Who We Are
The Kiwanis Club of Downtown Springfield was chartered in 1920. We offer networking, fellowship, service opportunities, fundraising events, weekly programs--but most importantly, the opportunity to make better the lives of the children in our community.
The money raised through our events is used solely for our projects and is held in our 501(c)3 foundation.
The Kiwanis Club of Downtown Springfield is in Division 13 of the Missouri-Arkansas District of Kiwanis International.
To give primacy to the human and spiritual, rather than to the material values of life.
To encourage the daily living of the Golden Rule in all human relationships.
To promote the adoption and the application 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 relationships, to render altruistic service, and to build better communities.
To cooperate in creating and maintaining that sound public opinion and high idealism which make possible the increase in righteousness, justice, patriotism, and goodwill.
Fifty Years of Kiwanis Shows
In 1973 the 50th Annual Show was hosted by the Downtown Kiwanis Club. Called the Golden Jubilee Show in 1973, it also went by the names of The Kiwanis Follies, The Kiwanis Jollies, The Kiwanis Variety Show, the Kiwanis Applesauce, and The Kiwanis Minstrel.
What was it like in Springfield 50 years ago when the first show was produced? The club had been organized in 1920, but already had 135 members and had been host to a Tri-State Kiwanis Convention marked by a parade and a special edition in the Springfield Republican. The population of our city was about 44,000. Our city limits then was Kearney on the north, Kansas on the west, Grand and Catalpa on the south, and Delaware on the east. The Pie was the center of the Public Square and the street cars ran around it on paved brick. W. E. Freeman was our Mayor.
SMSU was then Springfield Teachers College and Clyde Hill was president. Fees were $12.50 per term. Chuck roast was 11 cents per pound and a one-ton Ford truck was $439. We had six cigar manufacturing companies.
Fifty years ago the superintendent of schools was W. W. Thomas and the principal of our only public high school was Larry Doran. Our telephones were answered by an operator and we had phone numbers like 717 and 1943 for party lines. The Gas and Electricity was a private concern known as Springfield Gas and Electric, and the gas was made from coke. The water company was privately owned out of Portland, Maine.
The first show was produced by Larry Blanchett and was given at the Landers Theater as the Shrine Mosque wasn’t finished until 1925. Our club president in 1923 was Arthur Allen.
(Excerpts from The Kiwanis Golden Jubilee program, April 1973, celebrating 50 years of family entertainment on behalf of the youth in Springfield)