The Kiwanis Club of Monroe
P.O. Box 602
Monroe, MI 48161
A proud heritage...
Over 75 years of continuing service to the community with great opportunities for an exiting future.
Over 75 years of dedicated service to our community...
For 75 years the Kiwanis Club of Monroe has combined friendship, fellowship and community service in a wide range of projects. This summary can only suggest the scope and diversity of the club's community involvement.
During the 1940s many projects were related to our nation's fund-raising efforts during World War II and the club actively sold "war bonds and stamps" as well as collecting tin cans and other scrap metal that was recycled into wartime armaments. Many members also served in the armed forces during the conflict. But the members still found time for weekly lunches at the old Park Hotel, softball and bowling challenges with other service clubs and enjoyed many social occasions together. One of the club's early projects was building a playground and wading pool at Cairns field located at Eighth and Union streets. It was named after Father George Cairns whose long pastoral service in Monroe also included the presidency of the Kiwanis Club in 1937. Fr. Cairns later served as a Kiwanis Lt. Governor in 1942--the first of eight club members to hold this regional Kiwanis office.
One of the largest and long-term club projects was the building of Kiwanis Park on Nadeau Road in Frenchtown Township. Over many years this 30-acre plot grew into a multi-purpose park. A large clubhouse with kitchen and outdoor recreation facilities provided comfortable facilities for private and public functions. The park was sold subsequently to the township.
Other hands-on projects over the years include the refurbishing of the old "Campfire cabin" on N. Custer Road which was then used for board meetings, "steak outs" and other social functions by the club...members helped build new facilities and repair old ones at the Holiday Camp of Monroe giving members the opportunity to also provide and share lunch with the campers...the club helped landscape the Johnson-Phinney building after its move to Second and Cass Streets and also repaired and redecorated the Little Brown Bear House at the Monroe County Fairgrounds. Hundreds of evergreen seedlings were planted at Munson Field one summer and floral planters were placed and maintained in downtown Monroe for a number of years. Currently the club participates in the following service projects to serve children locally in many ways year round:
● Honoring our local firefighters with the “Firefighter of the Year” Award presented during Fire Prevention Week in the month of October.
● Serving as marshals for the Holiday Parade held in November in downtown Monroe and the Christmas in Ida Parade in December.
● Participating in the Salvation Army Bell-Ringing Campaign during the Christmas season.
● Providing baby items to commemorate our “World’s Largest Baby Shower” to benefit Heartbeat of Monroe.
● Sponsoring a Christmas Party for needy families residing in the Salvation Army Family Housing Manor/Shelter.
● Preparing and serving meals on a quarterly basis to families in need in the downtown Monroe area.
● Hosting an American Red Cross Blood Drive every March.
● Assisting at the Special Olympics sporting events: bowling, golfing, track and Field.
● Collecting and distributing several thousand new and gently used books during the annual Celebrate Children event in April.
● Supporting the Holiday Camp program in Monroe during the summer.
● Sponsoring a local youth baseball team during the warm months.
● Supporting our local 4-H Programs by participating at the farm auction at the Monroe County Fair.
● Providing funds and assistance with Stepping Stones therapeutic horseback riding program in September and October.
● Provide college scholarships to local high school students.
● Sponsor local youth to attend the Michigan State Police Law Enforcement Academy.
● Sponsor disadvantaged children to attend theatrical events.
● Sponsor River Raisin Center for the Arts youth programs.
● Sponsor Monroe County Youth Center Book Club.
● Sponsor Summer Reading Program at Greenwood Commons.
● Chaperone Monroe High School Club/post-graduation program each year.
In addition to these specific projects, the Kiwanis Club of Monroe also provides financial grants to many local nonprofit organizations in the community. They also conduct several fundraisers throughout the year which enables them to support these projects and services: summertime car washes, summertime gate/ticket detail at the Michigan International Speedway (MIS), a holiday Kiwanis Lottery raffle and a fall news magazine insert to the Monroe Evening News.
The Monroe club is also known as the "downtown" club. This description results from our meeting places over the years having been located in the downtown area. Currently the group meets every Wednesday at 12 noon at the First Presbyterian Church at 108 Washington St. in downtown Monroe. There is also a Floral City Kiwanis Club that meets in the evenings at the same location, and the two clubs do many joint projects together. All are welcome to join us! This summary can only hint at the kind of opportunities that await civic-minded men and women through their membership in The Kiwanis Club of Monroe. If you are interested in joining us, please contact our membership Chair, Bob DeSloover, at 734/241-9062 or 734/755-1191 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our mailing address is listed below as well:
The Kiwanis Club of Monroe
P.O. Box 602
Monroe, MI 48161
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