The Hillsboro Kiwanis Club, a local of Kiwanis International and a club dedicated to service to community, was seeded and nurtured by three dedicated men fifty years ago and still thrives as one of Hillsboro's most active community service
organizations. It is said that "Kiwanis is not something you join, it's something you do!"
Five men, Dale Scheller, a local dairy farmer; Jack Murton, Kiwanis district lieutenant governor and from the Gresham Kiwanis Club; Bob Gales, Beaverton Kiwanis president; and two Hillsboro bankers - Lew Glass of the Commercial Bank and Bill Huneger of the 1st National, met in a room on the second floor of Glass' bank on the corner of 2nd and Main. It was early September of 1953. September...a good traditional time to start something new: new school year, new football season, new harvest...a perfect time to start a new club.
November 30, 1953 is the official club date for organization. Twenty-five men met (Kiwanis was a men only club in those years) on a Tuesday evening at Chuck's Restaurant on 1st and Baseline. Tuesday has been the weekly meeting night for the club's entire history. CHARTER NIGHT was February 15, 1954. A significantly large crowd of 180 people assembled at St. Matthews School for dinner. The Beaverton Kiwanis Club was the official sponsor for the Hillsboro chartering. The first officers installed were Dale Scheller, president; Lou Glass, vice president; and William Huneger, secretary-treasurer. There were twenty-nine charter members.
The first meeting began with the singing of "America," and "O Canada," which is sung because Northwest Canada is part of the same Pacific Northwest District. Meetings still begin with those songs. But on that night, the evening ended with the additional singing of "Cruising Down the River," "Home on the Range," and "The Band Played On." No records exist if the singing was on key, sometimes a problem at current meetings.
President Dale Scheller led the inauguration of the first community service project with the establishment of the "Strawberry Days" Festival. This was the forerunner for what became known as "Western Days," which since has been replaced by the Farmers' Markets held Saturday mornings and Tuesday evenings.
With $20 seed money, Charlie Graham and Malcolm Blohn started the pancake breakfast in 1967.
Also that first year, the quite ambitious President Scheller had a March of Dimes sidewalk event to raise funds for that cause. He was also the key man to sponsor the Washington County Dairy Princess contest, a natural for a dairy farmer. The club still sponsors that event.
Key Clubs are high school clubs sponsored by Kiwanis. The Glencoe High School club was chartered on the night of the Hillsboro Kiwanis' 35th Anniversary, November 29, 1988. The Key Club at Hillsboro High School which started in 1978 was started again during the school year 1993-94 and the new Century High School started a club its first year, 1996-97.