KIWASSEE KIWANIS
MIDLAND, MICHIGAN

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KIWANIS IN MIDLAND



The city of Midland has had a Kiwanis club since July 14, 1921 when the Midland 
Kiwanis Club was chartered as the 18th club in Michigan.  Midland has benefited greatly
from Kiwanis service over the years as can be seen in two of their projects.

The first was the purchase of Camp Neyati, 192 acres on Crooked Lake near Farwell.
The Midland Kiwanis Club bought the camp from the Flint YMCA that was going to
lose it at the depth of the depression.    Since that time Kiwanis has put several hundred
thousand dollars in this camp for children so that it has become one of the best in 
Michigan.

A second project of the Midland Club was to sponsor the program that brought Lake
Huron water to Midland.  Historically, Midland had very poor water that was drawn
from the Tittabawassee River with a high salt  and mineral content.  During spring runoff
and  in periods of low water, it was undrinkable because of the door and algae.  Almost
every block had a well where people got drinking water and carried it home in gallon
jugs.

In the 1940s, several of the members of the Midland Kiwanis Club decided to investigate
the possibility of bring good water to Midland.  The best available water was in Lake
Huron.  Some club members made a study of the lake currents and found that the nearest
clean water was at White Stone Point.  Nearer points were polluted with sewage outfalls.
Other members did a feasibility study and cost analysis on bringing the water to 
Midland.  Armed with the data and with total club support, the program was presented to
the voters with the result that good water came some 41 miles to the families of Midland
in 1948.

The Midland Kiwanis Club continued to grow and had over 80 members in the early
1950s.  Periodically, some one would suggest the starting of the second club.  The idea
usually engendered considerable discussion with the idea usually being dropped.

In 1965, a study was made that indicated a number of potential Kiwanians were unable to 
attend a Monday evening meeting due to other commitments.  As a result of this study, a
group of 14 Kiwanians from the Midland Club met at the Pickel Barrel for lunch to
explore the possibility of starting a second club in Midland.  Those that met were:
  Art Allen, Bill Bradley, John Glass, Tom Houtman, Bob Kingsley, Fred Lowes, Mert Lilly,
  Mahlen Moore, Wally Moore, Floyd Peterson, Allen Ott, Bud Parker, Dick Smith, and Frank Towsley. 
In addition, Ben Hines from the Freeport, Illinois club  was there making a
total of 15.  Each attendee put $10 in a bowl to start a treasury.  The 15 men went out to
recruit at least 10 more, because 25 were required to get a club charter. When the club
was chartered on February 22, 1967, there were 49 members.


While this discussion of this beginnings of Kiwassee make it seem almost cut and dried, 
it wasn't.  First there was the problem of a name.  In general, Kiwanis clubs are named by
the town they are in and the area of the town they serve, such as Downtown, Northwest,
and Riverside in Saginaw.   But In Midland, both clubs would recruit from the same 
area, thus a geographical designation would be misleading.  Kiwassee was chosen with
the Ki from Kiwanis and the Wassee from the Tittabawassee River that runs through
Midland.

At the charter night dinner, the Midland Club presented Kiwassee with a banner and a
bell.  Kiwassee officially the 217th Kiwanis club chartered in Michigan.   Gil Ward, of 
the night club and also a past Lt. Gov, presented 2 flags.


When Kiwassee started there was no project money and so someone suggested a car wash
which resulted in a lot of wet fellowship and a total of 17 cents an hour for those 
working.

Without money, we had to look for projects that would require work instead of funds so
we worked with the Senior Class at Midland High School and offered an all-night
graduation night party. If they would earn the money, we would do the work.  The
project has continued to the present time.

A second service that started the first year was ringing the bells for the Salvation Army
Christmas collection.

After the first money raising project turned out less profitable than hoped,
the Midland club took pity and volunteered to let Kiwassee have a share of the profits 
(based on percentage of sales) from their travel lecture series.

Two club members wrote our first song book, "Sing Along With Mike and Gene"

					-- Fred Lowes, 1982 (with additions from other members)

Initial Officers:
  Ben Hines, President
  John Gloss, Secretary
  Harold Steinke, Treasurer
  	
Initiation of activities over the years:

1967 
	47 members
	Senior class party
	Salvation Army Christmas Collection
	Milk for retarded children
	Start of Smoke Signals newsletter
1968 
	58 members
	Eagle Boys Village support
1969 
	Sponsored attendees at Fellowship of Christian Athletes camp
	Sponsored interclub of 4 Kiwanis clubs with 163 attendees
1970
	Started pancake supper as fund raiser
1971
	Sponsored Junior Achievement company
	Began meeting at Tuesday noon
	Increased membership 29%
1972
	Started pop corn sale as fund raiser
	Built a picnic shelter at Sanford Park
1973
	Hosted football bust
1974
	Gave cassette recorder to Girl Scouts of America
1975
	Painted Reece House
1976
	Furnished wheel chair for Dial-A-Ride
	Gave savings bonds to outstanding commercial students
1977
	Support for child with learning disability
	Produced senior citizen resource manual
1978
	Hosted 61st District Convention attended by over 1300
	Made contribution to alternative education program
1979
	First sales of cashew nuts in glass jars
1980
	Adopted Stratford Woods Park
1981
	Had first meetings in Midland Center For The Arts
1982
	Built picnic shelter at Stratford Woods
	75 members
1983
	Support for hospital Pediatrics, students councils, Ashman St. School,
	Sensory Nature Trail for disabled  in Dow Gardens
1984
	Support for Special Olympics, Stratford Woods, barrier-free churches,
	  Midland Hospital
1985
	Support for Big Sisters, Thanksgiving Breakfast
1986
	Play equipment at Stratford Woods, Essay Contest
	Monitors at Dow Gardens Christmas Walk
1987
	Volleyball area at Stratford Wood, garden at Pinecrest Home
	Helped start Council On Aging
	18 new members, 10th largest chapter in State
1988
	Lee Lucas and Karen Knight inducted as first women members
	Help to cancer patients, retraining scholarships
	Worked with Boy Scouts on Christmas Wreath Sale
	100 members
1989
	Project FACE (Facing Alcohol Concerns Through Education),
	Big Brothers fishing
1990
	Safe Homes Program, High School Values Survey, Pinecrest Improvements
	Inspirational Breakfast
1991
	Alcohol Awareness for Pregnant Women, Doula Kids Program,
	Adopt-a-Highway
1993
	Radio auction
	First female president, Michelle Minkel
1998
	Web site 
2000
	Dow High School Key Club, Reading Is Fundamental
	West Midland Family Center playground
2001
	Winter Light Festival traffic control
2002
	Santa House
2003
	Rock Youth Center, Salvation Army playground, Together for Kids, Magic Ride
2004
	Adams School Post Card Project, Bell Ringing Band, Tall in the Saddle
2005
	Shelterhouse playground
2006
	State Key Club Convention, Golf Classic
2007
	TV programs on MCTV
2008
	ESA playground project
2009
	Chime choir
2010
	Aktion Club, Stratford Wood beautification project
2011
	Dinner-dance
2012
	Parade participation
2013
	Holiday flag project
	Meeting venue changed from Midland Center for the Arts to Trinity Lutheran Church
	Corporate membership
2014
	Furnished room at North Midland Family Center
	Meridian High School Key Club
2015
	Digital signin at meetings
	non-meal membership
2016
	Memorial bridge at West Midland Family Center 
	Fun Committee
	Major funding to New Hope Village, ACT Uganda, 
	     STEM playground project, Longview Early Childhold Education Center pavilion    
    
	
Past Presidents
Charter Members
2013 talk on history

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10/21/16