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LPHS grad hands Kiwanis Club charter in 1926

December 22, 2017
By ANDY FLYNN - Staff Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - The Kiwanis Club of Lake Placid began during the first few days of November 1926. Lake Placid was still a growing resort town, and part of its growth included the establishment of social clubs and organizations, such as the chamber of commerce and the Lake Placid Outing and Athletic Association.

Kiwanis International was interested in setting up a club in such a place.

The front page of the Nov. 5, 1926, issue of the Lake Placid News reported that a Kiwanis official was in Lake Placid to organize a local club. O.J. Klee of New York City, the state's Kiwanis International secretary, arrived in the village on Nov. 3 and would remain "long enough to see the club organized and under way."

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From the beginning to the end, recruitment was always on the minds of Kiwanis Club presidents. The first president of the club was Frank H. Philburt, vice president of the Bank of Lake Placid. At the club's second meeting on Nov. 17, 1926, Philburt announced that the initial roster included 42 members and that it was the aim of the directors to increase that number to 80.

Although members had already been meeting for more than a month, the Kiwanis Club of Lake Placid was officially formed on Charter Night, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 1926. Two days later, the News reported that the program got underway at 6:30 p.m. "when members of the club, their ladies, and invited guests to the number of 80 gathered at the Northwoods Inn to partake of a most excellent dinner served by Frank W. Swift, local Kiwanian, and proprietor."

The governor-elect of the New York Kiwanis District, Dr. A.L. Danforth of Watertown - a 1904 Lake Placid High School graduate - presented the charter to the Lake Placid club, "telling in the course of his remarks how much he owed to Lake Placid in his early life, what Kiwanis would come to mean in a community, and the evident enthusiasm with which the Placid club was being launched."

The Kiwanis Club's first weekly luncheon meetings were held Wednesdays at the Alford Inn. Its final meetings in September 2017 were held the second and fourth Tuesday of the month at Mr. Mike's Pizza.

When the Kiwanis Club of Lake Placid disbanded on Sept. 30, the last president was Kelly Conway, manager at NBT Bank's Outpost Branch. The remaining members were Richard and Joan Kelly, Len and JoAnn Folin, Reg Clark, Peg Doran, Joe McCranels and Betsy Baxter.

Kiwanis International was founded in 1915 by a group of businessmen in Detroit, Michigan. The New York District was organized Sept. 27, 1918, in Syracuse. Originally a men-only club, Kiwanis International officially became co-ed on July 7, 1987.



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