Dexter Kiwanis Club celebrating 75th anniversary
Joe Medrano, a longtime member of the Dexter Kiwanis Club, believes that the club, which was founded in 1937, has helped make the Village of Dexter a better place to be, and he is not alone. The club is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year and still making a difference.
Most recently, the Dexter Kiwanis Club provided assistance with replacing trees after the powerful tornado that struck the Dexter area in March.
"We lost an awful lot of trees, and the Kiwanis Club used community service funds to buy and transplant trees for a community project," said 36-year member Fred Model. "Dexter is a small town and people are close. When you have a situation like the tornado, your neighbors all chip in to help and made Kiwanis feel welcome."
That's a good example of the kind of service that has led to Dexter Kiwanis reaching the milestone of its diamond anniversary.
"Many residents have benefited unknowingly from the efforts of Dexter Kiwanis since labels were not placed on things such as the first football field for the high school, and swings, grills and benches behind the fire hall," said Medrano. "More recently, residents may be aware of the dictionaries we provide to third-graders each year."
The Kiwanis Club was formed in 1915 by a group of businessmen in Detroit and eventually became an international club. In 1937, a group of businessmen in Dexter under the leadership of Joseph Schnebelt, who owned the Dexter Bakery, formed the Dexter Kiwanis Club.
"Since that time, the Dexter Kiwanis Club has graced the Dexter area with community service," said member Joseph Scheuring. "Kiwanis is about kids. The Dexter club has been involved with many kids' activities such as hosting a community Halloween party for more than 30 years, building parks and playgrounds, donating children's books to the library and scholarships to graduating seniors."
Dexter Kiwanis currently has 23 members, and new members must be invited to join by a current member. The club meets the first and third Monday at 6:30 p.m. at Peace Lutheran Church at 8260 Jackson Road.
Medrano predicts a long future for the club.
He said, "New project ideas are in the works looking to serve for another 75 years or more."