Dillon Kiwanis Club Celebrate 70 Years In The Community

The Dillon Kiwanis Club is celebrating 70 years in the community having been charted on October 1, 1948.
Here is a brief history of the organization: Kiwanis Club International is a civic organization with more than 330,000 community leaders located in more than 70 countries/ Kiwanis was founded in Detroit, Michigan on January 21, 1915 by a professional organizer Allen Browne. The first Kiwanian was a merchant tailor names Joseph Prance. The original name was “The Benevolent Order of Brothers” and its purpose was the exchange of preferred treatment of professional and business dealings. Within a year, the name was changed to “Kiwanis”, and Indian term meaning “Self Expression”. It also became obvious that the original purpose lacked appeal for many members and thus it then became a “community service” organization. In 1916 Kiwanis entered Hamilton Ontario, Canada thus becoming international. Kiwanis moved to Tijuana, Mexico in 1962 breaking its long standing tradition serving only the United States and Canada. The International Extension has continued since and today Kiwanis serves the needs of over 70 countries around the world. The “service club movement”, as it has been termed, is one of North America’s most important contributions to the life of our times. Kiwanis International has six permanent objectives: to give primacy to the human and spiritual, rather than the material values of life; to encourage the daily living of the Golden Rule in all human relationships; to promote the adoption of higher social business and professional standards; to develop by precept and example, a more intelligent, aggressive and serviceable citizenship; to provide, through Kiwanis Clubs, a practical means to form enduring service, and to build better communities; and to cooperate in creating and maintaining the sound public opinion and high idealism which make possible the increase of righteousness, justice, patriotism, and good will. The official motto of Kiwanis International is “We Build” The Kiwanis Club of Dillon received its charter on October 1, 1948. Only one member of the founding group is still living today, Thomas Cooper Bethea of North Myrtle Beach. The Dillon Kiwanis Club is active in many projects throughout each year. Children’s finger prints are taken and the parents or guardians receive identification packet to aid in the event of a disappearance of a child. Reaching out to the community in other ways each year has brought on a program first introduced in 1995.
During the Christmas holidays, the Dillon Kiwanis Club purchased 25-30 turkey dinners and serves them to needy and deserving families within the county. This program touched the heart of entire families within the community who go with little or nothing and who find that the Kiwanis Club of Dillon is there to help.
The program most notable with the Dillon Kiwanis Club is Dixie Youth Baseball. First introduced as “Little Boy’s Baseball” in 1954, it grew into a rather large gathering of young men and women, and eventually developed into the “Dixie Youth” organization in the early 1960s. Each year more than 350 young people of Dillon County sign up to play America’s pastime. Ray Wilson field, located in Michael Lecholop Park, is on the corner of Kiwanis Street and Julia Lane, and offers a summertime getaway for players, coaches, and fans of all ages.
Several scholarships are also awarded annually to young people of Dillon County to assist them in furthering their education after high school. The Dudley Saleeby scholarship and the Mac Patterson award both grant money to be used for college and after high school use.
The Dillon Kiwanis Club touches the heart of many young people each year through all the programs and projects it participates in. It has been going strong locally since 1948 and continues to grow stronger each year.