THE KIWANIS CLUB OF LAKEWOOD, OHIO
CHARTERED MAY 17, 1921 (96 Years) - Division 14
Lakewood Kiwanis is well known for its rich history of community service. Another important chararcteristic is the fun, pleasure and relaxation that fellowship provides the club's members and families. Ladies' Days, Family Picnics, Christmas parties, Past Presidents Parties, and Installation Dinners have all been favorites of the club over the years.
Special programs and luncheons for Ladies' Days were always very well attended. Seventy-five to 90 wives of Kiwanians would turn out for these delightful occasions. Picnics were held at the estate of Kiwanian George Getz on Cahoon Road in Westlake during the 1940's and early 50's. Afterwards, these gatherings took place at various locations including Clague Park and Euclid Beach Park.
The annual Christmas Party and Installation proved to be another very successful event from 1946-56. The Masonic Temple was beautifully decorated, and party goers were treated to dinner and the finest entertainment. The highlight of the evening was the ceremonial "passing of the gavel" from one administration to the next. In 1957 the format was changed to allow for a President's Party to be held in November, followed by an installation of new officers at a regular club meeting in late December. Today, the Immediate Past President is honored at an annual dinner at the Beck Center, with the installation of new officers taking place the last Tuesday in September.
Also during the 40's and 50's, Pot Luck dinners attacted many couples. A variety of events for the members and their wives were scheduled. Fish Frys, Clambakes, and barbecues were very popular. Boat cruises on Lake Erie and fishing trips to Sandusky Bay were held during the summer months.
In 1960, a Moonlight Cruise attracted over 200 people. Kiwanians and their wives enjoyed dinner, dancing and entertainment aboard the USS Aquamarine.
One hundred seventy people braved 19 degree below-zero weather in January 1963 to honor the longtime secretary and president Cap Clark.
One of our more memorable occasions was the dinner that marked our 50th anniversary in May 1971. Lakewood City Hall was bursting at the seams as over 450 people turned out to celebrate. Another notable happening was our 60th Anniversary Dinner, held at the Beck Center in 1981, which attracted better than 160 members and guests.
Over the years, club meetings have taken to the road several times, as we have toured the Beck Center, Winterhurst Ice Rink and Lakewood High School among other sites.
Today, in addition to the Past President's Party, club members enjoy the annual Christmas Board Meeting (held at various locations throughout Cleveland), fishing trips, shows, and baseball and hockey games. During the summer, usually late August, the club meeting takes place at the pavilion at Lakewood Park. In June 1995 members were treated by the club to a cookout luncheon, and the club posed for a commemorative photograph in anticipation of our 75th Anniversary.
Fellowship was and still is an important trait of our club, and we are continually looking for new and exciting functions in which to take part.