Service Leadership Programs

Blog | Media | Shop

Kiwanis foam handKiwanis water bottle
Skip Navigation LinksDiscover > Magazine > March 2010 > Happy birthday

Happy birthday, Key Club!

In 2010, Key Club International turns 85. From the first Key Club at Sacramento High School in Sacramento, California, to the most recently chartered Key Club, this package will highlight Key Club’s milestones and accomplishments along the way. As you’ll see, there’s a vast distance between where we’ve been and where we are now. Congratulations, Key Clubbers!

Celebs who were Key Clubbers
Q&A The juicy scoop on Key Club

1925 | First Key Club forms at Sacramento High School in California under the direction of Kiwanian Frank C. Vincent, the “Father of Key Club.”

POP UP FACT | Founded in 1856, Sacramento High School is the second oldest public high school west of the Mississippi River. Sacramento High School became Sacramento Charter High School in September of 2003. It’s now made up of four small liberal arts schools and approximately 1,000 students in grades 9–12.

1939 | Florida association forms, becoming the first Key Club district.

1943 | Key Club movement achieves “International” designation. Delegates to the first Key Club convention formally vote to form the International Association of Key Clubs, electing Malcolm Lewis the first president.

POP UP FACT | Malcolm Lewis spoke at the 53rd Annual Key Club International Convention in Miami, Florida, in 1996.

1946 | In New Orleans, Louisiana, 250 delegates to the 3rd Annual Key Club International Convention adopt a new constitution and bylaws. Major Emphasis Program “Children: Their Future, Our Focus” is developed.

May 1946 | The first issue of the Keynoter magazine is published.

POP UP FACT | The name of the official Key Club magazine has changed just once in more than 60 years. In 2006,
Keynoter became Key Club.

December 1946 | The first Key Club Week is observed.

December 1952 | The 1,000th club is chartered.

1957 | In Washington, D.C., the 14th annual convention features a “boyish popular” U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts. When the future U.S. president enters the convention hall, delegates storm him with banners bearing
his state’s name.

May 1967 | The first Key Club outside the United States and Canada is chartered, at Government High School in Nassau, Bahamas.

1968 | 2,610 members attend the Key Club International convention.

1977 | Female students are admitted into Key Club.

1987 | Kiwanis allows females to become members.

1991 | Michelle McMillen is the first female to be elected Key Club International president.

POP UP FACT | Current Key Club International President Abigail McKamey is only the fifth female to serve as
international president.

1992 | Key Club’s membership reaches 146,972 members in 4,013 clubs in 17 nations.

1997 | Key Club launches its first Web site.

POP UP FACT | The Web site’s design has changed at least four times: in 2002, in 2004, in 2005 and in 2008.
Stay tuned for a new Web site design coming mid-2010.

October 1998 | Key Clubs raise more than $1.2 million for UNICEF to fight iodine deficiency disorders during Kiwanis International’s first Worldwide Service Project.

1998 | The first Key Club strategic plan is developed.

1999 | Membership tops the 200,000 mark.

2000 | Key Club celebrates its 75th anniversary.

2005 | Key Club’s membership reaches 243,422.

2008 | Key Club members raise more than $1.3 million to fight HIV/AIDS in Swaziland.

October 2009 | Key Clubs are in 30 countries, with a membership of 249,619 in 5,016 clubs.