The organization originated in August 1914 in Detroit, Michigan from a conversation between Allen S. Browne and Joseph G. Prance. Browne's idea was to solicit business and professional men asking them if they would be interested in organizing a fraternal organization with a health benefit feature. Browne was compensated five dollars per new member that joined for his operating budget. Browne and Prance set out and recruited enough members to apply to the state for a not for profit status. The state approved the application on January 21, 1915 and the Supreme Lodge Benevolent Order Brothers was formed. The name was changed to Kiwanis a year later. The Kiwanis Club of Detroit is the original local club in Kiwanis.
By 1927 the organization had more than 100,000 members. Kiwanis became international with the organization of the Kiwanis club of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, in 1916. Kiwanis limited its membership to the United States and Canada until 1962, when worldwide expansion was approved. Since then, Kiwanis has spread to all inhabited continents of the globe. Each year, clubs sponsor nearly 150,000 service projects and raise more than $107 million. As a global project in coordination with UNICEF, members and clubs contributed more than $80 million toward the global elimination of iodine deficiency disorders (IDD), the leading preventable cause of mental retardation. Beginning in 2010 Kiwanis International joined with UNICEF to launch a new worldwide health initiative, The Eliminate Project, dedicated to wiping out maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT), which kills more than 100,000 babies worldwide each year.
The Kiwanis Club of Fullerton is one of eleven clubs in the immediate area, known collectively as Division 30. The Division website is at: www.kiwanis30.org
There are over 600 Kiwanis Clubs, and hundreds of Circle K (at college), Key Clubs (at high schools), Aktion Clubs (for adults with disabilities), Builders Clubs (at Jr. Highs), comprising the Kiwanis family in our District, CAL-NEV-HA - California, Nevada, and Hawaii.
The District Website is: www.cnhkiwanis.org.
Over 250,000 members worldwide participate in events which they determine are most needed in their own communities, each dedicated to the idea of changing the world, one child and one community at a time.
The Kiwanis International website is: www.kiwanis.org