Kiwanis began on January 1915 in Detroit, Michigan The name Kiwanis means: Two Indian words, “Ki” or “Kee” and “Wanis” meaning “We Trade”   The motto of Kiwanis is “We Build”  

Our club was the third club chartered in the Minnesota-Dakotas District.  
Our club was also the 33rd club to be chartered in the entire Kiwanis International Organization.  

First meeting held Tuesday, October 10, 1916 at 12:15 - room #700 in the Holland Hotel, 35 members attended. The guest speaker was A. S. Browne of Buffalo, New York, National Organizer. Mr. Browne took the floor and gave an outline of the history of the Kiwanis Club and Kiwanis principles. CURRENT We met at the same location, but where the old Holland Hotel stood is now the Radisson Hotel - 505 West Superior Street. Our club meets every Wednesday at 12:00 noon.   We will be moving to the Kitchi Gammi Club on January 2, 2013 our club vote for this move was 53 yea to 11 no. As of November 2017, the club has moved locations for our weekly meetings once again to downtown Duluth, and in the Lyric Conference Room of the Holidy Center.

Calvin How Jr. was the first president of the club and it was under his administration that we secured 100 charter members.

1917 Our Club officially organized on January 30, 1917, and received its charter February 26, 1917.   Our second president was Isaac Lewis, and under his leadership the mercenary slogan of “We Trade” was dropped, and the inspiring “We Build” was adopted.  

1918-1919 N. Frank Russell was the third and fourth president. Frank was president during the years 1918 and 1919 and, during his administration, the club raised and used for the War Relief Work, over $3,000.  

1920 Anton I. Ahlen was the fifth president and under his administration Free Band Concerts were given in the parks of Duluth during the entire summer of 1920

NOTE: Funds to provide the concerts in the amount of $7,500 were raised through two dances given at the Armory by the Kiwanis Club.    

During Anton Ahlen’s term as President, the club had its greatest  growth, reaching a membership of 225.  

1921 James Ray Stack was the sixth president. Ray was at the head of our First Community Fund Drive, in later years this particular money-raising drive was re-named the United Way of Greater Duluth.

District Governor, Ed Eclund, Bob Fleischmann with Fireman and Engineer on the DM&IR

1925 Kiwanis International Convention was held in St. Paul, MN in 1925.  

Kiwanis had it’s first small office on the mezzanine floor of the Hotel Duluth.
CURRENT We went from 230 square foot office in the Radisson Hotel to a 1320 square foot office in the old KDAL building, 407 West Superior Street - in the fall of 2003. To a small offixe in the King Building off of 27th auvenue west, and now we rent a small storage space in the basement of the Domestic Abuse Intervention building at 202 E Superior Street.

January 26 was the first joint meeting with the Rotary Club.
CURRENT We host Rotary on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and Rotary hosts us on the Thursday before Easter.  

February 20,  there was a bowling match between the Kiwanis club and Rotary Club, Kiwanis won.

1929 March 6, Kiwanis challenges the Lion’s Club to a spelling match to be broadcast on WEBC radio station, the Kiwanis club won.  

1930 On March 20, there was an Inter-Club with 77 Kiwanians in attendance. The program was Dr. Pace, pastor of First Methodist Church.... it is believed that this was the most successful Inter-club meeting in the history of our club.   

On December 31, the music at that meeting was The Chester Park Melody Mothers and the Arco Banjo Boys.

Ben Gronlund, Clark Isle & Gus AndresenCharter train trip to Iron Range

the Arco Banjo Boys were courtesy of Gus Andresen who was a charter member and owned and operated Arco Coffee.  

The first District Convention was held in St. Cloud, MN in 1930, a total of 32 members attended the convention from our club.  

