Our story begins on October 18, 1922 when the Kiwanis Club of Newburgh saw the need to extend the Kiwanis family westward and voted to sponsored us as a new club. The Newburgh Kiwanis club itself was still in its infancy being all of 17 months old, having been chartered in May of the year prior.
Edumnd C. Faulkner was elected our first president and so began a long legacy of our club’s service to the community. The story of our club is rich and varied. Over the years the club has undertaken many projects both big and small that have helped the community in some way. It would take up too much space to talk about all of them but some of them do need to be mentioned due to their significance.
We have provided the Middletown Day Nursery with a visit from Santa Clause continuously since 1928. Today we make sure that 3 day care programs around Middletown get a visit from Santa. We had the longest running volunteer program at Middletown PC, now Rockland PC by playing bingo with the patients there once a week. The project is known as Bingo Buddies and many found memories were fostered for the Kiwanians as well as the patients. In 1954 the Middletown Kiwanis Club began the first Pancake Day ever by any club in Middletown. You may have noticed in the photographs in our exhibits that we got a visit from the real Aunt Jemima. Next March we will be holding our 68th Pancake Day. The proceeds of $2400 from the first Pancake Day went to support the building of Horton Hospital. A few years ago we supported the building of another hospital; the ORMC with a donation of $10, 000. We helped support the senior shuttle since its inception and helped purchase new buses to provide transportation for people to get around town. We sponsor a Key Club at Middletown High School(since about 1965), a Key Club at John S. Burke Catholic School, a Builders Club at Twin Towers Middle School and we co-sponsor an Aktion club, which in itself has taught us all a great deal about what service leadership really means. Charity dances, clam bakes, soccer programs, D.A.R.E. Day, sales of apples, flowers and other items; rehabbing parks, building benches, planting trees are just some of the many things that have been life expected from the clubs inception and which continues today.
In 1987 The Kiwanis International voted to admit woman into Kiwanis. For an organization that had been male only for over 70 years this proved to be very difficult for many clubs to deal with. We are very proud that it only took the Middletown club three years for a woman to move into the chairs and in 1992 Ellen Goldberg became the first woman president of our club. But she has not been the last. Since then, Pat Flynn, Sue Sheehan, Terry Saturno, Gerda Krogslund, Jennifer Holohan-Ferrer, Fran Amelio, Hazel Goldstein, and Christine Mahoney have all served our club with distinction and we know that woman will continue to fulfill leadership roles in the future.
We are very proud of what our club has done over the years and we look forward to continuing that legacy of community service for many years to come. We hope that you will consider joining us in our effort to make our club the most successful it can be.