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Kiwanis celebrates 90 years in city

Ninety years of laughter, reminiscences and service to the community was the theme of the Kiwanis Club of Evanston’s 90th year celebration Sunday at the Hilton Garden Inn.

Among those gathered for the Kiwanis celebration were (back row) Brett Larson of Romano Brothers, Evanston Township Supervisor Patricia Vance, Dave Davenport of Romano Brothers and Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl along with (front row) 105-year-old Louise Willis, widow of longtime member 'Oz' Willis, and her son-in-law, Bob Heiberger, a past president of the club.

The club, chartered in 1920 and among the oldest clubs in the Chicago area, continues to serve the Evanston community through service projects, grants to local Evanston organizations and support of projects assisting children and youth of all ages.

In the past five years the club has awarded over $100,000 to Evanston organizations.

The club provides food for the annual Special Olympics event and the CommUNITY picnic, as well as scholarships for ETHS students and support for Evanston Baseball and Softball.

For many years the Club has helped to support SHORE Community Services, and honors Evanston Township scholar/athletes on a monthly basis.   Three years ago the club partnered with ETHS students and Olé, a Hispanic organization, to repaint the City Council Chambers. 

Guests for the luncheon included both Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and Evanston’s longest serving mayor and honorary Kiwianian, Lorraine Morton, as well as Larry Forsberg, governor of the Kiwanis Illinois/Iowa District.  The first woman president of the club, Judy Greenstein, came from Rochester, N.Y., to join in the celebration.  A video created by immediate past president Dr. Stamata Blanas and her staff was also shown.

“Kiwanis and the Evanston community have grown together.   We’re very proud to continue the tradition of serving Evanston children and adults, a commitment that has not faltered since our inception,” said president James Wolinski.  Contributions to the Kiwanis Foundation totaled over $2,500.

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