The Tillamook Kiwanis Club is still meeting every Wednesday at noon via Zoom and in person at Tillamook Bay Community College (TBCC) following all social distance rules though the pandemic. But one thing remains constant for the local club — the benevolent organization is focused on raising funds to support the youth of Tillamook County.
In November, the club held their annual diaper drive and presented a truckload to Tides of Change to help their effort helping women in need.
According to Kiwanis president Ross Tomlin, anyone who wishes to join the club in December will get their annual dues waived their first year. So it’s a great time to join a group who is so focused on local giving.
Over the last three years, the local club has awarded over $55,000 in local college scholarships to Tillamook County students. They also have given over $20,000 in community giving grants to Tillamook non-profit organizations that support children.
“I joined because the Kiwanis do so much for kids of our community,” said membership chair Doug Henson. “You can’t go wrong supporting our youth, they are our future and this club does so much for our kids.”
You may have seen some work parties on Saturdays in the fall at Goodspeed Park, because the Kiwanis Club helps keep the gardens there looking beautiful. You may also notice the club sets up at each Home and Garden Show in the Spring to raise money for KT Days their annual scholarship fundraising drive. This promotion is also supported by local radio where management at the station lets the Kiwanis Club take over for the day to help spread the word and acquire donations for student scholarships.
In a time when clubs are closing around the country, the Tillamook Kiwanis is poised to grow its membership and continue to support the youth of Tillamook County. Anyone interested in becoming a Kiwanis member can check out a meeting at TBCC at noon each Wednesday or call Patsy or Chris Weber at 503-801-2077 for more details.
Kiwanis giving since 2018
2018 $19,500 in college scholarships to Tillamook County students
2018 $10,000 in Community Giving Grants to Tillamook County non-profit organizations that support children in our county.
2019-$16,500 in college scholarships to Tillamook County students
2019- $13,000 in Community Giving Grants to Tillamook County non-profit organizations that support children our county
2020 - $19,500 in college scholarships to Tillamook County students
The Kiwanis Club of Tillamook History
The Kiwanis Club of Tillamook was organized and sponsored in 1922 by the Kiwanis Club of Portland. The club charter was granted on December 15, 1922 but not presented until March 3, 1923. At that meeting a large gathering of Kiwanis members and friends (about 200) gathered to recognize the new club and receive its charter. The original charter is still on display in a frame attached to the Kiwanis lectern. The original purpose of the club was to promote the business and civic interests of the community and to promote better acquaintance among businessmen. The first officers of The Kiwanis Club of Tillamook were F. A. Betz, president; George Harness, vice president; 2nd vice president, B. C. Lamb; treasurer Rollie Watson. At the time it was a rule of the Kiwanis Club of Tillamook that only two men from any business classification could become members. It was noted that Kiwanis clubs had been a success wherever organized and a number of the most prominent men of the day are members. The club was active in the community providing much needed support and providing college scholarships to students in Tillamook. In 1925 the club started a scholarship trophy to recognize students with an outstanding scholastic record. We have the trophy still today with many names engraved that we still recognize including Flora Schild (92.25%); Mildred Berkey (95.37%); Kathryn Lamb (96.0%); Doreen Gienger (96.7%) and Jack Shuster (96.6%). Mildred Berkey known as our beloved Mildred Davy graduated from THS in 1928. Doreen Gienger may be the sister of long time member Ron Gienger and Jack Schuster also known as "Smilin Jack" the last name on the trophy graduated from THS in 1942. The trophy was rediscovered around 2009 after being found in the archive room at THS The Club sponsored the Tillamook High School Key Club in 1957. Key Club was formed as a high school service club. It was also an all male organizations at first. The first president of the THS Key Club was Bob Creech, who continues today as a member of the Kiwanis Club of Tillamook. Key club has been active at THS ever since with a membership count usually over 40 students. In 1960 the club started a scholarship drive to provide college scholarships for graduating high school seniors in Tillamook County. The scholarship drive was named "Dollars for Scholars" for many years. We were informed in 2017 that we could no longer use that name so we renamed our scholarship drive to " KT Days Scholarship Drive" with the KT standing for Kiwanis Tillamook. The Kiwanis Club of Tillamook has provided over $550,000 in college scholarships to over 470 Tillamook County High School graduates. As with many organizations, Kiwanis was a male only club. However in 1987 the first women were installed as members of Kiwanis Clubs across the country and world. The first female Kiwanis member was Mildred Davy. In 1993 Judy Gollon was elected as the president of the Kiwanis Club of Tillamook. Since then many women have served as president of the Club. Today, anyone who lives in Tillamook County can become a member of the Kiwanis Club of Tillamook, you just need to have a desire to serve the citizens of our county. In 1999 with Jerry Underwood as club president, the club peaked with 124 members. Community service is the cornerstone of the Kiwanis Club of Tillamook. We continue to support many service projects in the area including: Road Cleanup on Highway 101 South; Maintaining the Mildred Davy Rose Garden at Goodspeed Park; June Dairy Parade Marshalling; Sponsoring THS Key Club; Christmas Baskets for Needy Families; Diaper Drive for Healthy Families; Peanut Butter Drive for Summer Lunch Programs and more. Eight years ago we started our Community Giving program. We raise funds throughout the year and in August we send out a request for non-profit agencies in Tillamook County that provide services to children to apply for the grants. The applications are then reviewed by a committee of Kiwanians from our club and are presented to the non-profit agencies in September. Since the inception of our Community Giving program we have awarded nearly $100,000 in grants to local non-profits. Some of the grants over the past few years have been awarded to the YMCA, North Coast Recreation District, Food Roots, Garibaldi Museum, Tillamook Anglers Fishing Day, Healthy Families, Habitat for Humanity and many others. In 2018 our Kiwanis Club formed the Kiwanis Club of Tillamook Foundation. We did this to better fulfill our mission of "Serving the Children of Tillamook County". The foundation is a registered IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Approaching our 100th anniversary of service in Tillamook County, we plan to continue our goal of using our funds to fulfill our mission of "Serving the Children of Tillamook County.