Club History

History of the Kiwanis Club of Ames, Iowa

Our motto is "Serving the Children of the World"

The Ames Kiwanis Club, the 968th club to be organized in Kiwanis International, came into existence on May 14, 1923 with 50 charter members. Service projects to benefit boys and girls were initiated in 1925, the first of many projects to follow. The first recognition as an outstanding club occurred in 1927, again one of many which followed.

International relations was an early and is an ongoing focus, starting with US/Canada relations and expanding from there. This club originally proposed that each Kiwanis Club's organization include a committee on international relations. Kiwanis adopted this as a national policy. International visitors (including Chairman Khrushchev), programs on international relations, inviting international students to become honorary members, and providing financial support to international students are examples of this focus.

Farm-city relations and support of programs for the elderly were early priorities for service projects. These included establishing the predecessor of the Heartland Senior Center.


History of organizations and activities our Club has supported:

  • Providing for swimming instruction for young children,
    Supporting vocational guidance education and counseling,
    Sponsoring the Ames High Key Club,
    Sponsoring the ISU Circle K Club,
    Establishing the Ames Community Council on Drug Education (1970),
    Sponsoring many community-based programs on drug education,
    Supporting Youth & Shelter Services,
    Supporting the Boys & Girls Club,
    Supporting facilities for the Ames Youth Sports Complex,
    Supporting 4-H Clubs,
    Supporting Ames Park & Recreation facilities,
    Supporting the Ames Emergency Residence Shelter,
    Volunteering at Special Olympics,
    Providing for student scholarships
    Establishing a tree nursery for the city, and
    Collecting food for the Mid Iowa Community Action food pantry.

Organizations and activities our Club has recently supported:
Ames Children’s Choirs
MICA(Mid-Iowa Community Action)
Ames Education Foundation
Octagon Center for the Arts
Ames Girls Softball
Raising Readers
Ames Little League
Salvation Army
Friends of Ames Swimming
Shoes that Fit
Heartland Quilts for Kids
Story Theater Company
HOBY (Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership)
Teen Maze
Kiwanis Camp OK
United Way (campaign video)
Kiwanis Key Leader
Youth & Shelter Services
LSI People Place
Miracle League playground

When Kiwanis International launched the first world wide service project to eliminate iodine deficiencies - IDD - among children, this club contributed more than $25,000, which was more than enough to build a modern salt iodizing plant and thus saving many children from mental retardation. Iodine deficiency was erased from the world by this Kiwanis campaign.

Our new world wide service project is Eliminate, raising funds to eliminate Maternal/Neonatal Tetanus, launched in 2010.

Our club's major fund raising projects are apple sales (started in 1935), Christmas gift wrapping and pancake days. Earlier projects were selling ads for KASI and operating the station for a day, sweet corn sales and gum ball machines. Sixteen to twenty thousand dollars are spent on 30 to 40 projects each year.

Women became members in 1987 and have contributed their leadership in accomplishing the objects of the club.

The club has contributed to the Kiwanis organization by establishing eight new Kiwanis clubs and has provided 15 Lt. Governors, two District Governors, four chairs of Kiwanis International committees and three Directors to the Nebraska-Iowa District Foundation.