History of the Kiwanis Club
Every club needs to be sponsored by another Kiwanis Club. Ours was sponsored by Quakertown Kiwanis Club. We organized in December 1952 and received our charter January 2, 1952. We in turn have sponsored Upper Perkiomen Club, Southern Lehigh, and Parkland Club.
We started with 27 members. By the end of 11952 we grew to 39. Our annual dues were $16 paid quarterly. In the early years we focused on a variety of youth activities. We sponsored youth ball teams and built the Kiwanis ball field. We still sponsor 2 softball teams. In the 50’ and 60’s we opened an Emmaus Youth Center, sponsored an essay contest, hosted a championship EHS sport team for dinner, sponsored a Boy Scout troop, had a Police Cadet program, sponsored the Circle K program at DeSales University, ran a drug awareness program and gave out a $300 scholarship for nursing.
Many programs have lasted to the present day. In 1952 we began the annual community Easter Egg Hunt with3600 eggs. Today we have 10,000. In 1960 we organized and chartered the present EHS Key Club. We sponsored both the Eyer Middle School Builder’s Club and the Lower Macungie Middle School Builder’s Club which is very active today. Our special needs Christmas party tradition began in December 1966. It is one of our favorite events. In 1974 we began our pancake and sausage breakfast which is now The Pancake Festival and held at Fire Company #1. In 1981 we sponsored the EHS Fitness Program which has won many awards. In 1973 Stanley Holmes initiated our Blood Assurance program in conjunction with the Miller Blood Bank. Each September we now have a Blood Screening program also spearheaded by Stanley Holmes.
Our service programs have been derived from our community’s needs. We contributed to the remodeling of the Band Shelter at the Macungie Park. In 1959 we purchased 20 liter containers and had them placed around Emmaus for litter. Recently after remodeling the Triangle we . purchased a drinking fountain for the community to enjoy. In 1972 our club worked with the community to collect and distribute 6 truckloads of supplies for the Swoyerville flood victims. We ran a food stand at the Ethnic Emmaus Day. EKC paid for the playground adjoining our ball field. Road cleanup happens twice a year with the help of our EHS Key Club. In partnership with the day care, Horizons for Learning, we read twice a month to their children and donate a book to a child each visit. EHS Key Club and EKC helped collect and deliver over 26,000 books to needy schools in Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton.
Kiwanis has donated funds for many needs; furnishings for a nursing station at Good Shepherd, a new ambulance and a heat seeking camera for the fire company, a new bandstand pavilion, 2 recording machines for the blind, the Emmaus Police K-9 program, the children’s playground upgrade at the community park, and Special Olympics. We have 5 different scholarships which go to qualified EHS seniors.
The Emmaus Kiwanis Club continually raises funds through different events in order to support our endeavors. In the 60’s and 70’s we had Barbershop Quartet shows, art auctions, fruit cake sales, fashion show socials, raffle tickets, food stands and our pancake and sausage breakfast which continues today. We also have our Fruit and Pie Sale and a Putt-Putt Golf Tournament to help bring in funds.
Kiwanis continues to support the community and is the most visible service club in town.