Attendance Prizes
In former years attendance prizes were gives out at weekly meetings - Some prizes were really good!
• April 24, 1929 - a case of Fitger’s assorted beverages and Fireside Creams, donated by Tom Miller of Fitger’s Company.
• July 24, 1929 - one 33 x 6.00 Goodrich Tire given by Bill Arper, manager of Goodrich Tire Company.
• May 14, 1930 - a ten portion ice cream pie given by N. F. Russell, president of Bridgeman Russell Company. • September 3, 1930 - three pound box of Little Boy Blue Candy.
• December 30, 1931 - one ton of Coke (coal) was given by Runcie B. Martin, Northwestern Fuel Company.
• February 17, 1932 - two Hockey Tickets, game between Duluth Hornets and St. Louis.
• Perfect Attendance for one year gets a little tab that hangs down under your lapel pin and shows the years of perfect attendance accumulated.
• 50/50 drawing - We sell tickets every other week. The winner gets to draw a card from a deck of cards, looking for the Queen of Spades. If the winner should draw it, they receive the cumulative money in the pot. Half the money taken in from ticket sales each time goes to administrative purposes but during November, the money goes to help out the Food Drive.  

Annual Events - past and present 
• Minstrel Shows
• Speech Festivals; held for Jr. High, over 300 students would participate.
• Swain Cross Country Event; named for John Swain, who was a very successful coach in cross country and track at Duluth Central, it drew many high school runners from all over the state each October.
• Duluth Kiwanis used to have joint meetings with Superior Kiwanis Club; each year they would hold a golf match, alternating matches between golf courses in Duluth and Superior. Current

Kiwanis Auction is held every April at WDIO TV Studios and all of the money raised at the Auction is donated back to the sponsored youth of the community. In 2017, the Kiwanis Club hosted the 49th Annual Auction.

The idea of an auction had been going on for a long time in Winnipeg, Canada before coming to Duluth. Sam Atkins, Conrad Stephenson and Andy Reardon traveled to Winnipeg in 1967, and the spark was lit!

Our first Auction was held May 10, 1969. At that time, there were 3 Kiwanis clubs that participated: Superior, Cloquet's noon club and us. The chairman that first year was Sam tkins. The total net profit for the three clubs was $12,313.45. This amount was divided on a percentage based on the number and value of each contract secured by the respective clubs. Our club's net profit was $9,582.37, $51,034.55 in 2005 standards. All time was donated and scripts were mostly ad lib by the members. Over the years, the Auction has seen a few Oddities! Dennis Anderson's toupee sold for $67.00. One year, we sold a donkey and a horse, and another year saw a pressure cooker wrapped in a newspaper from 1943! Another year, Dennis Anderson rode into the studios on a Harley Davidson during the Auction. And we look forward to more Oddities to come.

• Annual Food Drive; started in 1993 and we have raised a total of over 920,560 (almost a Million!) pounds, and a total of over $38,000 jointly with Rotary. Five local agencies beneft from the Annual Food Drive: The Salvation Army, Damaino Center, CHUM, Union Gospel Mission and Northern Lakes Food Bank. At one time, there was a traveling trophy designed by George Lah and Tim Simard.

• Bayfront Kite Fly is held every September at the Bayfront Festival Park where we hand out 2000-5000 free kites to all family's who attend. The Duluth East Key Club always has volunteers there to support our events. 

• Special Olympics; Kiwanis Club of Friendly Duluth participated each year, we are in charge of timing for the track event.
• Reading is Fundamental; 2-3 times a year Kiwanians attend area pre schools and read to children and give a free book to each student.

• Police Officer and Fire Fighter of the Year Award; these dedicated community servers are chosen by their peers. The Kiwanis Club of Friendly Duluth has been involved with this project and hosts an Awards Ceremony with the Chief of Police and Fire Chief attending to present these awards.
• White Elephant Auction; Kiwanians bring in their unwanted items, an auction is held during our regular Wednesday meeting, proceeds from the auction go to fund our Kiwanis office.
• Boyscout Troop 29 (1937) Grant School
• City Skating Championships for grade school and Jr. High, this was also an annual event.
Current Key Club, East High School.  

1937 Price of meals raised from 60¢ to 65¢.
CURRENT 2006 meal prices went from $9.50 to $10.00. 2012 meal prices are $12.00 at the Radisson Hotel and when we moved to the Kitchi Gammi Club in 2013, our meals moved from $14.00 to $17.00 by 2017.  
August 3, our Kiwanis meeting was held on board the Steamer Noronic. The Noronic was one of 3 Canadian passenger ships that would dock at Duluth each week. This was an annual meeting held during the summer.

