November 11, 1976
Kiwanis Club of West Racine was formed and recognized.
January 28, 1977
Charter Night and first installation of officers
September 4, 1985
The club began meeting at Wheaton Franciscan/All Saints Campus (then St. Mary's Hospital) after previously holding our Wednesday breakfast meetings at the Golden Lantern, Hatch Way Restaurant, Obies Restaurant, The YMCA, and Dania Hall.
An annual Nursing Home Senior Olympics started with other clubs in Division I. It was held in Kenosha at St. Mary's Lutheran Church. In 1987 and 1988 the event moved to Racine and was held at J.I. Case High School. In 1989 the other Kiwanis clubs dropped this project, and our club took it on as a special event at Festival Hall with Gary Langendorf heading the project. Since 2004, Fred Reichley has chaired the event with many club members participating each year.
Saturday, March 7, 1987
The first Car Raffle, a major fundraiser, was held in the cafeteria at St. Catherine's High School. The number of $100 tickets sold was limited to 200, with the major prize being a car valued at $7,500. The entire meal was prepared and served by club members. After several years the fundraiser became a cash raffle and moved to Infusino's Banquet Hall. We now sell just 210 tickets each year. The raffle continues to be one of our major flundraisers.
Member Ted Jacobsen suggested monthly visits to other clubs (interclubbing). Our club has continued this tradition through the years, having just completed our 290th consecutive monthly Kiwanis interclub.
Saturday, August 24, 1991
The first catering of J.I. Case Company's (CNH) Annual Picnic was a joint project of all clubs in Division I to support a baby book which would be given to all new mothers in Racine County. Ted Jacobsen was the Chairmen of the event. It was a huge undertaking as over 6,000 people were served food prepared on charcoal grills. After a few years only the Kiwanis Clubs of West Racine and Union Grove continued to host the picnic. After the Baby Book was discontinued (the hospital's decision), catering of the Case picnic continued to be a major fundraiser for our club alone. In 2011 we still served over 4,000 people.
The first edition of the Baby Book was given to all new mothers in Racine, Janesville, and Burlington. The idea was conceived by Bob Witteman, and Wally Cooper headed the project which included printing, assembling, and distribution of the books. The project continued for thirteen years when the hospitals no longer wanted the books.
A weekly tradtion began, affectionately known as The Box. It was suggested by Ted Jacobsen as a means of collecting money for the new football stadium (Hammes Field) at J.I. Case High School. Basically, the money comes from member's birthdays, spouse's birthdays, anniversaries, and dates that members were installed. Members also freely contribute for their children's and grandchildren's accomplishments, names or pictures in the newspaper, and the right to tell a good joke or story. When $500 accumulates in The Box, a worthy cause is determined by the board for the donation.