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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

KIWANIS CLUB - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

The KIWANIS CLUB was first organized in Cleveland on 19 Oct. 1915, making Cleveland's the second-oldest club, to the one founded 6 months earlier in Detroit. The purpose of the Cleveland club was to foster "the exchange of business and civic ideas [and] introductions of mutual benefit," and to aid the underprivileged. Cleveland was the site of the first national convention of Kiwanis Clubs on 18 May 1916, where the 16 clubs then in existence developed the idea of forming an international organization. By 1927 the Cleveland club had 210 members, and 9 other Kiwanis clubs had been formed in the suburbs and various sections of the city. In mid-June 1942, Cleveland hosted the 27th Annual Kiwanis Intl. Convention, which brought more than 6,000 delegates to the city; the city also hosted the 1955 convention. Adhering to the motto "We Build," the area Kiwanis Clubs sponsor Boy Scout troops, Little League baseball teams, and high school Key Clubs. They have also built and supported youth centers and recreation facilities, supported drug-education programs, provided scholarships, distributed toys to the underprivileged, raised funds to buy necessary items for handicapped people, and established awards to honor the good works of others. In the 1990s, Kiwanis remained active in the sponsorship of youth programs through their support of the CLEVELAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS and the Hough Area Community Center, as well as the CLEVELAND METROPARKS, for which it erected 2 monuments to WILLIAM A. STINCHCOMB†. By 1995, Kiwanis had a combined membership of over 2,000 in 36 clubs around greater Cleveland. Paul Alandt served as president.

Last Modified: 17 Jul 1997 03:53:37 PM

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