September 4, the suggestion of the Chamber of Commerce that all service clubs decide upon one day of the week to hold their meetings. Our club decided on Monday as the day on which to meet. Club vote: To change to Monday if other service clubs likewise select Monday 37 - yes and 10 - no...  to change from Wednesday to Monday if other clubs do not change 13 - yes and 22 - no nothing ever happened with this vote, we still meet every Wednesday for lunch.  

On July 17, 1940 a golf tournament between Kiwanis and Rotary and the Arrowhead Civic Club was played. The prize was: two tickets to the Gene Autry Show, that was won by P. J. Frost, a long time member of our Kiwanis Club. Gene Autry was a guest of honor at our Kiwanis meeting and entertained the club with descriptions of making his Western movies and an imitation of President Roosevelt’s acceptance speech when Mr. Autry presented him with a large, white Western hat. Miss Joan Grady presented Mr. Autry with a large bouquet of peonies, a gift from the Duluth Peony Club.

1944 On May 31, the Kiwanis program was the YMCA Centennial 1844 - 1944  

1957  -  40th Anniversary  Alonzo Taylor, William Crawford, Gus Andresen, Louis Dworshar, Phil Frost, Harold Lyons

1958 February 17, our club traveled to the Annual Division 6 meeting in Grand Rapids by train.
CURRENT Now we are Region 3.

1967 Golden Anniversary.  

1969 Our first Auction held May 10th
• There were 3 Kiwanis clubs that participated in our first auction; Superior, Cloquet noon and us.
• The chairman that year was Sam Atkins.
• The total net profit for the three clubs was $12,313.45. This amount was divided on a percentage based on the number and amounts on each contract secured by the respective clubs. The Duluth’s Club net profit was $9,582.37.  

1971 The Port of Duluth was first charted on January 22.  

1972 In October the Kiwanis held a President’s Ball, it was a fine affair.  

1974 Kiwanis first hired an office secretary - Jean Vigen.
CURRENT Niki Laakso is our most recent Kiwanis Club Secretary. We had paid Kiwanis Administrative Assistant over the years and the most recent one was Carol Snoeyenbos. Before Carol was Tricia Peterson, Cassi Beamer, before Cassi was Jan O’Brien, Jan started on April 14, 1992 and worked for our club for 13 years. Sue Brundage was the person before Jan, and Debbie Peterson before Sue.  

1977 Our Kiwanis theme for this year was “Reach Out” Member Arthur W. King received proper recognition for his leadership in community service. It was announced that the 98 unit housing facility for lower income and elderly located between 2nd and 3rd Avenue East will be named the “Arthur King Manor”. Mr. King was president of our club in 1967.  

1978 Happy Dollar was created by president John Harris on August 2, 1978, John was the first to give a check of $30.00 to the new “Happy Dollar” fund for his 30th wedding anniversary. District Kiwanis Convention Our club has hosted the District Kiwanis Convention five times, we’ve had that honor in 1919, 1952, 1966, the Port of Duluth hosted this convention in 1980 and 2000.  

Bob Fleischmann was the first to receive the “Kiwanian of the Year” award inn November of 1991.  Bob Fleischmann was the Plant Manager of Zinsmaster Baking Company.  All of the information obtained for our 90th Anniversary came from Kiwa News over the years and Bob’s article “Moments in time”.  Thank you, Bob, for all of your hard work!

Gay Lynne Liebertz served as our club’s first female president.  Ms Liebertz also served as Lieutenant Governor. 

