showing up with extra supplies and extra ice cream for several of the ice cream fund raiser dances. Most often, they furnished raffle items for the fund raising raffles without being asked. Their thoughtfulness shows how much they do and think about how to promote our square dance activities!
The COCDC is proud to present our 2013 Honorees: Mary Galentine and Dennis Budinski.
Two different clubs, the Bucks & Does and Orbiting Squares, selected this couple as their club honorees. Dennis began square dancing in September 2000 by taking lessons with the jointly held class sponsored by the two clubs. He joined the Bucks & Does the following year and has been a member of that club ever since. He currently is serving as Treasurer and previously served seven terms as Treasurer or Treasurer-Elect. He has been a member of Orbiting Squares since 2007. He has performed numerous magic shows, including one at Orbiting's New Year’s Eve dance in 2002 and annually at the BAD’s charity dance. His magic show brings happiness and amazement to all who watch. He audited the club’s financial records (for a year when he was not the Treasurer). He is in his eleventh year as angel for the BAD’s class and his fourth year as an angel for Orbiting.
Mary became a member of the square dance community in September, 2001 when she began taking lessons with the jointly held class sponsored by the same two clubs. She brought two other people with her to begin lessons. One of them is still dancing today. Currently she is the Past-President of the Bucks & Does, having previously served as Secretary-Elect, Secretary, President-Elect (2X) and President (3X). She is in her eighth year as angel for the BAD’s class and her fourth year as angel for Orbiting’s class. She has been a major recruiter of new students for all clubs, including recruiting through her connection with Parents Without Partners, obtaining radio advertisements through radio DJ Woody Johnson of “Woody and the Wake Up Call”, and initiating square dance demos at the Franklin County Fair. She has attended COCDC meetings to present her ideas about recruitment, and has served as the Chairperson of the Publicity/ Recruitment Committee. She has been instrumental in planning local Relay for Life Dances (2008 through 2012) and organizing the bus trips to Keith Rippeto’s Relay for Life dances in Lubeck, WV (2007 through 2012). She is an innovative thinker with a lot of good ideas and the energy and enthusiasm to put her ideas into action. She made the arrangements for the Country Living Fair demos (2008 through 2012). Her creative & innovative thinking was instrumental in starting the Pre-Snowball workshops and continuing the annual Yellow Rock dance after another club bowed out.
Both Dennis and Mary are active members of both the Bucks & Does and Orbiting Squares and regularly attending club dances and banner steals and retrieves, bringing refreshments, etc. Dennis has attended 127 banner activities and Mary has attended 111 banner activities for the BADs. He has attended 84 banner activities and she has attended 72 banner activities for Orbiting Squares. Both have served on the Nominating Committee and as Banner Chairmen for the BADs. Both often help put banners, tables, chairs and fans away following classes and dances. Both have worked as volunteers at a beverage booth at the Columbus Arts Festival to help COCDC raise needed income. Both have attended the Ohio Dance Conventions in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton, Akron, and Aurora; the Indiana State Convention; and the National Dance Convention in Charlotte, NC. Also, both attended the National Singles Square Dance Conventions in Columbus; Rochester, NY; Nashville, TN; Davenport, IA; Alexandria, VA; and Indianapolis, IN. Both have shown themselves to be very capable in carrying out the many duties of all of the offices that they have held. Both served as the co-Chairpersons in charge of the 53rd Ohio Dance Convention which was held in Columbus in 2013.
Congratulations to Dennis Budinski and Mary Galentine for being selected our 2013 Honorees.
Congratulations to our 2012 Honorees, Nancy Swanberg and Dave Sewell. Little Brown Jug Singles nominated them, and the Honorees from past years selected them as this year's Honorees. Below is a summary of their accomplishments:
Nancy graduated from lessons in Lima, Ohio in 1983. She and her husband were Honor Couple for the Midwestern Council in 2005 having served as Club Historian, Banner Chairman, President & Vice President for many years. On the council level Nancy's leadership included Club Representative, Secretary and Editor of the Square Hi-Lites magazine. In 2007 Nancy (now a widow) moved to the Columbus area and joined Hicks & Chicks and Little Brown Jug Singles. She has served as Banner Chair, Council Representative, and is currently President of LBJ. Since 2009 she has been COCDC Secretary and since 2010 she has been Publicity Chairman for the 2013 State Convention Committee. She has attended 4 Nationals, 3 Singles, and 25 State Conventions.
Dave's dancing career started at age 9 in Ms. Langlet’s clogging class in Sioux Falls, SD. For about 3 years he had fun participating in demos at nursing homes and county fairs. He reentered the dance world here 3 years ago to expand his social life; joined his first club (LBJ) and became Treasurer, joined a second club (Bucks & Does), and danced 2 – 3 times a week all around Columbus. He became so popular that recruiting was easy and he drew many new dancers to the various clubs that he angeled. After only one year of round dancing he began recruiting and angeling in two different rounds clubs too. He has attended at least 30 banner raids, 2 State Conventions, 2 Singles National Conventions, and 1 National Convention.
Together Nancy & Dave have participated in many demos, recruited new dancers and have energized their clubs.