HISTORY OF THE
GREAT ADRIAN KIWANIS CLUB
1940 to 2013
The Adrian Kiwanis Club was begun
in 1940, some 35 years after Kiwanis was founded in Detroit. We have remained an active and vibrant club
for the 70 years since our creation and we have grown to well over 100 members,
all serving the greater Adrian community.
Adrian Kiwanis meets for lunch
every Wednesday. We enjoy our midweek
diversion with a bit of song, some merriment called the Fine Session, and we
share announcements. Each week we have
an entertaining and informative program.
The business of the club is transacted at monthly Board of Directors
meetings. Ours is a very democratic club
and each member is invited to the board meetings to offer his input. Our Officers and the Board of Directors are
elected annually and serve a year’s term from the First of October until the
last day of September.
Our club was chartered by the
Hillsdale Kiwanis Club and Charter Night was September 25, 1940 with an initial
membership of 34. The Charter Night Gala
was a spouse event held at the Lenawee Hotel at the corner of Winter and Maumee
Streets. There were many dignitaries
from the City and from the Michigan District of Kiwanis who offered gifts and best
wishes for our new club. Marhsall Reed,
Michigan District Governor did induction honors and Forney Clement, District
Secretary gave us our flags. The evening
included dinner and concluded with dancing in the ballroom. The initial club officers were L.K. Cox,
President; John H. Wills, Vice President; James W. Roberts, Secretary; and
Squire F. Chase, Treasurer.
should be noted that Dr. L.K. Cox was the club's first President and 30 years
later, his son, Larry Cox, became the club's President. Other father-son successions were Art Clift
and Garry; Louie and Dick Germond; Larry and Chuck Force; Jim and Bill Roberts;
and also Elmer Kapnick and Doug. Club
member Mike Kapnick added a third generation to this legacy. Our club is built upon the strength of its
membership and these father-son combinations are simply an indication of the
rich tradition this club has experienced and enjoyed.
Early Adrian Kiwanians took over
the toy project for needy children from the Adrian Fire Department. This has been our longest running project
still providing a Merry Christmas to needy families in the community. This project grew from repairing used toys in
Dr. L.K. Cox's unheated garage to city wide toy collections, cleaning and
wrapping in the unheated screen door factory near the fairgrounds, to the sophisticated
operation working out of the annex at the Kiwanis Riverview Terrace. Every year we help hundreds of families
Although discontinued in recent
years, Christmas parties for the members and their children date back to the
time that Louie Germond, the Chief of Police, brought his son, our longtime
member, little Richard. As the story is
told, Louie had forgotten to bring a present and quickly slipped a dollar in an
envelope and put Richard's name on it.
Richard spent the money campaigning for hall monitor in the second grade
and we all know the rest of the story of our local sheriff.
A more recent tradition has been to hold a Christmas tree decorating, caroling and cookies party for the residents of the Kiwanis Riverview Terrace. This project was started shortly after the building was first occupied and continues today.
The purposes and ideals of this
club revolve around the Kiwanis motto of "We Build". Club Projects to raise money to support this
Club's history of helping others make up a large portion of it's legend. When Elmer Kapnick was President, we had the
magic shows at the Armory and Rex Martin laid the foundation for the Builders'
Show which later became the Spring Festival, and later came Air Day with its
eggs and sausage. Dave Wakefield gave
birth to Big Time Wresting featuring the likes of the Great Kabuki.
Pancake Breakfasts were early club
successful projects and were well received by all except the County Health
The Antique Show at Madison School, chaired by
David Siler was a popular fund raising project for nearly 20 years and the
annual peanut sale and gumball projects have been consistent large money
makers. In the 1960's the club
successfully hosted two regional Corn Picking Contests that were well attended
and enjoyed good weather. Flushed with
that success, the club tried it's hand at sponsoring the National Corn Picking
Contest intended to bring hundreds of thousands of people including Hubert Humphrey,
the Vice President of the United States, to Adrian. The event became a disaster when monsoon
rains struck and left the fields looking like swamps. The Contest was finally canceled after a week
of continuous rain and the club was left holding food that was prepared for
Our Club was responsible for
forming and sponsoring most of the other Kiwanis clubs in Lenawee County
including Tecumseh, Blissfield, Onsted, Hudson, Morenci, Addison, the now
inactive Maple City Kiwanis Club, and others.
We continue meeting with these clubs on a regular basis enjoying
interclub visits and division events together.
Adrian Kiwanis has also created
youth clubs. We reached out to form Key
Clubs at Madison and Adrian High School, and Circle K Clubs at Adrian College
and at Siena Heights University. These
youth groups consistently sought to help these around us through their own
projects. At this time only the Adrian High
School Key Club and the Adrian College Circle K Club are active.
We have created a special interest
club recently, the Aktion Club is affiliated with Adrian Kiwanis and it is
comprised of attendees of the HOPE Center of Adrian. The Aktion Club enjoys participating in fund
raising events and an annual basketball game with our Adrian Kiwanis Club.
We have also sponsored many young
people at Salvation Army Summer Camps, Law Enforcement Camps, Boys State, Girls
State and other youth oriented programs.
