The Modesto Kiwanis Club is only seventy-five
years old in 1998. In a human life span, this might be termed
as ‘over-the-hill, but our Club shows no sign of age. In
fact it is looking younger and more vigorous every day. Maybe
a few of the members are showing their age, but not the Club
itself. Rather, it has built upon the personal ideals, vision,
values and efforts of many dedicated members over the past
years so that it remains actively in tune with today’s
world. Members apply the cumulative experience of these years
with enthusiasm and vigor to meet our community’s ongoing
need for service.
Although we have not attempted to build our
club to a tremendous size (membership has ranged from 58 to a
high of 110), in keeping with our motto, we have
"Built" by establishing new clubs. We co-sponsored
with Fresno a club in Merced. We helped found the Oakdale,
Greater Modesto, Northwest Modesto, Turlock and Ceres clubs.
We also helped found a club in Canada and the Key clubs at
Modesto and Davis High Schools.
We are proudest of our accomplishments in the
areas of community service. Our emphasis has always been
towards serving youth, but through the past years we have also
directed some of our effort towards the needs of senior
citizens. We have donated milk funds for needy families with
school-age children, scholarships to students at MJC and the
YMCA, and sponsored a dentistry program. We have assisted the
Salvation Army, Red Cross, Boy Scouts, the Boys Band of
Stanislaus County, Girl Scouts, Laura’s House and many more.
The Modesto Kiwanis Club is a cross section of
society, encompassing many types of members. We have those who
are outgoing and entertain us all while doing their good
works. Then we have those who, in their own quiet way,
contribute much and take equal satisfaction in the jobs we
have accomplished. We need them all. It is the ability of our
leadership to meld together the talents of our members to get
the job done. Throughout the years we have had great leaders
and have accomplished much. But there is still much to do...
1923 A meeting was called on March
22, at the Hotel Modesto, CA, by Frank Kean, of the
International Kiwanis Club for the purpose of starting a club
in the city of Modesto. Members of the Stockton Club were
present. A committee for application for charter was formed.
Jurisdiction of the club to be radius of 6 miles including
Salida & Ceres, and also using the Court House of Modesto
as a point of radius. An organization meeting was called on
April 4,at the Hotel Modesto, Leslie Floyd, Chair. Officers
slate presented. Membership totaled 59 men: William P.
Andrews, Jr., L. R. Barnett, Chas. Bashor, I. K. Beard, W.W.
Bloom, Roy 0. Bordner, E. J. Bondey, F. L. Bradt, Rev. H. M.
Bruce, Luigi Catalano, Earl E. Clark, Howard G. Cleaveland, F.
B. Collier, E. Grant Davenport, J. F.Dickinson, R. Chester
Dozier, William Falger, A. A. Fields, Lesslie K. Floyd, Henry
Ford, Clyde Foster, William D. Fuller, Louis R. Gallegos,
George R. Golvin, Carl A. Hansen, L .H. Hathaway, Max J.
Hunter, J.D. Jewell, Chas S. Kerr, Leonard Latz, Lewis A.
Love, Gee. T. McCabe, F. W. McCarton, Ross McDermott, Teddy
McMahon, L. C. McMillan, Dr. E. R. McPheeters, Delbert D.
Manross, Fred J. Marshall, Dr. R.D. Maxwell, Leroy Meeker, CS.
Morris, Lou T. Moss, Dr. A. J. O’Connell, Steve Osthues, A.
H. Rauhof, Herman Rice, A. A. Utterback, George Voight G. M.
Voorheis, Jesse Wallace, J. R. Word, Norman West, Charles
Wherry. Club charter as received on June 16. Nearest Kiwanis
neighbors were Stockton and Fresno. Only three other service
clubs were in the Modesto area at the time.
1924 John Philip Souza was the
speaker at a January meeting. June 16, an All-Kiwanis Night
Party held at the Hotel Modesto. The "Zero Hour"
program was held nationally for all clubs simultaneously
across time zones. Program included dinner and songs. Club
members wanted the Wednesday noon meetings moved to the Hotel
Hughson, citing poor lunches and noisy service. Set up
underprivileged children committee.
.1925 June 3, a joint banquet and
program was held with the Lions Club of Modesto. The whole
affair was very enjoyable and meant much in the cementing of
bonds of good feeling between the two clubs." Members
installed signs in several parks in the city so visiting
Kiwanas might find them easily."
1938 The fact that fifteen members
(1/3 of the membership) maintained an attendance record of 1000/0
shows well the individual enthusiasm that was
maintained throughout the year." Two golf tournaments
held during the year with trophies presented to the winners.
Ladies invited to a May meeting with a Mother’s Day theme.
Sent three boys to summer camp. Gave toys at Christmas to poor
children. Sponsored a Boy Scout troop. In March, Earl Warren,
District Attorney of Alameda County, later Supreme Court
Justice, was a program speaker.
1946 Youth Services committee met
at the Hotel Covell and paid a $10.18 bill from Dr. M.
