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Z.C.B.J. Lodge gets clear view thanks to TCCF grant

February 21, 2014
Traer Star-Clipper

For 103 years the Z.C.B.J. Lodge #104 (Zapadne Ceska Bratraska Jednota or translated "Western Bohemian Fraternal Association" commonly known as Cestri Bratri or Bohemian Brothers) has proudly stood the test of time in Clutier, Iowa. The Tama County Community Foundation (TCCF) granted the Z.C.B.J. Lodge $3,500 for replacement windows.

Built in 1902, Lodge #104 is the only remaining Z.C.B.J. Hall standing in Iowa. Delane Cizek, President; Arlene Schmitt, Vice-President; Merna Dostal, Treasurer and primary grant writer, and other lodge members in town work hard to make sure the building will be there in the future to be used by community members. It has been host to dances, weddings, funerals, proms, graduations, plays, movies, Toby Shows, and more recently, bingo. The old windows had become very drafty. Delane Cizek said, "We appreciated the money, the windows were needed. Tables were dust covered, so new windows were important." Major renovation took place 15 years ago with a $13,000 make-over, new windows have provided an important upgrade at this time.

The lodge, also, currently houses the Z.C.B.J. museum. The kitchen is left intact as it was in 1902, an old corn-cob stove being the center piece. The lodge also houses an impressive collection of 1,000 books written in Czech. The stage area also has the original roll drops with various scenes on them, such as a woodland scene or an interior scene, including the main drop which has advertising painted on it, circa early 1950's. Most rural communities had a stage with various back drops to designate scene changes, to find a complete set still left is very rare.

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Ardene Cross, Mayor of Clutier, fondly remembers the loose meat beef burgers that the cooks would serve during the intermission of dances. Along with Cross, the members of the lodge appreciate the money given by TCCF for this to their other projects for their town.

The TCCF is able to assist 501(c)(3) charitable organizations, schools, and governmental organizations with grant funding to support qualified programs and projects in Tama County. The Tama County Community Foundation is proud to support the Z.C.B.J. Lodge #104. For more information about the TCCF, contact Brian Sokol, Chair of the Tama County Community Foundation, 641-484-2980, or Mary Fasse-Shaw, TCCF's Development Associate at 641-751-5251.



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