HUDSON -- For 13 years, a group of men have gathered at First Presbyterian Church for breakfast, friendship and fellowship.
On Saturday, Dec. 14, they gathered for their final meeting.
The group, led by Dick Whitcomb, started meeting in 2006. Out of those 13 years, Whitcomb said they have only missed 11 meetings.
“I didn’t know that it would last as long as it did,” Whitcomb said.
Whitcomb has been a member of several churches over the years, and found there was always women’s groups available.
“I decided we needed something for the guys,” he said.
He originally started it for First Presbyterian Church, but then opened it up for everybody. In the first few months, the group decided to name itself the Ecumenical Men’s Group.
“It’s open to any man that wanted to come,” Whitcomb said.
The attendees come from all over, about half a dozen different churches, Whitcomb said, and not just from Hudson. About 35 to 40 men have been involved in it over the years.
Each morning meeting started with breakfast, prepared by Dale Schmit, Ken Wooley and Vince Gin, and time to catch up with one another.
“The guys, I don’t think, have ever gone hungry,” Whitcomb said of the breakfasts.
Then they conduct a Bible study, and the men heard from a speaker who was doing work in the community. The topics spanned from international mission work to local organizations, which made up the majority of the presentations, Whitcomb said.
At each meeting the group collected a free will donation to cover the costs of breakfast and to give forward. After some of the breakfast costs were reimbursed, the remaining money was donated at the end of the year to a selected organization such as Grace Place or the Salvation Army.
Through 2018, the group has donated $6,200 in total, Whitcomb said. The mission of the group was to provide fellowship to support each other in their daily lives.
“It’s a chance to fellowship and to talk about their mission trips that they had been on and just to establish a fellowship,” Whitcomb said. “I know there’s a lot of these guys that never see each other except on those Saturdays.”
Now Whitcomb feels it’s time to retire from the group.
“I’m retired from about everything,” he said.
Whitcomb has been involved in many community organizations over the years, from The Phipps to the Hudson Community Foundation.
“This was as good a time as any to close it down,” he said.
Still, Whitcomb said he had a lot of fun with the group over the years and will probably miss it.
“I’ve been very happy with what it has done for all of our members,” Whitcomb said.