The Fresno Kiwanis Club was chartered by Kiwanis international on April13, 1921. Kiwanis International is an organization with over 8600 club in 92 nations and over 600,000 members. the Kiwanis Club of Oakland was our sponsoring club. Fresno was the Fifth Division formed, now there are 46 Divisions in California-Nevada-Hawaii District.
In the beginning we met downtown Fresno, we were known as the Downtown Club with over 200 members. In 1991 our club moved north to the Ramada Inn at Freeway 41 and Shaw Ave. As Fresno grew, a need for more clubs was evident and new clubs were chartered. During our history THE Fresno Club has sponsored 22 new Kiwanis Clubs.
The following highlights of some of the activities of the Kiwanis Club of Fresno were gathered from memories of members who began their association with the club in the early 1930's. In the 1930's members collected coins in jars on the tables at each meeting. The funds were used to help underprivileged children in the community.
February 1939 Bicycle Safety Program withe the schools in Fresno began and sponsored a Bicycle Rodeo with the Fresno schools and the Recreation Department.
1947 marked the beginning of the Gumball Project and our association with the Ford Gum Vending Company. In the early days the gum was sold for 1 penny, now the gum and candy is sold for 25 cents.
From 1952-65 the club sponsored the Kiwanis Youth Orchestra which played often in the community live and on television and at conventions, including two International Conventions. Later became a part of the Fresno Philharmonic program.