On June 9, 1921, the Kiwanis Club of Greenville was organized and then officially Chartered on October 6, 1921. The first President of the club for 1921 and 1922 was Frank Welch. The club met at the Odd Fellows Hall and had 28 charter members. The official club sponsor was the Kiwanis Club of Dayton.
In 1930, the Club received land from the A. J. Marling estate and constructed the Greenville Kiwanis Health Camp for underprivileged children. The camp operated from 1930 until 1970. Children who attended the camp received examinations by doctors, entertainment, recreation, and meals were provided during their five-day stay. In the 1930s, the Greenville Kiwanis Club sponsored the Ansonia and New Madison Kiwanis Clubs.
In the 1940s, the Kiwanis Quartet, composed of Earl and Francis Hittle, Roy Kester, and Ed Schwartz, pianist, traveled thousands of miles as goodwill ambassadors for the Greenville Club. They performed at various club meetings, Kiwanis Conventions, and social events throughout the Midwest.
In 1956, the Club had its first Kiwanis Home and Builders Show at the Fairgrounds Coliseum, which continued until 1975.
In the 1960’s, the Club established the Kiwanis Scholarship Fund, and in 1968 the Greenville High School Key Club was established but disbanded 10 years later.
In 1972, the Club started the Kiwanis Pancake Days until 2019, when the Covid 19 arrived. In 1979 the Club was involved with the formation of Darke County Special Olympics, which the Club is still involved with.
An additional project was added in the 1980s as the Club took on manning Gate 3 and Gate 5 at the Great Darke County Fair. Gate 3 was ended in the 1990s, and Gate 5 was manned by the Club until 2019, again due to Covid 19.
In 1997, the Club manned the concession stand and helped monitor the course for the Treaty City Invitational Cross Country Meet, which was attended by over a thousand runners from 35 to 40 schools.
In 2000, the Greenville High School Key Club was reestablished. The Club participated in Reading Programs with the Greenville Elementary Schools.
During the 2010s, many of the projects continued until the Covid 19 entered our everyday lives. But a major addition to our local Kiwanis family was the formation of the Greenville Aktion Club. This club is for adults who have Developmental Disabilities.
Over the past two years, we have tried to recover from the realities that many service clubs have faced. We have continued to have our meetings masked and, fortunately, unmasked. We have had meetings once a week for many years, but now we have our meetings on the first and third Wednesday of each month at the Double M Diner, Palace Building, downtown Greenville.
The past two years, we have had two fundraisers: 50/50 Fall Fling and OSU Raffle for two passes to each home game, which is a statewide program. Greenville Kiwanis has made donations over the past couple of years to the following: Pregnancy Help Center, Greenville Boys and Girls Club, Final Bow, Fish, Grace Resurrection, Christmas for a Needy Family, Lifewise Academy, DCCA, Community Unity, Youth For Christ of the Miami Valley, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Darke County School Resources, and Darke County United Way (Fill the Bus).
Adults interested in joining Kiwanis may contact Mike Snyder or Phil Crawford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are celebrating our 102nd Birthday on Tuesday, September 19th with a concert with NOAH BACK at the CMA CHURCH, 306 Devor Street, Greenville, Ohio, which is next to Annie Oakley Park. There is a handicap ramp behind the church for anyone who may need it.
Doors open at 5:15 pm. The concert is from 6 to 8 pm. We are asking for a $5.00 donation per person.