Mission

Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time.

Chartered April 9, 1918 – the 87th Kiwanis Club—with 200 members

in less than two months after Albert C. Stimers arrived to organize the club

Membership Requirements

Kiwanis Club of Oklahoma City  

Participation in the following at least once:

                Reading Buddies

                Check In

                Prayer and Pledge

                Door Prize      

Attend the following at least once:

                Board Meeting

                Division 19 Meeting

Provide the following:

                Background Check Paperwork

                First Quarter Dues of $210

                New Membership Processing International Dues of $75

                Special Activities Fund Pledge of the $400 ask or equal time of 40 hours serving on committee and/or   

                working with our select volunteer opportunities.  

Kiwanis Club of Oklahoma City (#00087)

Our "Downtown" Kiwanis Club, officially completed on April 25, 1918 with a charter membership of 200, was the second club in what is now the Texas-Oklahoma District (Dallas was the first officially completed on February 10, 1917.). The charter was presented by Orville Thorpe of Dallas.  First President was Edward Howell; first Secretary was Howard T. Deupree.

Today the Kiwanis Club of Oklahoma City still practices its motto of "Serving Children" and the community through volunteered time and charitable contributions.  Among youth leadership and service organizations, we sponsor OU CKI and OCU CKI, collegiate-level; Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School Key Club, Classen School of Advanced Studies Key Club, and launching in 2013, Southeast High School Key Club; and Classen School of Advanced Studies Builders Club, middle school-level.  Increased planning over the past few years focuses upon redeveloping our Mulligan Flats property, which houses Carver Mark Twain Head Start, where we host Reading Buddies once a month. 

Monday lunch meetings focus upon topics of community interest by business, civic, government and philanthropic speakers.

The Kiwanis Special Activities Fund, begun on August 21, 1952, is our 501 (c) (3) charitable vehicle through which we donate at least $400 a year to support our club's philanthropy.  For example, we have celebrated a children's Christmas party since 1918 and a youth picnic and outing, now for Boys Ranch Town residents and Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, but originally an orphans event since 1923. 

Brief Kiwanis History

What began as a small club in Michigan in 1915 became known as “Kiwanis” which means “we trade” or “we share our talents.” Some say it meant “We have fun.” It was coined from an American Indian expression, Nunc Kee-wanis.

  • Kiwanis was founded in Detroit, Michigan, on January 21, 1915. 
  • In the early years, Kiwanis clubs focused on business networking, but even then, members were serving the needs of the poor.
  • By 1919, the organization had changed its focus from business to service.
  • Kiwanis became an international organization in 1916 with the organization of the Kiwanis Club of Hamilton, Ontario.
  • Kiwanis limited its membership to the United States and Canada until 1962 when worldwide expansion was approved.
  • Until 1987, Kiwanis was a male-only organization. But after years of debate and growing support, women’s membership was received overwhelmingly

The face of Kiwanis has changed over the years.  Membership today consists of thousands of clubs in a hundred countries with men and women adult members and youth.

Today Kiwanis Clubs are ever changing to meet the needs of younger generations of members.  The mission of Kiwanis to change the world through service to children and communities has never been more relevant than now.  How we carry out that mission also must remain relevant.  From elementary school age kids, to high school Key Clubs, to college Circle K clubs, to Aktion Clubs for adults with disabilities, to Kiwanis Junior for adults aged 18 to 35, the look of Kiwanis continues to evolve.  There are Kiwanis clubs that meet for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, weekend times, or via the Internet in virtual clubs.

We in the Kiwanis Club of Oklahoma City have been faithful to our roots for nearly 95 years.

1982 Special Olympics, 2004 Ronald J. Norick Library Book Passing

Kiwanis Club of Oklahoma City began a safety campaign that evolved into the Kiwanis Junior Police, which became an international Kiwanis project.  For years, Junior Police was supervised from this Downtown Club. 

More history and photos will be coming.  Highlights from 90+ years of history take time to research!

Ringing bells for the Salvation Army kettle campaigns since ??

Kiwanis Club of Oklahoma City has sponsored a children's picnic and outing since 1923.  2013 will be our 90th anniversary of this event.  Below is a letter from a picnic attendee and also a follow-up article from The Oklahoman.

"Thank you to Oklahoma City Kiwanis"

 

“Good afternoon.  I would like to share a little story with you.  In the spring of 1947, at Chickasha, a young mother died.  Among her survivors were two young daughters.  The girls stayed with family members for a few weeks, but by late summer it was apparent that the family couldn’t or wouldn’t be responsible for the girls.  One sunny morning in August, all the girls’ earthly possessions were packed in a small cardboard box, and the girls and the box were placed in the backseat of a car with strangers.  Away they went.  They did not know where they were going and didn’t care. 

