From across town to across the globe, the Lincoln Center Kiwanis Club has been making a world of difference for 100 years.

One of the world’s most-established Kiwanis clubs celebrated its milestone last weekend. One hundred years of public service was summarized in a 75-minute program that followed a dinner and social hour March 23 at Hillcrest Country Club.

The esteemed service organization is observing its century of service with 100 acts of community service in 2019 and by awarding 10 $1,000 scholarships to recipients who epitomize the community-minded club.

The club was founded with 170 charter members in 1919 – and an honorary member, General John J. Pershing. It has presented an annual Distinguished Service Award since 1922.

Guest speaker Jane Erickson, a Bellevue, Nebraska resident who served as a Kiwanis International president several years ago, lauded the Lincoln club for its global impact. She shared pictures and commentary of her trip to Tanzania, where children’s lives are being saved through the ELIMINATE Maternal/Neonatal Tetanus drive, a Kiwanis/UNICEF worldwide initiative that was launched in 2010.

“We are making an impact in the world,” Erickson reminded the banquet crowd. “You’re paying for the vaccine to keep these kids alive.”

Closer to home, the Lincoln Center Kiwanis Club has donated funds and labor over the years to complete many projects at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo and Lincoln Children’s Museum. The club also impacts the lives of many underprivileged children through programs and projects in some of Lincoln’s lowest-income neighborhoods, and is a staunch supporter of 4-H.

Lincoln Center Kiwanis has also been a dynamo in chartering nearly a dozen other Kiwanis clubs throughout the city and a number of student Key Clubs in high schools and at the University of Nebraska.

Marissa Gill Keyzer, the Lincoln club’s current president, concluded the program with a heartfelt salute to Kiwanis, concluding with the following thoughts:

"We make Kiwanis what it is

And Kiwanis makes us who we are

And today we remember a century

Of changing lives

So that we can continue forward

To a better future we are helping to create

One service, one member, one child at a time

We are, and forever will be, Kiwanis."

Lincoln Center Kiwanis Club, currently 88 members strong, holds weekly noon luncheon meetings on U.S. Bank's 20th floor at 12th and M streets.

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L Magazine editor

Mark Schwaninger is L magazine and Neighborhood Extra editor.

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