Serving the Children of the World

A History of Service

1938 Canby Kiwanis Club Charter Members

Back Row
(left to right): Rev. Malcolm Ballinger, Mason Floyd, Howard C. Belton, Eugene Silke, Dr. Rummel, Craig C. Dedman, Dr. Frank Renfrew, Paul Perkett, Frank T. Cutsforth, Dr. Edwin Henry, Rinehart Gesik, Melvin H. Evans, Lloyd Arvidson, George A. Pope

Front Row (left to right): Unknown, John R. Nieland; George F. Bates, Archie S. Markee, Curtis Johnson, Sr., J. Raymond Vinyard, Ralph C. Zimmerman, Alfredo Joe Stefani, G. Floyd Hall, Harvey N. Everhart, T.H. Arestad, A.F. Strayer, Unknown, Roy L. Mangus

The following are highlights from the history of the Canby Kiwanis Club:

1930s & 1940s

July 14, 1938: Club was founded by 28 Canby area businessmen and professionals. (For a complete list of the known original members, see below.) The first president of the club was Ralph Zimmerman. (For a complete list of club presidents, see other page in this section.) The sponsoring clubs were the Portland and Salem Kiwanis clubs. Kiwanis International was founded in 1915 in Detroit.

1939: Club sponsors first Boy Scout Troop established in Canby. The club continues to sponsor the same troop, Troop 258, and has sponsored it for most of its history.

1941: From the Canby Kiwanis 1941 Annual Report: "Club members have cooperated with city officials in naming streets and placing name posts and markers on all streets in town. This is the first time the town has had streets named and marked. The work of actually constructing and painting markers was done at the high school under direction of Kiwanians -- work done largely in the manual training department. A highly practical service to the community."

1948: Approximate year the club began sponsoring the first Kiddie Kapers Parade, the children’s parade that goes through Canby to the fairgrounds on the first day of the Clackamas County Fair in August. Club continues to sponsor this parade, and club members organize the event, register participants and serve as parade marshals.  

1950s & 1960s         

October 1952:
Canby Kiwanis opens its Thrift Store. The store was modeled after one that was operated by the Lincoln City Kiwanis. The store opened in the old Cottage Hotel that stood where the Reif law offices now stand and originally operated two days a week. Three wives of club members played key roles in opening the store and in its early years of operation: Alta Hill, Beanie Kraft and Erna Matzke. The store has been at eight locations in downtown Canby before moving to its current site in 1989. Prior to that move the store was open two or three days a week using only volunteer help. Club members did most of the work on the interior of the present store. The store is the chief fundraising vehicle for the club and also helps needy families and other organizations with donations of clothing, books and household items.

1955: The club has been providing funding and volunteer work for the Mount Hood Kiwanis Camp since the mid-1950s. The camp provides a summer camp experience for special needs children. 

1958: Canby Kiwanis begins sponsoring its own Christmas Food and Toy Drive, which continues to this day as the Canby Community Food and Toy Drive, with the club organizing and helping fund the drive each year. Other civic groups and individuals have provided major contributions and volunteer hours throughout the years, including the Lions Club and Rotary Club. 

1965: The Canby Kiwanis Club has been awarding scholarships to Canby High School seniors since at least this year. Last year, the club awarded 10 scholarships of $1,000 each, and just in the past 13 years has awarded more than $150,000 in scholarships. The club plans to award 12 scholarships of $1,000 each in 2013. 

1968-69: Canby Kiwanis spearheaded the organizing and funding of the effort to build the Canby Community Pool. Club member Wade Bettis Sr. led the project. The club held an auction and sold memberships to raise $50,000 to have enough funds to gain a $150,000 FHA loan for the construction. Ground was broken in 1969, the pool was built in 1970, and the city took over the pool in 1971. The Kiwanis club continued to provide major funding for the pool in the 1970s.  

