Youngstown Kiwanis Club Celebrates 100 Years

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Kiwanis Club of Youngstown is celebrating 100 years as a chapter in the International organization with a dinner July 29 at Tippecanoe Country Club. The chapter was the 15th chartered 100 years ago in an organization that now numbers more than 7,300 chapters and 260,000 members in 85 countries.

“For the past century our focus has been giving back to the community, specifically the children of our area,” said club member Chuck Whitman. “We want people to know that we do more than just meet for lunch and network.  This group does the important work needed to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors.”

As a part of its 100th anniversary celebration, the Kiwanis Club of Youngstown teamed up with the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley to rehab a playground at United Way’s newest Success After 6 school, Taft Elementary.  This is also a part of the Taft Promise Neighborhood initiative.  The Kiwanis Club committed $10,000 to the playground project with $4,000 of that coming from the Ohio District Kiwanis Foundation.

“The Kiwanis Club of Youngstown has been a generous supporter of our United Way and our work over the past few years, but this gift of $10,000 is amazing,” said Bob Hannon, President of the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, “Both of our organizations have strong roots here in the Valley, and we are proud to team up with Kiwanis to celebrate their 100th anniversary.”

The children of Taft Elementary will now have an expanded area available to play on at recess and after school. In addition, the funds will help restore part of the existing playground that is in disrepair. Taft Elementary School Principal John McMahan requested the playground expansion so all of the students could have access to the equipment.  The playground build is set for July 27-28.

Organizations that regularly receive financial aid from Youngstown Kiwanis include The Boy and Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, First Night Youngstown, CityScape, the Vindicator Spelling Bee, William McGuffey Elementary School, Potential Development, Stambaugh Charter Academy,  Oh Wow Museum, United Way’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library and Success After Six program and the downtown YMCA among many others. The downtown YMCA has also been the location for the group’s Friday lunches for all 100 years!

Many of Youngstown’s most accomplished business and government men and women have been included among the chapter’s members, including former Vindicator and Business Journal columnist and author Clingan Jackson, Judge Henry Robinson, and WFMJ-TV’s Mitch Stanley, who started the group’s annual radio auction in 1955, an auction that still takes place every spring. The auction is the group’s main fund raiser and since 1955 has raised more than $600,000 for the Kiwanis work with area kids.

Former Kiwanians and their families are all invited to the anniversay dinner and can get information by calling 330 770 0003.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.