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Orleans Kiwanis Club Celebrating 100th Birthday

One hundred years ago this week, July 17, 1923, thirty-five members met in the basement of the Orleans Christian Church to organize the Kiwanis Club of Orleans with a real burst of enthusiasm. Also in attendance were eight Kiwanians from various parts of the United States who brought their pep and real enthusiasm for the Kiwanis idea along with them, and materially added to the enjoyment, entertainment, instruction and inspiration of the evening. According to the July 19th edition of The Orleans Progress Examiner, it was a great meeting. Ladies of the church served an excellent supper followed by singing led by A.D. King.

This coming Wednesday night the 19th present-day members will gather at 6 p.m. at Unity Hall to celebrate that Centennial of that event and to remember those first Kiwanians who began practicing the then Kiwanis motto of “We Build” in Orleans. The featured speaker for the evening will be the Governor of the Indiana District, Bruce Andrews. Lt. Governor of the Hoosier Division Vanessa McClary will serve as Master of Ceremonies. Representatives from the other Hoosier Division Clubs including Bedford, Bloomington, Martinsville, Mitchell-Grissom, Oolitic , South Central Indiana and 25+Kiwanians Who Care are expected to be in attendance as well.

Orleans Town officials have officially proclaimed Wednesday, July 19th as Kiwanis Club of Orleans Day.

The first individuals meeting to organize the club in 1923 were: Robert A. Troth, Will R. Elrod, Jas. F. Shepard, L. Curtis Ralston, O.K. Malone, J.B. Herle, Hugh C. McCoy, W.H. Coppock, Albert A. Hubbard, Henry L. Heil. R.W. Case. John W. Marshall, Lon F. Kirby, Norman Williams. Azro Moss. Dallas T. Graves, Donald Oldam, Donald K. McCart, Fred L. Shirley, J. Grant Sanders, Arthur L. Lewis, Robert E. Baker, Earl Stinson, O.W. Stephenson, Charles McBride, R.M. Jenkins, Chas. H. Busick, Freed Street, Edward Denbo, Oliver M. Turner, Edward M. Brown, T.J. Wilson, Merle Sare, and O.S. Deich. Meeting with the group were Kiwanians from Missouri, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Oklahoma, Iowa and Kansas.

The Orleans Kiwanis Club has served the community well for the past 100 years with its support of many children and youth groups, scholarships, annual Halloween Party, Riley Hospital projects, sportsmanship awards, Boys State representatives, police career camp, Indiana District and World-Wide Projects.

Kiwanis International is a global community of clubs, members and partners dedicated to improving the lives of children one community at a time.

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