Page 8 - SCENE 4409
P. 8

HistoryBY JIM TALBOT, LONG-TIME MEMBERof theKiwanis Club ofThe Kiwanis Clubof Battle Creek will be celebratingits 100th Anniver- sary with an evening of fun on October 15th. Battle Creek Kiwanis was born a centuryago in 1919. World War I had just ended, the Roaring Twenties were just beginning, the Great Depression and World War II were on the horizon. The first Kiwanis Club had started only four years earlierin Detroit. The Battle Creek Club has always been proud to be one of the first Clubs to be part of a new and innovative movement that combined fellowship and service into an organization. The Battle Creek Club was sponsored by the Kiwan- is Club of Kalamazoo, another Kiwanis pioneer. B.C. Kiwanis started with 51 members. Verner W. Main was selected as the first President. Battle Creek Kiwan- is is now one of thousands of clubs that span across 80 nations of the world.In the early years, Club membership was largely comprised of businessmen. As time passed, the scope of member- ship expanded. Members included edu- cators, doctors, attorneys, public service and governmental employees, clergy, and more. Women were first invited toVegetables are donated to local food banks.VICTORY GARDENjoin in the 1980’s. Viola Johnson was the first of the many women to join the Battle Creek Club. Club membership reacheda high in the 1950’s with 151 members. The current membership numbers in the forties and is always looking to share the Kiwanis experience with more.Battle Creek Kiwanis meets weekly for lunch and a program of general interest. Early on the meeting day was Thursday. Meetings were changed to Wednes- days in the 1970’s. The Club met at the Hart Hotel for many years. While at the Hart, the Club featured an orchestra that entertained as members arrived. Kiwanis moved to the Bare Tree Restaurant and then the new Stouffer (now McCamly Plaza) Hotel sometime in the late 70’s or early 80’s. From there meetings locations have included both Holiday Inns and the Old Country Buffet. Upon an abrupt oust- er from the Buffet, the Club found refuge at the Salvation Army for a time. The Club currently meets at Captain Luey’s.The Club’s Board of Directors has met monthly at various venues across town. Locations have included the Athelstan Club, Piccadilly Grill, the American Legion on Columbia, the basement of the original Memorial Park Office, and currently in the Board Room of the new Memorial ParkOffice. The walls of the Board Room are lined with portraits of all the Kiwanis Pres- idents. The unique collection is referred to as the “Rogues Gallery.”The number of people who have had their lives enriched by their membership in the Kiwanis Club of Battle Creek is sure to number well over a thousand. An even greater number of Battle Creek area citizens have likewise had their lives enriched by the hundreds of community service projects sponsored by the Club.Battle Creek Kiwanis service projects have always reflected the times and the needs of the community as a whole. In the early days (before television) Kiwanis brought entertainment to Battle Creek with Redpath Chautaugau, Will Rogers, Passion Play, and the Mikado. Programs aimed at children were big with Kiwanis, hands-on and financial support going to Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, Boy Choir, Horse Shows at the Hunt Club on Golden Avenue, Junior Achievement, Junior Baseball, and the Altrusa Day Nursery. Original Kiwanis programs includ- ed Ki-Y Clubs, Kids Klothing Campaign, 5th Grade Field Days at the Kiwanis Youth Conservation Area, and 4H Calf Projects.During World War II, Kiwanis spon- sored Morale Building programs,8SCENE 4409 I HEALTH ISSUEFIRE/STORM EDUCATION TRAILERADOPT A HIGHWAYMEMORIAL DABY

   6   7   8   9   10