HISTORY OF THE COLLEGE STATION KIWANIS CLUB
On January 8, 1945, the allied forces were eliminating German positions on the west bank of the Maas River, Life magazine cost 10 cents and featured an article on crochet togs, and actress and beauty expert Anita Colby, known as “The Face,” was on the cover of Time. On that same day in
Kiwanis was the first civic club to focus on problems of
During the 1940’s and 195O’s numerous Kiwanis activities were designed to supply badly needed facilities for A&M Consolidated schools because the District was then poorly financed. One early club effort was to level the ground and build forms for concrete walks at the new school plant on
Providing the initial lights for the High School football field was the first BIG Club project. Col. Andy Anderson was Chairman of the committee which raised $3,000 for this purpose by raffling a car. Before the football field was lighted all home games were played on Friday afternoons. Very few men, faculty or business fathers could attend so interest did not generate a very active athletic program. With this newly lighted field the crowds grew, teams won games and the extra money strengthened the High School Athletic Program. In fact, lighting the football field was an important step in the development of the strong athletic program that
The College Station Superintendent was anxious to have a testing program to use as background for counseling with High School students. In 1947 the Club’s Vocational Guidance Committee initiated such a program for students of both
A Crippled Children’s Committee was appointed in 1945 with Dan Russell as Chairman. Luther Jones and Roy Wingren were key members of this Committee. They served year after year. This Committee organized, made arrangements for, and staged an annual Clinic for crippled children and adults for 18 years. The Clinic served an 18 county area centering around
60 children for medical service
15 adult restoration cases
20 seeking educational help
5 doctors - all specialists from the
Organizations which cooperated, particularly in publicizing the Clinic and in transporting patients to and from included:
State Department of Vocational Education
State Department of Health State Crippled Children’s Society
Additionally, groups of local women helped with the many details of getting the patients through the Clinic. Lilly Ice Cream Company and Coca Cola Bottling Company furnished free refreshments. The Crippled Children’s Clinic continued to grow each year. In 1960, Luther Jones took over as Committee Chairman and directed the Clinic for three years. By that time, the
Soon after its organization, Kiwanis took over sponsorship of Boy Scout Troop 102 and Cub Pack 602. The Club still proudly sponsors these units. Over the years, this Boy Scout Troop has produced over 50 Eagle Scouts! Long time dedicated club member Charles Magnuson has been pivotal in the success of these two programs. For many years, the Troop has asked for help in obtaining a cargo trailer to store and transport camping gear for the Troop’s trips. Without this trailer, the Troop was limited in its ability to travel. The commitment was made by the board during the 2004-2005 fiscal year to purchase this trailer for the Boy Scout Troop. Because of the consistent dedication of Charles “Chuck” Magnuson with the Scouts, a request was made to the club by the Troop to name the trailer after Magnuson. The funds were raised with much help from the Scouts and the trailer was ordered and paid for. The exterior was painted with Kiwanis and Boy Scout Logos at no charge with the dedication to Charles Magnuson on it including the name: “The Chuck Wagon.”
In 1950 the Club started preparing chicken box lunches to sell visitors attending Texas A&M home football games. At this time eating places near the University were very limited. This program was a real help to out-of-town visitors to be able to buy a nice box lunch featuring freshly cooked fried chicken. John Quisenberry helped obtain good quality fryers that were cooked at the A&M Consolidated Cafeteria by the lady in charge of the kitchen. Kiwanians packed the boxes and delivered them to the salesmen who had stands at strategic locations such as, Front Gate, Jersey and Highway 6, Circle Drive, West Entrance, etc. The appreciation of the public for this service was shown by the many repeat customers, game after game and year after year. The box lunches were sold for about 10 years. The project not only made money for use in the community, but also provided the membership with a chance for much good fellowship.
In 1952, the Kiwanis Clubs of
In general, the Club has tried to confine itself to two annual money making efforts - one besides the Pancake Day. Various schemes have been tried with varying degrees of success. For a time there was the ice cream smorgasbord which always made a profit but not as much as the Club needed. While Walter Manning was Club president in 1970, Kiwanis was given the opportunity to sponsor a circus. The contract offered was favorable and for three years this project was very profitable. Then that circus changed its itinerary and no longer came this way. In 1976 the Club again had a chance to sponsor a circus but with some less favorable features in the contract. This time the weather, both before and on circus day, was horrible and in spite of a lot of hard work, the venture failed to show a profit. The club then began to sell citrus and has proven to be the second dependable source of income for the club. In 1996, the club merged a former Bryan Kiwanis Club fundraiser with the citrus sale, this added Spanish peanuts and pecan halves to the sale. Today with the addition of cinnamon sugar coated pecans, the club gains half of its annual income from the annual fruit and nut sale held in the fall of each year. Over the past several years, dedicated member Jerry Gritter has organized the delivery of the fruits and nuts with the continued support of Bryan Iron and Metal. In 2009, the club started offering to deliver the boxes of fruit for any member that sold 20 boxes or more. This was enabled with the dedicated help of CKI and the 4 Key Clubs. The clubs were devided into groups of ten and all fruit was delivered within four hours.
