Lakewood Kiwanis Celebrates 100 Years
A celebration is in order. The Kiwanis Club of Lakewood will be celebrating 100 years of service to the community and the world. Starting in 1921 with 83 of the leading business men of Lakewood, this service organization began a lengthy legacy to children and the Lakewood community.
Weekly club meetings of fellowship and service have happened regularly throughout the community over this past century. Club activities and all kinds of fundraisers occurred at the Masonic Temple, the Lakewood YMCA, Lakewood High School,and Lakewood Park. Pre Covid, the club had been meeting for the past several years at St. Clement Catholic Church. The club is “zooming” its meetings now and thus has been able to continue its many service activities during this pandemic year without skipping a beat.
Membership in Lakewood Kiwanis became open to women in the 80’s and in the process membership grew to over 200 members serving Lakewood and the world.
You may have seen or participated in some of the Kiwanis projects and activities around town -- the many hot dog sales, the Kiwanis Picnic Pavilion at Lakewood Park, where many families congregate all year long, the building of the all-weather track at Lakewood Stadium, the illuminated community sign in front of the old Board of Education Building on Warren Rd., the famous Lakewood Pizza Bake-off at Lakewood High, the many pancake breakfasts, and who can forget the donut sales every fall.
Also, service to the needy throughout the world happened when the club raised thousands of dollars to complete its commitment to the IDD Project, a Kiwanis International Project in the ‘90’s that resulted in putting iodine in the water supply in areas of Africa to eliminate mental retardation in children. In recent years the club again participated in a new International Kiwanis Project – “The Eliminate Project” which led to the club financially supporting the vaccination of 20,000 mothers in Africa and Asia to protect their babies from early death from neonatal tetanus.
Kids Need Kiwanis and the Kiwanis Club of Lakewood does that in a big way. The club supports 4 KKids Clubs in elementary schools, a Builders Club at Harding and the Key Club at LHS with leadership and community service by all 6 clubs. Distributing thousands of free books to preschool and elementary school children is another on-going project. Also, college scholarships have been an important club focus since 1954 and this year the club will reach $2.7 million in awards to graduating Lakewood resident high school seniors.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary this year, plans are being made to build another illuminated sign at the new Lakewood Board of Education. Continuing to serve children, the Lakewoodncommunity and the world for another 100 years is our goal. If you want to join us or want more information on the Lakewood Kiwanis, please visit our web site www.lakewoodkiwanis.com.
Anna Bacho and Tim Mohr
Members of Lakewood Kiwanis