“Just a few” famous names who have been members Business positions listed below, were at the time of their membership:    

Bob Fleischmann 1946 Plant Manager, Zinsmaster Baking Co. All the information obtained in this history page came from Kiwa News over the years from Bob’s article “Moments in Time” Thank you Bob, for all your hard work!!
Royal D. Alworth 1947 Oneida Realty Company
Gary Doty 1997 Duluth Mayor
Dave Allen 1981 Allen & Associates, later Dave became Mayor of Hermantown
Jeno F. Paulucci 1947 Bean Sprout Growers Association, Inc.
Connie Stephenson 1947 Manager of Insurance Service Agency
Art King 1939 President of Woodruff Lumber Co., named for Arthur King Manor
Gustav A. Andresen 1917 Founder of Arco Coffee (Andresen-Ryan Coffee Company)
Edward C. Barbo 1953 Columbia Clothing Company
William W. Crawford 1916 Crawford Mortuary
Allen Downs 1964 Professor of Music
Elton H. Gujer 1963 Advertising Specialties
Joel Labovitz 1959 Maurices
Robert K. Prescott 1958 Oneida Realty & Subsidiary Companies
A.W. Taylor, Jr. 1955 Stewart-Taylor Company 1990-1991
Bob Fleischmann was the first to receive “Kiwanian of the Year” award, in November.  
Gay Lynne Liebertz was our first women president of our club, she also was a Lieutenant Governor.                                                                                                   Dennis Anderson served as the WDIO TV Anchor for 42 years and retired in 2011                                                                                                                                Darren Danielson serves as the current New Anchor for WDIO TV

2005 During the year that Tom Vukelich was President, Kiwanis Club of Friendly Duluth dedicated a bench in Conrad Stephenson’s name, it sits on the corner of 5th Avenue West and Superior Street.

2007 - A 90th Anniversary Celebration was hosted by the club at the Kitchi Gammi Club and MC'd by Darren Danielson and Susan McClernon. Carol Snoeybus and her team were able to develop a 90 year history booklet of club. Posters and photos. 

2014 The Kiwanis Club of Friendly Duluth brought back a project from the past as we hosted the first annual Dennis Anderson Train Ride. Partnering with the North Shore Scenic Railroad, over 60 children from the region's Boys and Girls Clubs hopped aboard the train, had lunch and rode up and back the North Shore. Kiwanians volunteered and served lunches and enjoyed the trip as much as the kids!

2014 The Kiwanis Club was saddened with the loss of a long term leader in the club, Durbin Keeney. He was a tireless advocate for veterans as Durbin founded the northern chapter Minnesota Assistance for Veterans (MACV) on April 1998 in order to assist homeless veterans and their families.  He served as the Regional Director of Development for the organization. Durbin was deeply involved in many community and veteran based organizations. These included the following: Kiwanis International Life Member, George F. Hixson Fellow and Past President and Distinguished Lt. Governor.The Kiwanis Club hosted a meeting in 2015 honoring Durbin and has developed a bench in his honor.

In 2015, we lost an Honorary Club Member, Reverend Bob Aspling and he had just received the Kiwanian of the Year award. He and his wife Patti were active in the Youth Services Committee and served as spiritual leaders for the club and community for many years.


After 100 years of service, the club is vital and still continues many of the same traditions started over the years, including Happy Dollars, singing the 4th verse of America and welcoming guests with the “Welcome Song” each week. We continue to sponsor the Duluth East Key Club and are grateful for the wonderful advisors who continue to ensure a strong club of over 200 members is active and serving our community. We enjoy working together on joint K-Family projects and hearing from them on the profound impact they are having in the community.


We look forward to serving our community together over the next 100 years!

