The Kiwanis Club of the Blue Grass is pleased to announce the addition of two...more
Sixty-Two Years of Service
The Blue Grass Kiwanis Club was officially organized at a meeting at the Lafayette Hotel (presently The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Building, 200 E. Main) on September 21, 1954. It was formed under the direction of the Lexington Kiwanis Club. This was the third largest Club ever Chartered by Kiwanis International, having one hundred and ten Charter Members.
Since its inception this Club has been active in civic and community affairs. Some of the major contributions have been the building and maintenance of the Blue Grass Kiwanis Little Ball Park (now located in the Southland Park), Boy Scout and Cub Troops in the housing Project, fund raising for the Salvation Army, Summer Day Camps for boys, sponsor of a student nurse at the Samaritan Hospital, sponsor of boys to Boys State, Clubs for Kids, Reading programs for preschool children, Magazine Distribution for Seniors and sponsoring a Shoe Bank Program for needy children of Fayette County. Most of these projects have been made possible through the proceeds of our annual Pancake Day. Within the frame-work of Kiwanis International, the Blue Grass Club set an interclub meeting record of one hundred and fifty-six meetings in one year with twelve meetings being held in one day, our Club presenting all twelve programs.
The Blue Grass Kiwanis Club has organized and sponsored, the Key Clubs at Bryan Station High School and Tates Creek High School and a Builders Club at Crawford Middle School. The Blue Grass Kiwanis also takes great pride in being the sponsor of five new Kiwanis Clubs; the Burley Kiwanis Club of Lexington, the Cynthiana Kiwanis Club, the Dry Ridge Kiwanis Club, Jessamine County Kiwanis Club and the Thoroughbred Kiwanis Club of Lexington.
Our longest ongoing project is what we refer to as the "Shoe Bank!" This project began in 1964 and has continued every year since then. The purpose of this project is to provide a pair of shoes and socks for elementary school children in Fayette County who do not have adequate shoes in the cold fall and winter months. In the beginning, club members went into the schools, measured the feet of the children for a proper fit, ordered the shoes from the manufacturer, and then delivered the shoes directly to the schools and actually put them on the children's feet. As you can imagine, there were several pairs that did not fit quite right and had to be reordered, but this did not dampen the enthusiasm of the club members! Over the years, the procedure was changed and the school children were taken via school bus to Sears or Montgomery-Wards with club members riding with each group. The shoes were fitted then and there with each child returning to school while carrying a box of new shoes under his or her arm. The current plan is that a club member contacts the Family Resource Center Director at each elementary school, who in turn will have the teachers submit a list of children's names with shoe size indicated. This information is compiled by the club project director. The shoes are ordered, received and delivered back to each school before cold weather sets in. The exact number of shoes purchased over the years is not known but is believed to be around 30,000 pairs.
The club selects several organizations in our community each year to support with funds and man-hours of labor to help improve the lives of children from neonatal to college age. The funds that we raise are primary from area business and individuals by providing an Annual Blue Grass Kiwanis Pancake Day which severs approximately 1,000 each fall in November and U K Football Parking near the Kentucky University Commonwealth Stadium. Our annual Service Project Budget includes an amount in excess of $17,000.