Kirschen for optical services for Miss 0. Rolfe, a needy high
school girl. Dr. Kirschen charged the club only for the actual
cost of the materials for glasses, plus laboratory fees. A
letter was sent to the Dr. thanking him for his cooperation.
The Model Airplane Club met once a week. Ex-servicemen members
helped approximately 20 boys make and fly models. $2500 was
raised for youth services that year. Supplied books on
vocational guidance to the public library. Furnished
playground equipment to parks. Thirty members attended the
annual Christmas party at County Hospital to sing and
distribute gifts. Supplied pure bred Berkshire gifts to the
4-H Club. A standing room only crowd attended the lunch
meeting when Rev. Billy Graham was the speaker.
1956 Hosted a Key Club convention
in Modesto. Attendance: 525 Key Clubbers, 28 adults.
1957 Club meetings held in the
Hotel CoveIl, Fable Room. Population of Modesto, 37,500.
Ninety-four active members. Sang "God Save the
Queen" and had lectures on U.S./Canada good will during
U.S. & Canada Good Will Week. Took 35 San Francisco High
School students on a tour of Stanislaus County packing plants.
Arranged air tour of county for 250 farmers .Built tables and
benches for Y.M.C.A. summer camp. Annual "Aunt
Jemima" breakfast netted $1300. Joined with League of
Women Voters and Greater Modesto Kiwanis in sponsoring a
public lecture on the refugee problem in Europe. Took care of
dental problems of 18 children. Sponsored Sea Scouts. Took 27
Key Club boys to Long Beach convention. Conducted Youth in
1960 Established Kiwanis Club of
Cowichan Lake, Canada, as a brother club. Tape recorded a
message of welcome by 25 members of our Club and offered
1961 Contributed $50 to the
support of Radio Free Europe "in endorsement of the
International Kiwanis policy of supporting this important
weapon in anti-communistic activities." Worked with local
dairymen to take 1 cow and 2 calves to each of 14 elementary
schools in Modesto for milking program. At the end of the
exhibition, provided 6,000 cups of ice cream to children.
1962 Outstanding service
project--sponsored Key Club in new Grace Davis High School.
Contributed $3000 to Y.M.C.A. campaign to raise funds for
purchase of land and improvements fees for construction of new
building. Vocational Guidance committee members spoke to high
school students--Dr. Beck, veterinarian; Larry lnwrought,
pharmacist; Frank Denny, C.P.A.; Carlos Badger, lawyer; Mario
Fovinci, C.P.A.; Mrs. Allen Buckley, RN
1967 Combined installation of officers
program with Modesto Kiwanis, Greater Modesto kiwanis, and
Metropolitan Kiwanis at McHenry Mall. G. Dale Smith, the M.C.
and entertainment by the Stanislaus County Banjo Band and the
1970 Supported 4-H and FFA. Played
host to the Dairy Princess. Judged annual Christmas lighting
contest and provided money for prizes. Met with Council of
Churches to consider program for low income hunger problem.
Made magazine subscriptions available to foreign libraries.
1971 Purchased clothing for
underprivileged blind children. Cosponsored rodeo program with
blind and near-blind students in Modesto schools. Donated
$1200 to new Salvation Army Red Shield youth center. Assisted
in formation of two Pop Warner football teams. Continued MJC
scholarships and supporting Sea Scouts. Participated in
county-wide Land Use Conference Members held seats on
County-wide Drug Abuse Council.
1972 Kids Day Pancake Breakfast -
50gallons pancake mix, 500 dozen eggs, 100 pounds ham,
25 gallons orange juice. 1000 man hours. Yield: profit of
$2500 to benefit underprivileged children, plus understanding
and camaraderie for club members.
1973 Golden Anniversary May 15, Hotel
Covell Fable Room. John Jennings, President, Bob Beck the MC.
Cecil Plummer past Lt. Governor.
1974 Mexican Orphanage adopted.
Club meetings held at the Chuck Wagon. Chicken Fry held at the
Old Fisherman’s Club. Helped fund and worked on Mellow House
1978 Annual Pancake Breakfast
1983 Oldest Kiwanian Dr. E. L.
Gilson, 92, and youngest Kiwanian Luis Vargas, 21, recognized
in Modesto Bee. Diamond Anniversary Party at Elks Club on May
7. Cal Moorad and Al Menshaw were MC’s. Dale Smith gave 60
years of club highlights. Einar Fredericksen Kiwanis
Foundation established to carry out good works in the
1987 First woman member joined.
1988 Annual Pancake Breakfast
served1212 people. Net profit $5,072
1991 Northern Mid-Winter
conference hosted by Modesto Area Clubs.
1992 April 24, 70th Anniversary
Celebration at the Elks Club. Don Berg was the M.C, Hal Conkey
gave 70 years of highlights. Total number of lunch meetings
held since 1923 were 3640; total of all meetings attended by
members through the years, 6,800.
1993 Einar Fredericksen Family
Living Center at Memorial Hospital dedicated. With $60,000
donated from the Modesto Kiwanis, a room was built with a
kitchen and living area which allows patients and families to
be together in a relaxed atmosphere during cancer treatment.
1995 Nan Cohan Jacobs, first