The brick in the north patio reads, “MYRON AND JUDY HAHN (AND COREY DOG).” Even though few will ever know the story that this particular brick memorializes, it holds a meaningful and personal message to whoever caused it to be there. We can say the same for every one of our more than 1,300 engraved bricks at Kiwanis Family House (KFH). Woven together in our courtyards and patios, these individual cubes of honor blend into a single mosaic that is a testimonial to our 33-year history of serving families of the ill and injured.
Our collection of bricks at KFH possesses a great deal of heart-touching history. It includes memorials to former guests and many great Kiwanians. There are messages of thanks for the tireless efforts of club, division, and district leaders who have given distinguished years of service. Kiwanis clubs and numerous Service Leadership Program clubs have sponsored bricks to ensure that their passion for our mission is remembered. There is even an occasional goofy message such as, “Help! I am trapped inside this brick.”
Many visitors to KFH ask, “Can you help me find my engraved brick?” Yes, we absolutely can. Thanks to Gene Rapp’s many years of meticulous record keeping, we have the ability to locate any single brick in our courtyards and patios. With more than 1,300 of them, none of us can fully appreciate Gene’s investment of time and energy that allows us to efficiently find bricks that mean so much to those who ask.
The inevitable day has arrived. Gene has found it necessary to bequeath his creation, his project, and his legacy to one or more successors. For now, Operations Manager Charlie Bussey and I will “hit the bricks” as caretakers of the Rapp system. I have no doubt that we will ultimately find someone who has Gene Rapp’s attention to detail, passion for Kiwanis, and commitment to KFH. We simply have too many superstar supporters in our family for things to develop otherwise.
For those of you who know Gene, who has been a member of four Kiwanis clubs in his career, I hope you will convey a brief message of appreciation to him for all he has done for us and for leaving his fingerprints across our premises. They are a treasure.
By the way, Myron and Judy Hahn? They were my grandparents. There are a few other bricks in the mosaic that are also special to me – as special as my memory of Corey Dog sprinting around five acres in Shingle Springs and barking his head off every time he got out of Grandpa’s car.
“The creation of a world view is the work of a generation rather than of an individual, but we each of us, for better or for worse, add our brick to the edifice.” ~John Dos Passo