There have been hundreds of
significant projects initiated and/or supported with major contributions by our
club. Some of them include
The "Welcome to Adrian"
signs at the North and West City Limits
original and the addition to the Adrian High School Press Box
Adrian Community Nursery's building was doubled in size
remodeling of the Associated Charities Building.
sponsored the room that is now the Fitness Center at the YMCA
were the initial contributors to the City Ice Rink and Swimming Pool Funds
Lenawee County Fair Bunny Barn and restrooms, known as the KKK
driving force and catalyst to several city parks: Comstock Park and Trestle
Flag Pole atop the Lenawee County Courthouse
now removed 1976 Bicentennial Adrian Carillon Tower and music system.
HeliPad at Bixby Hospital
Rooms at Bixby Hospital
equipment at Garfield and McKinley Schools
Lenawee County Airport terminal building
to the Soccer Fields at Centennial Park and Island Park Playground
But, the single largest project of all was the
Kiwanis Riverview Terrace. This project
began when Ted Durst was President in 1966.
The project succeeded with the assistance of many Kiwanians, including
Art Clift, Ted Durst, Jerry Robinette, Dick Boff, John Hathaway, and Don
The property on College Avenue was
a lumber yard and was purchased from the owner, Jim Fridd. The building was designed by Adrian architect
Francis Faulhaber ably assisted by young architect Dave Siler. The state caused
us a lot of problems in financing and working out details, but we finally arrived
at an arrangement of limited partners who helped finance the project with tax
depreciation being their reward. The
building was constructed by Krieghoff-Lenawee Company of Adrian.
In 1973, the building was dedicated
and remains perhaps the most notable reminder of the involvement and commitment
of the Adrian Kiwanis Club to the Adrian area and its citizens. The building is located at 400 College
Avenue and provides 163 apartment residences in a twelve-story building. Over the years we have made significant
improvements to the property including the construction of an annex two story
garage and work building, riverbank improvements and the purchase and
development of additional land for parking across College Avenue.
Operation of the building was very
much a hands-on endeavor. Although we
hired on-site managers to look after the daily operation, we had several
dedicated committees who looked after various parts of the management. We also established the income producing
washer/dryer account and antenna account that have been a steady stream of
income to the club for many years.
The Club philosophy took a major
turn in the early 80's when the KRT Building became fully depreciated by our
original limited partners and investors.
It became advantageous to sell the building on a land contract to a new
group of investors who could start the depreciation process over again. We sold the building and within a few years
had received partial payments of nearly One Million Dollars.
The sudden wind fall gain caused us
to form a Charitable Foundation now known as the "Kiwanis Foundation of
Adrian". The Foundation invests the
money and provides the resulting income from interest to the club for use on
worthy and qualifying causes. The
membership elects the foundation's board of directors who oversee the
investment and distributions. The result
has been a previously unimaginable large budget for community projects. We are now rather unique in the Michigan
District and Kiwanis International in this enviable position.
The balance of the payment,
approximately $2.5 million dollars, was received in 2002. At that time, the Kiwanis Foundation changed
its emphasis to being the evaluator and distributor of the proceeds and
interest from the fund. Each autumn, the
Foundation accepts applications for grants for various projects from worthy
agencies in the community. The entire
club meets to evaluate the applications and deems which should receive a grant
and how much the grant should be. The
money is then distributed at a Club meeting with representatives of the
recipient agencies present. This system
continues to work democratically and successfully. Over the years, we have given away more then
$1 million in interest from the principal of the Foundation.
The Kiwanis members continue to
raise money through supported fund raising projects. Many projects have found success with our
club, but as our community changes so do the character of our projects. Our holiday cheese sale, our fall peanut
sale, an annual radio auction, the perpetual gumball project, and KRT laundry
and antenna concessions have run for many years and have brought in much
revenue for the club. Those monies have
been used for various community benefit projects.
In addition to fund raising project
and funding for projects, our club volunteers many hours of work and hands on
assistance with various community projects and services.
For many years, we participated in
the Michigan Department of Transportation's "Adopt a Highway"
program. We clean up debris and litter
along a 2+ mile stretch of the US-223 bypass and are proud to keep our
community looking clean.
An active committee of the Club has
been the Community Pride Committee that continues to conceive and complete
civic improvements in and around the city.
One highly visible and much appreciated civic improvement conceived and
completed by the Community Pride Committee was the installation of a new flag
pole at the top of the Lenawee County Court House along with the night lighting
of the flag. The pole was installed in
1992 and the flag can now be seen day and night from many locations around
We have had many famous club
individuals and personalities over the many years of our existence. They helped make our club meetings more interesting
and often exciting. Those notable were
Sid Siegel and Ed Kosmalski who entertained us as our song leaders for many
years. Tom Kansas who brought a new look
to our weekly bulletin. We have had many
Bulletin Editors also, perhaps the longest running one being Harold Near in the
1950's and 1960's. Club meetings were
spiced with antics of Bob Mason, Dave Snyder, and Dave Wakefield. Tom Nixon although not a member of the
Kiwanis Club played the piano for years in exchange for a free lunch at the meeting. David Siler has been the piano player for the
past 35 years. He still intends to take
Our club loved to “grunt” for Ed
Leahy whenever he stood up during a meeting.
