About Our Kiwanis Club
As part of Kiwanis International, a worldwide service organization, our primary mission is to serve the youth of our community, of our nation, and of the world. To achieve this purpose, we believe in building a better community by supporting our schools, families, youth programs, churches, local governments, and other community service organizations.
Our club is the oldest Kiwanis club in the Green Bay area, and one of the oldest in the state. It was organized in 1917, only two years after the founding of Kiwanis. It has served the Green Bay community continuously for more than 99 years, and is the sponsor of many other Kiwanis clubs in northeast Wisconsin, including DePere, Appleton, Shawano and Sturgeon Bay.
Historically known as "The Kiwanis Club of Green Bay", we sometimes add "Downtown" to distinguish our club from other Kiwanis clubs in our area. It might also be called the "Monday noon club". For many years the club met at the old Northland Hotel in downtown Green Bay. We moved to the Clarion Hotel in 1990, and then to the Black & Tan Grille in 2013, and now meet at the Hyatt Regency Green Bay Downtown. Women were welcomed into the club in 1989, and we have had five women serve as president since that year.
Our club has had many distinguished members from the business world, two U.S. congressmen (one later an Ambassador), and several high-ranking Kiwanis officers, including two District Governors. The mayor of Green Bay is an Honorary Member of our club.
The Kiwanis Family
The Kiwanis Family is composed of traditional Kiwanis clubs and youth-oriented clubs for various age groups: Circle K in colleges, Key Club in high schools, Builders Club in middle schools. and K-Kids in grade schools. All Kiwanis activities, worldwide, are guided by Kiwanis International, located in Indianapolis, IN.
Our Kiwanis club is the proud sponsor of three Key Clubs at high schools in the Green Bay area.. The Key Club at Southwest High School was formed in 1993, currrently has 95 members. A Key Cub was organized at Preble High School in May of 2014 with 35 charter members, and has now grown to almost 100 members. The newest club, at Bay Port High School, was chartered in November 2014, and also has close to 100 members. All of these clubs are fully operational, and are dedicated to serving their schools and community.
We have maintained an ongoing partnership with Nicolet Elementary School by "adopting" the entire 3rd Grade of that school each year for more than 20 years. This involves helping with the reading program, a Christmas Party for all 3rd graders, and an annual picnic and tour of the N.E.W. Zoo.
Each year, Kiwanis Scholarships are awarded to graduating high school seniors who will attend college in an engineering, math, or science curriculum. These six scholarships are funded by a foundation started by the Spenser Havlick family as a memorial to Spenser, a longtime club member. In 2015, a seventh scholarship was established, with a gift from club member George O'Hearn, and his wife, Ann.
Our club sponsors the Youth Arts Awards Program to honor students from all area high schools who excel in music, drama, visual arts, journalism, and forensics during their school years. An awards banquet has been held for 38 years in recognition of the students, their parents, and their teachers.
The John Walter Awards For Community Service are presented each year to selected Green Bay middle school students for their dedicated service to their schools, families, churches and communities.
Starting in the Fall of 2014, our club sponsored the first annual Sconniewood Youth Film Festival in Green Bay. This event encourages young amateur filmmakers to make their own films (videos), and compete for awards based on talent, imagination, and creativity.
The Kiwanis Club of Green Bay has developed and maintained close relationships with charitable organizations in Green Bay and northeast Wisconsin. In particular, we have worked with the Salvation Army, American Red Cross, Rawhide Boys Ranch, Cerebral Palsy, Boys and Girls Clubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Brown County Community Womens Club, and Family Services, on programs to support youth, seniors and low income families.
Our club has taken a lead role to encourage good government on the local and state level, and has sponsored several nonpartisan debates for city, county and state elective offices.
Through our policy of inviting speakers from numerous community service agencies and organizations, we stay well-informed on a wide variety of issues, problems and solutions in our community. Many of our members are active participants of these groups of concerned citizens.
All funds contributed by the club to area charities are raised through the fundraising efforts of the club members. The most significant of these is the annual Porky & Pancake Breakfast held in April each year. Other recent fundraisers are the Festival Brat Barn stand, "Apples for Christmas" sales, Packer Hat sales, Lambeau Stadium Seat Concession, and Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt promotions.
Club meetings are held at noon on the 1st & 3rd Mondays of the month at Hyatt Regency (333 Main St., downtown Green Bay). Meetings are informal and conducted in a spirit of friendship and camaraderie. After a buffet lunch, the meeting is opened with the singing of "America", the Pledge of Allegiance, a non-denominational prayer, and a rousing songfest. (Our club is well known as a "singing club"!) After a short business meeting, we have a guest speaker on a topic of general interest, usually associated with our local community. Meetings are normally concluded by 1:15 PM.
Several times each year, the club will hold a Special Event, which may be a noon event, such as a Christmas Party, Packer Pep Rally, an off-location luncheon (Neville Museum, Nicolet School, etc.), or an evening event (banquet, play or concert). Spouses and other guests are always welcome at club functions, but are most prominent at meetings and Special Events.