Feature Articles

Exchange Club of Falcon update

By Erin Malcolm 

Established in Detroit, Michigan, in 1911, the National Exchange Club is the oldest service organization in the United States. Since 2006, Falcon has reaped the benefits of its own chapter of the Exchange Club. (It’s one of about 550 chapters nationwide.)

Headed up by president Andy Conder and president-elect Don Koveleski, the crew of volunteers pour their efforts into four core areas of impact, including child abuse prevention, Americanism, youth recognition and community service, to make El Paso County a better place.  

The Exchange Club of Falcon is hard at work in the community this spring and summer. 

On May 4, club members and friends plan to hit the road for the quarterly highway cleanup through an El Paso County program called “Adopt a Highway.” The club adopted the 2-mile stretch of Falcon Highway between Meridian Road and Good Fortune Road. Members are responsible for donning their safety vests, grabbing their trash bags and cleaning up everything from litter to animal carcasses along the highway four times a year. The club usually has around 10 to 12 participants on the cleanup days, and they emphasized that non-club members are welcome to join the cleanup crew. 

The club is also currently gearing up for its annual Robert Miller Memorial Charity Golf Tournament, which will be held at Antler Creek Golf Course in Falcon on June 14. Robert “Bob” Miller was an original charter member of the club, a past president of the club, and an avid golfer and visionary. It was his idea to start hosting the annual golf tournament 15 years ago; and, about four years ago, after he unexpectedly passed away, the club named the tournament after him to honor his memory and his passion for the event.  

Conder said, “Carrying on what he started with this and funding our projects is very special to us since it was so special to him while he was alive.” 

The golf tournament has become one of the club’s largest fundraisers and helps raise money to support all of the club’s service programs throughout its fiscal year of July 1 to June 30. “Without this tournament, we’d be pretty hard pressed to do the really good things we do in the community. And we do a lot of good things and spend a lot of money doing them,” Conder said. 

The entire event is a true community effort, as much of the support comes from local businesses and community members in the form of sponsorships. Companies can sponsor a hole or a team to give to the cause, and many local businesses and restaurants even donate the prizes that are awarded to winners of contests and raffles. “We get good support from a lot of different organizations and companies in Falcon as well as Colorado Springs. And we’re always getting new, different sponsors every year, so it works out really well for us,” Conder said.

During the tournament, golfers enjoy 18 holes of golf in a four-man-scramble format, plus contests and prizes for closest to pin on PAR 3 holes, longest drive, putting and chipping. The golfer entry fee of $100 includes the round of golf with a cart, buffet lunch, a goody bag and chances to win door prizes. Sign up is open to men and women of all ages through June 1 online and at the Antler Creek clubhouse.   

For more information, visit https://exchangecluboffalcon.com/Stories/15th-annual-golf-charity. 

Starting this month, the club is also looking to the future to solicit booth vendors and prepare for the 15th annual Falcon Craft Fair, which is hosted by the Exchange Club and scheduled for Oct. 5 and Oct. 6 at Falcon High School. 

The club is looking for local vendors who offer homemade crafts, food and other goods. 

The club already has word that many local vendors from last year’s fair will be returning. Also returning is the District 49 culinary arts program, where students in the program will cook and sell food to the patrons.  

In 2023, the club donated $5,000 from the craft fair to the Eastern Plains Community Pantry in Calhan. In 2024, the club plans to support the pantry again and also help other local nonprofits yet to be determined. A couple of options the group is exploring include an organization for veterans and a child abuse prevention organization, but nothing is finalized. The club is hoping to help local nonprofits that don’t typically receive a lot of grant funding or assistance from bigger agencies. 

President elect, Don Koveleski, said, “We want to share the wealth.”

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