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The following timeline of important club events was compiled by Carol Sanders. She presented this listing during the President's Banquet in October 2010

The dictionary defines “legacy” as anything handed down from the past …as from a predecessor…like an inheritance. For nearly 95 years, former members have been building up our club and then handing it over to the next generation to continue to build up, make stronger, and take care of.

A Little Bit of History
• The first Kiwanis club was chartered in 1915 in Detroit, Michigan

• Three years later, in 1918, our Kiwanis club was organized … the 124th club.

• Our 1st president was John Woodard … and he went on to also serve as Governor of the Texas-Oklahoma District of Kiwanis.

• Key Clubs were formed in 1925. (“Key” is an acronym for ¬¬¬¬¬Kiwanis Educates Youth). In 1949, our 1st Key Club was chartered at Will Rogers High School, followed in 1951 at Central High School and then one at Hale High School.

• In 1957, the Tulsa Kiwanis Club Foundation was incorporated.

• In 1987 we inducted the first women into our club, and in 1995 we had our first woman president.

Projects and Accomplishments Through the Years
• In the early years, we helped establish the Family Welfare Society, and the Community Chest (which is like the United Way). We obtained the money to build the Public Health Assn. building at 8th & Peoria.

• We organized the fund-raising program for less privileged children that turned into the “Send-a-Kid-to-Camp” program.

• In cooperation with the Tulsa County Public Health Association, our club was instrumental in setting up the 1st colored health center on Archer Street. We later found out that it was the 1st center of its kind in the U.S.

• In the 1940’s during the war years, our club helped with War Bond & Victory Bond drives, and solicited contributions to go toward a defense bomber. We had campaigns for people to donate used rubber. We had a “Sink-a-Sub” campaign with funds being used to purchase planes for the Civil Air Patrol to use in patrolling the coast.

• In 1952 we began our gum ball machine activity. That program helps us raise funds for our Foundation by finding locations to place gum and candy machines. By the fall of 2006, our profits were $165,312.

• In 1957 our Kiwanis and Key Club members worked Saturdays for over a month digging dirt from a hill at Children’s Medical Center so that 3 class-rooms could be built.

• In 1958 we began our sponsorship of the Tulsa Boy Singers.

• In addition to the Boy Singers, some of the other ways we’ve helped young people was through the Tulsa Boy’s Home, Special Olympics, 4-H, FFA, and Jr. Achievement.

• In 1963-64 we supported a Cuban family that we adopted when they moved to Tulsa. We also took part in Operation Toy Lift and rang bells for Salvation Army.

• In 1966 we became co-sponsors of the Miss Oklahoma Pageant, and our Miss Oklahoma that year went on to become Miss America. In 1972, we took on full sponsorship of the Pageant.

• In the 1970’s we were involved in Operation Drug Alert and helped them arrange for public forums and night study events. We assisted with furnish-ings and food for a home especially for girl drug users called The Open Door.

• In 1992 we started the Brookside Stride 5K Run. Its purpose was to provide a challenge to area runners with proceeds helping our club’s Foundation.

• In 1993 we began sponsoring our classic golf tournament in memory of the late Bobby Phillips, a member who was murdered. The proceeds from the tourna-ments have not only benefited our Foundation, but other charities as well.

• In 1994 we began our participation in Kiwanis International’s Worldwide Service Project known as I.D.D., a project to help protect children around the world from Iodine Deficiency Disorders.

• In 1995-96, we created “The Ideal Closet” in a Quonset hut on the grounds of the Laura Dester Abuse Shelter by building shelves and racks, painting, putting down carpet, and sorting and organizing donated clothing.

• In 1996-97 our most ambitious project was the Redbud Tree planting along the Turner Turnpike to honor the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing. Our goal was to plant 6,000 trees. We also provided a 7-foot tall granite monument at the mid-way plaza that included the names of all of the victims.

• Another large project we had was providing and equipping 3 trailers for Habitat for Humanity to use at their work sights. Two of the trailers were filled with tools and other equipment needed to build the houses, and the third trailer was equipped with painting supplies.

• More recently we have added projects like Child Spree and our Christmas Party that are designed to help the needy children in our community.

• In 2009-2010 under the direction of then President Dan Cunningham, the Done in a Day (D.I.D) Program was initiated to allow members a monthly opportunity for hands on service to the Tulsa community.

Other Interesting Facts
• In 1940, the name Kiwanicast was chosen for our weekly newsletter after members submitted names in a bulletin-naming contest.

• Also in 1940, Bur Blue’s grandmother Ruth Toomey (a Kiwanis wife) went before the Kiwanis Board of Directors to ask permission to form a group for the wives of the Kiwanians. After receiving overwhelming support, Kiwanitas was formed. Mrs. Toomey was the first president.

• In 1942 all of our Kiwanis meetings were opened by the singing of America and followed by reciting the Lord’s Prayer. Members’ birthdays were celebrated monthly … not with a steak, but with a birthday cake on their table.

• Over the years we have had fun events like family picnics and nights at the ballpark, bowling leagues and bridge groups. We have also had a Halloween pizza bingo party, a Christmas light bus tour and two Talent Shows.

• In 1964 we awarded our first Key Club Scholarships totaling $500. As of this spring (2010), we have awarded $681,887 in scholarships to our Key Club seniors.

• In the 1990’s we had a stretch along the Broken Arrow Expressway that was our club’s Adopt-a-Highway location that we were to keep free of clutter.

• Our club participates in the Adopt-a-Park program. Our club adopted Zink Park and periodically we have “work days” where our members clean up the debris.

We Have Quite a Few Kiwanis 2nd & 3rd Generation Family Legacies
• Bur Blue’s grandfather (C.C. Toomey) was president of the club in 1940. 
He went on to serve as Governor of the Texas-Oklahoma District.
Bur’s father (David Blue) was president of the club in 1964.

• Bill Eagleton (father of Jim Eagleton and grandfather of John Eagleton) was our club’s president in 1942.

• Richard Sullivan’s father (Ted Sullivan) was president of our club in 1945.

• Carol Sander's father (Ernest Stucker) was president of our club in 1948, and her husband Bill was president in 1980.

• Steve Ichord (Connie’s husband) was president of our club in 1986.

• Doug Willim’s father-in-law Bill Means is currently a member of our club.

• Terry Kolkmann’s father-in-law Herb Karner was a member of our club for almost 50 years until his death in 2010.


A Member Club of Kiwanis International
©2016 Kiwanis Club of Tulsa • 125 West 15th Street • Suite 102• Tulsa, Oklahoma 74119 • 918.587.5981