Porch Posse gives back as it serves the community

Members of the MHS Class of 1969 Porch Posse helped in serving the catered meal at the March Monticello School Foundation Dinner. The money they make is donated back into the community. Front from left are Linda Ahlrichs, Danica Hughes, and Pam Jacobs. Back from, Jean Haas, Susan Bohlken, Linda Kahler, and Ginger Eilers. (Photo submitted)

Members of the Porch Posse walked together in the PTO Color Run last May, a fundraiser for the elementary schools. From left are Ginger Eilers, Jean Haas, Linda Siebels, Deb Miller, Joan Husmann, Grace M. Zimmerman, and Linda Kahler. (Express file photo)
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Ladies from the Monticello High School Class of 1969 enjoy each other’s company, sharing stories from times’ past, reminiscing, laughing together. But more than anything, they enjoy giving back to the community.

     This is where the “Porch Posse – At Your Service” comes into play.

     Made up of 12 female members of the class, the Porch Posse works to help serve meals at area functions such as weddings, parties, fundraisers, funerals, and more. Just recently, the Porch Posse came together to serve the meal at the Monticello School District Foundation Dinner and Auction held at the Berndes Center.

     All of the money paid to the Porch Posse for their service is donated back into the community.

     The concept of the Porch Posse is quite simple. A group of classmates from 1969 were sitting on the front porch at Susan (Janssen) Bohlken’s home.

     “We were just there, all gabbing away and reminiscing,” said Kahler, “just sitting on the porch having a good time.”

     Someone made the comment that they should call themselves the “porch posse.” The name stuck.

     “We started this six years ago,” said Ginger (Barker) Eilers, “and got together once a month.”

     Linda (Nagel) Kahler said she actually got the idea from her mom, who’s own high school class still continued to get together on a regular basis.

     Eilers said the group is always texting or messaging one another all the time, catching up on Facebook, why not take the time to gather once a month.

     “We’re like a support group for each other,” she said.

     Since starting their literal service group, the Porch Posse has served at over 50 events, not just within Jones County. They’ve helped at events in Linn County, Dyersville, Delhi, and more.

     “We try not to go too far out because of the driving,” said Eilers. The Posse coordinates drivers for events that require them to carpool.

     If someone cannot make a date, there is always someone else to fill in. Some of the gals still work full-time jobs.

     There have been a few events where classmates have filled in from out of state while back home.

     “We have classmates all over the country,” said Linda (Chaplin) Ahlrichs.

     The group’s first occasion was St. John Lutheran Church’s 150th anniversary celebration and luncheon on June 29, 2014.

     “We helped serve at the lunch,” recalled Kahler, “as community service, and we’ve really grown since then.”

     Eilers said not only are they lending a hand, but also it gives them all a chance to get together on occasion.

     One event they took part in, which required no work at all from the Posse except walking a few miles, was last year’s Monticello PTO color run in May. Several of the gals power walked through the colorful dust thrown their way.

     If you’re ever at an event in the area and aren’t sure whether the Porch Posse is on scene, just look for their matching aprons and visors. Thanks to Kahler’s sewing expertise, each Posse member comes equipped, ready to work.

     “It is exciting to run into old schoolmates or teachers,” said Kahler of some of the events they’ve helped at.

     Eilers, Kahler and Linda Ahlrichs said the husbands all tell the women what a fabulous job they continue to do.

     “We’re a tight-knit group,” said Kahler. “I think that’s pretty unique what we do.”

     Eilers agreed. “We all work well together. We have a lot of laughs.”

     “We even cry together,” added Kahler, recalling serving at the Monticello Knights of Columbus fundraiser for classmate Linda Siebels.

     With the donations they’ve received over the years, the Porch Posse prefers to donate the funds to the schools to help the students any way they can. Aside from that, money has gone to Senior Dining and the Monticello Food Pantry.

     If you’re interested in hiring the Porch Posse to serve at your next event, find them on Facebook and send them a private message. They ask for at least a couple-month’s notice prior to the date to make sure they have enough crewmembers.

     “We get gigs through word of mouth a lot of the time,” shared Kahler.

     As members of the Class of 1969 get older, Kahler said it’s important to maintain that friendship.

     “We have a compassion for each other,” said Ahlrichs.

     “We’re sisters,” added Eilers, “we really are, because some of us never had a sister.”

     The 12 members of the Porch Posse include: Kahler, Eilers, Ahlrichs, Bohlken, Jean (Bartels) Haas, Danica (Reyner Hughes, Pam (Adams) Jacobs, Joan (Schneider) Husmann, Debbie (Eiben) Miller, Linda (Stahlberg) Siebels, Diane (Tedrow) Flannagan, and Donita (Zimmerman) Hageman.


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