 

In a few hours, the girls arrived in Oklahoma City at the Baptist Orphans Home at 63rd and Pennsylvania.  The girls were separated and placed in cottages with girls their own age.  They had never been apart before, and they were sad and afraid.  It was hard to be ‘the new girl’ especially for the little one. 

 

The days went by, and soon the talk was about starting school and the ‘Quance’ picnic.  The girls learned that every year all the kids went to the zoo and had a picnic.  This was exciting. The girls had never been to a zoo, in fact, they had never been on a picnic.  Finally, Saturday arrived, and the children loaded busses and the adventure began.  They could see all the animals; ride the zoo train as many times as they wanted and the picnic, what a feast.  They had hot dogs with yellow mustard, any flavor of soda you wanted and for dessert ice cream bars to cold they smoked when you took paper off.  And they could eat as much as they wanted.  At the end of the day when the children go on the bus to go home, some men would give them silver dollars.  They would go home tired, happy and very rich.

 

As you have probably guessed by now, I am one of the little girls in this story and my sister Rose is the other.  I am here today to tell you that I learned the lesson that you taught by example.  I have been a member of the Trenton, Missouri Kiwanis Club for almost 12 years and now it is my turn to serve the children of my community and I do it with great joy. 

 

Rose and I were reminiscing about our memories of the ‘Quance’ picnic.  She still can see the smoking ice cream bars and I can still feel the weight of 2 silver dollars in my hand.  You enriched my life many ways.  You planted a little seed deep in my heart, a seed of hope.  You were a constant in my life.  Without fail, you always found time to plan a picnic for us, year in and year out.  In never changed, and it was a comfort to me.

 

Today, I say thank you for the thousands of children you have helped.  Thank you for being kind to my little sister.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you for making time for me.  Keep planting sees of hope.  Thank you.”

 

2002, Ruby Woodson

Article from The Daily Oklahoman

"Memories of home are fond"

The Daily Oklahoman - Saturday, November 2, 2002

Author: Carla Hinton, Religion Editor

READER Charles Knefelkamp of south Oklahoma City properly chastised me for a gaffe in an Oct. 19 caption under a photo of one of the first buildings housing the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children.

The offending sentence mistakenly conveyed that Oklahoma became a state in 1903, the same year the home was founded.

In fact, the caption was an attempt, albeit a clumsy one, to say the ministry was here four years before statehood came in 1907.

The organization's long history in our state is intriguing, especially when viewed from the eyes of people who were the recipients of the home's early care.

One such woman, Ruby Woodson of Missouri, recently shared her memories of life at the home with the downtown Oklahoma City Kiwanis Club. Woodson said she and her sister, Rose, arrived at the home in 1947, after their mother died in Chickasha.

Woodson said she especially cherished one annual event at the home, a zoo visit and picnic sponsored by the "Quance," the children's word for the Kiwanis civic group. The children had hot dogs, ice cream bars and soda, rode the zoo train as many times as they wanted and were given silver dollars by kind-hearted Kiwanis members.

Now an 11-year member of the Trenton, Mo., Kiwanis Club, Woodson told the Oklahoma Kiwanis that the club's constancy in her life "planted a little seed deep in my heart, a seed of hope."

Terry Vanlandingham, a member of the downtown Oklahoma City club, said members still provide a day of fun for children at the Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children. The activities, which this year included a visit to Omniplex, are among the group's many efforts on behalf of Oklahoma youths, he said.

It's nice to hear of positive memories such as Woodson's. They remind us that in the midst of difficult situations, God guides people to us who inspire and plant those seeds of hope that keep us moving forward into a better future. Note of praise

Several people wrote to say they enjoyed an Oct. 5 story about hymns, which I liked, as well.

Perhaps my favorite hymn is "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms," which transports me back to my maternal grandparents' Baptist church.

" What a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms; What a blessedness, what a peace is mine, leaning on the everlasting arms."

I loved the chorus, which as a child was fun to sing because the whole church seemed to linger over the words:

" Leeeaaannnning, leeeaaannning, safe and secure from all alarms; Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms."

Something about that music, those words, permeates one's spirit. Once it's there, you never quite seem to forget it. Religion Editor Carla Hinton can be reached by e-mail at chinton@oklahoman.com or by calling 475-3480.

Edition: CITY
Section: RELIGION
Page: 1-D
Column: CARLA HINTON
Record Number: 2221914
Copyright 2002 Oklahoma Publishing Company

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