During the 1960’s, member Charles LaMotte headed an effort to organize local senior citizens for social activities. Through this effort, a group of retirees met and formed a Senior Citizens Club. This Club continued to grow and the monthly supper meetings were well attended. Several Kiwanians have served as its president or chairman.
Some may have wondered about the word Ki-Nowa the name of the weekly Club bulletin. You may not know that the term Ki-Nowa is distinct to College Station Kiwanians. Not long after the Club was formed, Joe Sorrels was reading in the University Library and noticed some Indian words among which was Nowa, that means ‘attention”. Joe added the syllable "Ki" for Kiwanis and came up with "Ki-Nowa" or "Kiwanis - Attention." Soon afterward, this was chosen as the name for this club’s bulletin. Denise Magnuson has served the club as publicity chair for many years and also publishes the Ki-Nowa weekly. Her dedication and interesting newletters have caught the attention of the T-O District and they have awarded her 1st Place Prizes for the Club Newsletter for multiple years.
A large focus of Kiwanis International has been their Sponsored Youth Programs and Organizations. The College Station Kiwanis Club’s first sponsored youth endeavor was of course associated with
Kiwanis International’s most familiar sponsored program is of course, Key Club. Key Club is the world’s LARGEST high school service club. On February 5, 1991, the College Station Kiwanis Club sponsored the A&M Consolidated High School Key Club. This club has had a strong presence at the school since its charter date and has made the top 25 clubs in the district many times. In the summer of 1998, Sponsored Youth Committee Chair Robert Branson worked to start a Key Club at Bryan High. At the same time, Glenn Duhon joined the Kiwanis Club with the interest of helping with Key Clubs, since he had been a Key Club president when he was in high school. At the age of 26, Duhon was the youngest member in the club at this time. With the help of M’Lee Brooks and Ted Vaughan from
With the help of Glenn Duhon, the Kiwanis Club chartered St. Joseph Catholic School Key Club on June 1, 2002. This Key Club in turn co-sponsored with the Kiwanis Club the St. Joseph Catholic Middle Builders Club on December 12, 2002. In addition, Bryan High Key Club co-sponsored with the Kiwanis Club the Sam Rayburn Middle School Builders Club. These Builders Clubs have broadened the focus of the club to helping create leaders and community minded youth to the younger teenage and pre-teen years.
With the formation of St. Joseph Key Club, the District decided to split the Key Club Division 9 clubs into two divisions in 2004. The three clubs sponsored by the College Station Kiwanis Club now form the newly created Key Club Divison 9W, while all other division clubs form Division 9E. Because of this, a Key Club Lt. Governor is elected each year from one of the three College Station Kiwanis Key Clubs to serve on the District Board.
In the summer of 2001, Sponsored Youth Chair Glenn Duhon and Texas A&M CKI Officers created One Way or A.N.O.T.H.E.R. (A New Officer Training for Help Encouragement and Resources) to train the new officers of Bryan High and A&M Consolidated Key Club. This retreat was lead by the CKI officers and Directed by Duhon for a weekend in a local empty residence that had recently been foreclosed by First Federal Savings Bank, Duhon’s employer at the time. The following year, Duhon, with the help of his fiancÚ and newest youngest Kiwanis member, Melissa Metzler made the retreat open to all of Division 9 Key Clubs. The retreat was moved to a central location in the
Due to economic conditions in 2008, St. Joseph Catholic School issued an order restricting the collecting of any student dues or any club fundraising efforts. This effectively caused the St. Joseph clubs to forfeit their charters.
In 2009, the Kiwanis Club chartered two additional Key Clubs at the two new Bryan ISD High Schools: Bryan Collegiate High and Rudder High bringing the total number of Key Clubs sponsored to four. The addition of the new clubs have sparked new interest in group trips and projects such as Fall Rally to Six Flags over Texas and Weekend of a Lifetime.
Additionally, the club focuses on pre-school and elementary students through its, Bringing Up Grades (BUG) and Terrific Kids programs at many local head start programs and elementary schools. Elementary students that bring up their grades over a previous six-week period are awarded with a BUG certificate, pencil, sticker, and hand shake from a Kiwanis Member at a school ceremony. Terrific Kids are limited to two per classroom and have high standards for excelling as a “citizen” of the school. In addition to a certificate and pencil, a bright bumper sticker announcing the award is given to the child’s parents for displaying. The children are given set goals for these awards and appreciate the participation of our members in their education.
In 2009, the club started a new endevor to join the Texas Ramp Project. The club is the organizer for this project for the entire Brazos Valley and provides safe wheelchair ramps to those in need of easy access to their home.
Additionally in 2009, the club adopted a small community in Costa Rica called Pueblito. Pueblito houses the country's abused and neglected children. The club supplies the children with luxury itmes such as soap, paper, pencils, art supplies, shampoo, and books. The club hopes to bring this project to other Kiwanis Clubs in the world.
One charter member remains a member of the club today, Nelson Durst and the club’s membership stands firm at around 55 members. Unlike the original set of members, women now compose a good portion of membership, and there are even four husband-wife teams in College Station Kiwanis Club. Long-time dedicated club secretary and Hixon Award recipient Alan Montgomery explains the current status of the club as, “We’re the most hidden club in the community though we positively impact over ten thousand