Club History

International President-Elect Dr, John Button presents the new charter

Two Chatham-Kent Kiwanis Clubs come together in 2014 to better serve their community

In 2014 the Kiwanis Clubs of Chatham and Chatham-Kent Golden K, with a history dating back to the original charter of the Kiwanis Club of Chatham in 1930, merged their memberships and became the Kiwanis Club of Chatham-Kent. Pictured above are the 2014 presidents Eileen Richards of the Golden K club, left and Stan Wharram of the Chatham club, right, receiving their new club charter from Kiwanis International President-elect Dr. John Button.

The Officers and Directors for 2014-15

A worldwide service organization

The Kiwanis Club of Chatham-Kent is affiliated with Kiwanis International, a worldwide organization that was formed in 1915. Kiwanis International has more than 280,000 members in over 96 nations. Kiwanis projects focus, but not exclusively, on the needs of young children. The Kiwanis motto is “Serving the Children of the World”. Each Kiwanis club  establishes service projects and supports these projects through fundraising and direct donations and/or members volunteer time for causes that better the community locally and in partnership with other Kiwanis clubs to support international projects.

Kiwanis clubs are also active in elementary and secondary schools and in colleges and universities as well as clubs for adults with disabilities. In 2004 our Kiwanis Club, in partnership with Community Living Chatham-Kent, established the Aktion Club of Chatham-Kent, a Kiwanis club for adults with disabilities.

Aktion Club of Chatham-Kent members attended
the 2013 Aktion Club Conference

Over $350,000 donated to service projects

Since 1997 the Kiwanis Club of Chatham-Kent Golden K has donated over $350,000 to its service projects and provided thousands of hours as volunteers. Some of the projects receiving our support include:

Local community projects
– Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario
– Chatham-Kent Health Alliance ((Nursery & MRI campaign)
– Kingston Park Playground
– Community Living Chatham-Kent
– Good Neighbours/United Way
– Healthy Babies: Healthy Children (Public Health Unit)
– Chatham Kiwanis Music Festival
– Outreach for Hunger
– Children’s Safety Village
– Chatham-Kent Science Fair
– Pediatric Critical Care (London)
– Capitol Theatre for the Performing Arts
– Heritage Days (Education Day)
– Cancer Society (Daffodil and Pink Ribbon campaigns)
– Meals on Wheels
– Ontario Senior Games
– Operation Red Nose
– Salvation Army Kettle Campaign
– Santa Claus Parades

International projects
– Kiwanis International project to eliminate Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD)
– Sleeping Children Around the World
– Kiwanis EC&C District project HIV/AIDS
– “ELIMINATE” the Kiwanis International project to eliminate maternal neonatal tetanus in 39 countries started in 2012 and continue

Partnerships in service

In 2006 our Club, in partnership with Home Depot, Kaboom, and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, was involved with the Kingston Park project. Through funds from Kaboom and the work of 200 volunteers, including many Home Depot employees, playground equipment was built, pavilions were painted, flower boxes were built and landscaping was enhanced – all in one day. In 2007 our Club, once again in partnership with the Municipality and with funds from bingo and a Community Partnership grant added playground equipment for younger children.

Recognizing outstanding service

In 2009 our Club established the Syd Kemsley Community Service Award in honour of Syd and the late Barbara Kemsley. Syd joined the Kiwanis Club of Chatham in 1948 and transferred to our Golden K club as a charter member. His many years of community service included serving as chair of the Chatham Kiwanis Music Festival. The award is presented to a deserving citizen who serves this community in a like way. Recipients to date have been Syd Kemsley, Gordon Reynolds, Dr. John Button, George Sims, Janet Braddon, Anne Gibson, Chuck Scott, Ron Coristine, Derwyn & Kathy Armstrong, Jim Pepper, Win Miller and Stan Wharram.

Janet Braddon receives the Syd Kemsley Community Service Award
from 2012-13 president Cathy Telfer

The Kiwanis International Foundation established the Walter Zeller Award to recognize outstanding supporters who have contributed $1,250 US to the Kiwanis International ELIMINATE project. Zeller was the first contributor when the Kiwanis Foundation was established. Our club is proud to have nine of our members who are Walter Zeller award recipients.

Past president John Tole receives his Walter Zeller Award
from EC&C District “ELIMINATE” co-ordinator Jim Garey