Now that Ed has passed away, the grunt recipient is Police Chief Terry
For the first 50 years of club
activities, the annual election of officers was taken more seriously. There were actual elections held with more
than one candidate and they made speeches to the club to get elected. In recent years, the candidates have come
from the Board of Directors and are elected more by their willingness to
serve. This is just one of several signs
of change in our community over the years of our club.
of our weekly Wednesday luncheon has changed many times in our history. The original meeting space was the Lenawee
Hotel where the club charter night was held.
In the fifties and sixties, the club met at the Eagles on North Winter
Street but in the early 1970's met for a few years at the Moose Club. We then moved the meeting to the Kiwanis
Community Room of the YMCA where we stayed for about 20 years. In that time, we made a concerted effort to
grow the club from 75 members to 100 members since the meeting room could
support that size. The YMCA needed to
create a Fitness Center and converted the purpose of the room thus forcing us
to look for new quarters.
Beginning in January of 1994, we
met at the Secret Garden, a hall in the downtown area of Adrian and while there
considered the purchase of the old Odd Fellows Building that would have been
our first self owned and operated meeting space. The club decided not to enter the hall
business and soon the meeting location was moved to the Christian Family Center
where we continue to meet.
The Club was initially a men's
organization but Kiwanis International eventually approved female
membership. Our club has been graced by
many women members and several have served on significant committees and as
Directors. Pam Payne Fraley was our
first woman president.
In 2013 we are looking to focus our
purpose more clearly with an introspective self-analysis and critique
process. We will be doing strategic
planning to more clearly establish our goals and purposes.
Though we have different surroundings, our
enthusiasm, purpose and goals remain the same, to best serve our community, to
assist children and senior citizens, and to make the Adrian Community a better
place to live
Kiwanis is a world wide
organization that is found on every continent and in nearly every country in
the free world. We find strength in our
numbers to bide with our original motto, "We Build" and more
recently “Serving the Children of Our World”.
KIWANIANS OF THE YEAR
1940 DR. LAWRENCE K. COX SR. - D
1941 SQUIRE F. CHASE - D
1943 BARLETT T. SHOBER - D
CHARLES D. HADDEN - D
1944 JAMES W. ROBERTS - D
1945 STANLEY J CAVELLERO - D
1946 WILLIAM D. STERLING - D
1947 MALCOLM R. MOHR - D
1948 VAIL E. HULL - D
1949 JAMES T. MORAN - D
1950 ELMER L. KAPNICK - D
1951 PAUL A. HARTWIG - D
1952 REX B. MARTIN - D
1953 LEWIS M. KIRKWOOD - D
1954 FRANK D. MANSFIELD - D
H. FRIDD, JR
1956 LOREN L. CLEMES - D
1957 DWIGHT D. HORN - D
1958 PAUL A. CARDINAL - D
1959 HAROLD W. NEAR - D
1960 JOHN S. HATHWAY - D
1961 ARTHUR L. CLIFT - D
1962 MAHLON C. GRAY - D
1963 ROBERT L. KIDD - D
1964 LOUIS R. PATCHERSKY - D
1965 KENNETH CUNNINGHAM - D
1966 CLYNE W. "TED" DURST
1967 DONALD COPELAND - D
1968 IRWIN B. STONER
1969 PAUL LINEHAN - D
69-70 RICHARD L. GERMOND
70-71 LAWRENCE K. COX II - D
71-72 HERBERT CHAPMAN -D
72-73 RICHARD F. BOFF
73-74 DAVID WAKEFIELD
74-75 DAVID J. SNYDER
75-76 MICHAEL ENTINGER -D
76-77 DON WELCH
77-78 DAVID R. SILER
78-79 RICHARD GURDJIAN
79-80 LARRY FORCE - D
80-81 LARRY FRANCOEUR - D
81-82 JAMES KOEHN
82-83 D. BRUCE EMERSON
83-84 GARRY CLIFT
84-85 STANLEY L. KEMNER
85-86 DONALD E. MCCARTHY
86-87 DENNIS C. MARSH
87-88 EDWARD J. LEAHY - D
89-90 DAVID DENNIS
90-91 DEL COCHRAN
91-92 JOHN COSTAS
92-93 JAMES YEUTTER
93-94 PATRICK HAYES
94-95 RONALD EATON
95-96 LARRY STEPHAN
96-97 DAVID WAGLEY
97-98 KEITH DERSHAM
98-99 PAUL MUELLER
99-00 BRUCE WEBB
00-01 PAMELA PAYNE FRALEY
01-02 STEVE MAY
02-03 GARY LUNDY
03-04 MARK GASCHE
04-05 JESSICA HANNA
05-06 JERE RIGHTER
06-07 RUSS DEMPSEY
HARRY DUSTY STEELE
10-11 RON ELARDO
11-12 TODD CARVER
12-13 BETH FERGUSON
K. COX II
MICHIGAN LT. GOVERNORS
the ADRIAN KIWANIS CLUB