1969: The Canby Kiwanis Club was one of the founding sponsors of the Junior Livestock Auction held each year at the Clackamas County Fair. The club purchases animals from the 4H and FFA young people who enter their animals in the auction, earning these young people money for college and other uses. In 2013, club expects to spend $6,000 at the auction.


Club members play a key role in planning Canby Centennial, placing five members on the nine-person planning committee.

1972: Club begins operating a glass recycling depot in Canby to reduce the amount of glass going into landfills. The club ran the depot using club members as volunteers throughout the 1970s. Club recycled upward of 40,000 pounds (20 tons) of glass a year. Glass is sold to a Portland recycler, raising money for the club, as well as helping the environment.

1974: Scout A-frame lodge building is completed after a three-year, community-wide volunteer effort. Kiwanis Club played a major role in that effort contributing $1,600 and countless volunteer hours. Project was overseen by club members Herman Bergman and Jerald Rothi, both very active in scouting. Lodge was eventually named for Bergman, who served as scoutmaster for 10 years.

1977: Canby Kiwanis provides the $16,000 in funding needed to install lights at the Canby High School baseball field. School superintendent Richard Brown noted in a thank-you letter to Canby Kiwanis, "It is very hard to find a civic organization with this type of community interest and the desire and financial ability to undertake a project of this magnitude." 

1979: Canby Kiwanis provides the approximately $6,000 in funding needed for lights at the Eccles School baseball field. 

1980s to Present

1987: Kiwanis International admits women as members. Currently, more than 50 percent of the Canby Kiwanis Club members are women.

1986: Club begins sponsoring a service club in Canby Union High School around this time. That club is now called the Key Club, and Canby Kiwanis continues to sponsor it.

1990: The club has been conducting Red Cross blood drives every fall since 1990. In addition to its drives, the club helps with blood drives conducted by its Key Club and Builders Club in Canby schools. 

1991: The club has been raising funds for the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and its Children’s Cancer Program through various fundraisers since 1991.

1998: Club began helping to sponsor trips to Olive Tree Mission near Ensenada, Mexico. Trips are organized by club member Maggie Hubbard, (Club president in 2001-02), who has been making these trips to Mexico for more than 35 years. Missions provide medical and dental care and other help to villagers in a rural area of Mexico. Hubbard leads two mission trips a year, which the club continues to help sponsor, and several club members have gone on these missions.

2001: Club begins sponsoring Terrific Kids program in local elementary schools.

2003: Club organizes and sponsors the Builders Club at Ackerman Middle School. Club is now at Baker Prairie Middle School.

2012: Club begins sponsorship of monthly Canby Area Recognition of Excellence (CARE) awards, which recognize a different local teacher or administrator each month for exemplary work in educating local young people.

2015: Club celebrates the 100th anniversary of Kiwanis international.

2016: Club donates $50,000 to fund the Children's Area of the new Canby Public Library as its Centennial Project commemorating the 100th anniversary of Kiwanis International in 2015.

In addition to those highlights listed above, the Canby Kiwanis Club throughout its history has provided and continues to provide volunteer help and funding to a variety of other community projects and organizations, including Canby Kids and other youth sports, music programs in the schools, the Child Abuse Summit, high school graduation parties, the Bicycle Rodeo, and many, many others.


Twenty-six of the club's 49 members were present for this photo in June 2013. Front row, left to right: Marlene Elmore, Karen Hill, Jan Weeks, Keith Murphy, Nancy Murphy, Willie Newby, Maggie Hubbard. Second row, l. to r., Karen Haring, Marjorie Brood, Joanne Barr, Samantha Kircher, Vicki Adamson, Barb Kirwan, Sharon Schneider, Doris Robertson, Laurie Harmon, Anne McKinney. Back row, l. to r., Mike Boonstra, Duane Weeks, Brandon Holland, Doug Birkeland, Bob Hill, Larry Castle, Brandon Chase, Jeff Goode, Matt Olsen