Presidents of the Kiwanis Club of Friendly Duluth  
 1916   Calvin F. How
 1917   I. K. Lewis
 1918-1919    N. Frank Russell
 1920   Alton L. Ahlen           
 1921   James R. Stack
 1922   Wallace S. Herald
 1923   Dr. William A. Coventry
 1924   Robert J. Wilson
 1925   H. Rowland Halsey
 1926   Richard L. Griggs
 1927   Kenneth S. Cant
 1928   Adolph B. Anderson
 1929   Victor Stearns
 1930   Noble S. Elderkin
 1931   Norman D. McLeod
 1932   Harry W. Clark
 1933   Alonzo W. Taylor
 1934   Dr. Waldo N. Graves
 1935   J. Daniel Mahoney
 1936   John L. Bero
 1937   Henry Halenbeck
 1938   Richard M. Funck
 1939   Charles R. Jacobus
 1940   Clarence W. Gilbert
 1941   Donald M. Stalker
 1942   Stanley T. Vaill
 1943   William K. Alford
 1944   Harry C. Applequist
 1945   Herbert Sorenson
 1946   Earl W. Long
 1947   Rev. Arthur C. Young*
 1948   Dr. Philip F. Ecman
 1949   Dudley J. Russell
 1950   Wellington J. Brown
 1951   Samuel F. Atkins
 1952   Robert Clark*
 1953   Walter Warner
 1954   Reinar Gabrielson*
 1955   Robert C. Fleishmann*
 1956   Kenneth Duncan
 1957   C. Luther Eckman
 1958   George Zeller
 1959   Otto Olsen
 1960   Frank Sibley
 1961   Larry Garity  
 1962   Dr. Richard Sielaff
 1963   Gene Halverson*
 1964   William Mathewson
 1965   Dr. Chester Wood
 1966   Dr. Andrew Reardon*
 1967   Arthur W. King
 1968   Peter Bye*
 1969   Conrad Stephenson
 1970   Harry Ramaley
 1971   Leonard Griffith
 1972   E. A. Youngstrand
 1973   Jerome N. Roettger
 1974   John Rosen
 1975   Charles Patton
 1976   Thomas Daly
 1977   John Harris
 1978   H. Wittmore Gooch
 1979   Neil Waldo
 1980   Robert Heller
 1981   John Verrill
 1982   Robert Chapman
 1983   Dean Ager
 1984   Paul A. Gustad
 1985   James R. Peterson
 1986   Alan R. Jablonski
 1987   Thomas W. Klenz
 1988   Richard J. Weiland
 1989   Dr. James Sebastian
 1990   Stephen L. Juntunen
 1991   Gay Lynne Liebertz*
 1992   Steven W. Schneberger
 1993   Donald W. Wendling
 1994   A. Susan Adam*
 1995   George Lah
 1996   Thomas G. Simard*
 1997   Janette A. Nelson
 1998   Paul Manning
 1999   Carol Hall*
 2000   David J. Allen
 2001   Doug Melander
 2002   Patrick Spott*
 2003   Darren Danielson
 2004   Corey T. Collier
 2005   Thomas Vukelich
 2006   Jane Dolter
 2007   Don Lilyquist
 2008   Denny Nelson
 2009   Rob Swor
 2010   Kurt  Erickson
 2011   Mike Lamminen
 2012   Glenn Meints
 2013   Keith Johnson     
 2014   Tom Ruemmele                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2015   Susan McClernon 
 2016   Jennifer Crown & Susan McClernon                   
 2017   Susan McClernon                

 * Past Lieutenant Governor

R. Armistead Grady was elected Secretary of our Kiwanis Club in 192. In December of 1946, 25 years later, we found quite a lengthy tribute to him. Every book that we looked in, every ounce of history we turned up all included the same name: Armistead Grady. The fact that he was unaminously elected to succeed himself each year for 25 years in amazing and significant. It is clear that Armistead's contributions to our club are of extraordinary character. There were speeches, there was poetry, there were bursts of brilliance, and more! All in the editorials published in a weekly bulletin for years!

We also have Armistead to thak for "Kiwanis Club of Friendly Duluth".

There was a "blessed event".

The idea of "Friendly Duluth" was born.
Armistead was the parent.

Your gift to us, Armistead, is gratefully acknowledged.

Armistead passed away on February 21, 1951. His spirit lives and will live on. And interwoven with the spritiual fabric of Kiwanis Club of Friendly Duluth is the memory of he who gave so much of himself to make the club what it is today.

Youth Scholarships                                                                                                                                                                                                                             The Kiwanis Club of Friendly Duluth is proud to support youth through awarding the Andrew E. Reardon and Armistead annual scholarships.

Andrew E. Reardon Scholarship
A $1000 scholarship is given annually to students attending UMD, or an East High School Senior planning on attending UMD or the College of St. Scholastica, and studying medicine. The scholarship is in memor and honor of Andrew Reardon, a long time member of our club and our Kiwanis bowling team.

Armistead Scholarship

2 - $1000 scholarships are available to be awarded to 2 individuals. Scholarship winners must be attending either the College of St. Scholistica, UMD, Lake Superior Collage, or a East High School Key Club member, or a home school student.