The Greater Wausau Kiwanis club was founded on October 11,
1962 under the sponsorship of the Kiwanis Club of Wausau. Al
Berkman was the charter president and helped to lay the foundation
for our club which as been an active part of the Wausau community
for about 50 years. In addition, our club has sponsored a number of
Kiwanis clubs in and around central Wisconsin as well as sponsors The
Wausau Newman High School Key Club.
Of course being just about in the middle of the state, we enjoy
attending other Kiwanis club meetings in the Wisconsin-Upper
Michigan district and have a streak of nearly 15 years straight of
achieving the Round Robin Interclubbing Award. The objective of
our Kiwanis club is to improve the quality of life through service
to the Wausau community.
primacy to the human and
spiritual, rather than to the material values of life.
To encourage the daily living
of the Golden Rule in all human relationships.
the adoption and the application of
higher social, business, and professional standards.
To develop, by precept and
example, a more intelligent, aggressive, and serviceable
To provide, through Kiwanis
clubs, a practical means to form enduring friendships, to render
altruistic service, and to build better communities.
To cooperate in creating and
maintaining that sound public opinion and high idealism which make
possible the increase of righteousness, justice, patriotism, and
A Brief History of
The first Kiwanis club was organized in Detroit, Michigan. The
group received a charter from the state of Michigan on January 21,
1915, and this is regarded as the birth date of Kiwanis.
The first clubs were organized to promote the exchange of
business among the members. However, even before the Detroit club
received its state charter, the members were distributing Christmas
baskets to the poor. A lively debate ensued between those who
supported community service as the Kiwanis mission and those who
supported the exchange of business. By 1919, the service advocates
won the debate.
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.
Kiwanis was defined as “an organization for men” in the
constitution and adopted in 1924. In 1987, after several years of
debate and growing support, women’s membership received overwhelming
Six Canadians have served as Kiwanis International President. The
first International President elected from outside the two founding
nations of the US and Canada was Ian Perdriau AM from Australia, who
served in 1994-95. Eyjólfur Sigurđsson of Iceland was the 1995-96
International President, and Juan F. Torres Jr., MD, of the
Philippines, was president in 2002-03.
For more, see Who We Are on the Kiwanis International website by visiting the
Got more questions about Kiwanis, check out