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Kiwanis Club of Vienna

The Kiwanis Club of Vienna was organized in 1952 and received its charter in December of that year. The club was sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Girard. Twenty-five Vienna residents were charter members. Since then, club members have included Township trustees, school board members, local business owners, members of the clergy, professionals, housewives, union members, farmers, and students.

The first officers were Reverend William Woodall (President), Harold Viets (Vice President), Ralph Bolander (Secretary), and Thomas Craig (Treasurer). Meetings were held on Monday evenings at the Vienna Presbyterian Church. The first official meeting and charter party was held in February, 1953.

One of the earliest activities sponsored by the Club was the Pancake and Sausage Dinner. The Kiwanis was one of the first in the area to have this type of dinner. The 500 pounds of sausage cooked by the Club was made by hand at Paul Smith's grocery store. What was not cooked at the dinner was sold to residents. The Pancake and Sausage Dinners helped raise money to support community projects, such as sponsoring Mathews High School Band and athletic banquets, the Kiwanis Kapers (a showcase for local amateur talent), and a donkey basketball game in Memorial Auditorium on January 23, 1956. The members have also squared off against the Liberty Optimists and the Vienna Township Volunteer Fire Department in basketball games.

The Kiwanis and the the Fire Department co-sponsored the Mills Brothers Circus on October 14, 1963. William Hagood, Howard Everett, Paul Kovacs, and Edward Angstadt were dressed as clowns and operated the concession stand.

The Kiwanis Antique Show stated in 1966 when Paul Miller was president.

The Key Club is an organization sponsored by the Kiwanis at Mathews High School. Two students were elected to the highest office in the state. Jeff Johnson in 1964 and Jennifer DeFrance in 1997 were elected as Governor of Key Club of Ohio.

One of the mottoes of Kiwanis is "We Build" and the Kiwanis Club of Vienna has done just that. The Club constructed the dugouts and a storage shed at the Mathews High School baseball field and the scoreboard at the football field; the playground at Curry elementary School in Fowler; goals for the soccer league; a garage at the New Life Maternity Center; the sign in front of Mathews High School; and the community sign at Vienna Center.


This article is based on "Kiwanis Club of Vienna," Vienna, Ohio, Where We Live and Let Live: Town 4, Range 2 of the Connecticut Western Reserve (Apollo, PA: Closson Press, 1999), pp. 197-198.