The Port Washington Kiwanis Club officially began with its “Charter Night” meeting on March 16th, 1937. That meeting was held at the Masonic Temple with twenty-eight of the thirty-one official charter members present. The club’s first sponsorship was the Boy Scouts of America Troop 37. This was formally passed on June 17th, 1937. The club long sponsored the same Scout group, which in later years was known as Troop 837. On July 28th the club held its first Ladies Night. It was held at the Port Washington Country Club to honor wives and girlfriends. Rural night on October 19th of the same starting year had 26 local farmers in attendance. The first year was a good one.
The weekly meetings were held on Tuesday evenings in the old Hoffmann House. Meals started at $.75 and were raised to $.90. When the meals were raised to $1.25 the Club moved to the Congregational Church. Later the Club held meetings at the King’s Restaurant in the Mayer Hotel. From there the Club moved to the Smith Brothers Fish Shanty. The Club then went to the Wilson House for a few years. Later, Buchel’s Colonial House, and in recent years at the Firehouse Restaurant in Saukville.
One of the early years’ main fund raiser was the annual Minstrel Show. In the 1950s the Club sponsored concerts by the Marine Band and the Navy Band. These were held in the High School Gym and were a huge success. With the coming of Port Washington’s Fish Day, the Club’s fish stand has been the main fund raiser.
Starting in the 1940s the Club sponsored a children’s Halloween party for several years. Also, in the 1940s they started the High School Honors Banquet, and proudly continues this today. Most recently the Club has sponsored Week of the Young Child, a national program, for our area preschoolers through 4th graders. It’s a week of fun activities for our club members as well as the children.