Kiwanis Club of Douglas County History
The Kiwanis Club of Douglas County received it’s charter June 27, 1972. The club was formed under the leadership of Ralph Hulsey and Bill King. The club became a part of Division 16 of the Georgia Kiwanis District. First officers of the club were Bill Allen, President; Frank Powers, Vice President; L.E. Williams, Secretary; and Charlie Procter, Treasurer
Charter membership of the club was 24 members. The first meetings of the club were at Bilbo’s Restaurant. Some of the first presidents of the club were Frank Powers, Charlie Procter, Homer Conklin, Jack Murphy, Wayne Bentley, Roy Whetstone, Lynn Fitzpatrick, David Woolf and George Bishop. All of these men were respected businessmen in the county.
Kiwanis Club was a men’s club until 1987 when Kiwanis International voted to allow women as members of Kiwanis. The first woman to join the club was Dianne Etheridge. The first woman to become president was in 1999-2000 when JoAnne Kelley became president. The first African American to serve as club president was Larry Green during 1993-1994 year. John Stone is the only member to ever serve as president twice.
Our club has progress greatly since the beginning producing a total of eight Lt. Governor. Frank Powers served as the first Lt. Governor from our club in 1974-1975. The first female to serve as Lt. Governor was Doris Marlow in 2002-2003. Elaine Stone, the only member to have never been president, served at Lt. Governor in 2006-2007 and went on to serve at the state level as Chair of Past Lt. Governor’s in 2012-2013 for the Georgia District. Frank Powers served as Georgia District Secretary/Treasurer 1992-1993 and as District Governor in 1993-1994. David Kazanowski was a member of the club for many years and served as Lt. Governor of Division 16 prior to joining our club.
The Kiwanis Club of Douglas County chartered their first Key Club at Douglas County High School in 1974. Today, the club sponsors seven Key Clubs at the following high schools: Alexander High School, Chapel Hill High School, Douglas County High School, Lithia Springs High School, Harvester Christian Academy, Hiram High School and New Manchester High School. Each year a scholarship is offered to a graduating senior from each club.
Kiwanis has met at many locations in the past 40 plus years including: Bilbo’s, Lucky’s, Bud Lee’s Steakhouse, Johnny Reb’s, Granny’s Basket, Rigby’s, Williams Brothers Seafood, Western Sizzler, Ryan’s, West Central Tech, Chapel Hill Country Club, Golden Coral, Taco Mac and Logan’s.
The Kiwanis Club of Douglas County works to help various youth organizations throughout the county. Some of these organizations are Special Olympics, Boys & Girls Club, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, A Gift of Love and others. Each year the club sponsors Kids Christmas Special which serves 100 needy youth in elementary school by providing Christmas gifts for them and their families. Each child has $100.00 to spend on themselves and their family.
The club’s major fundraiser each year is the Sweetwater triathlon and 5K Fun Run which is held on the first full weekend in June each year. Last year we had approximately 190 athletes who participated in either the Triathlon or the 5K Fun Run.