Hillsboro Kiwanis Club members and the community celebrated 60 years of public service this month.

The club’s anniversary celebration gathered current, past and incoming members to share stories, memories, photos, laughter and ideas with locals and out-of-towners.

In 1954, 180 people assembled at St. Matthew Catholic School for dinner with the Beaverton Kiwanis Club, the official sponsor for the Hillsboro chartering. Dale Scheller was installed as president; Lou Glass as vice president; and William Huneger as secretary-treasurer — they were the first Hillsboro Kiwanis club officers along with 29 charter members.

In 1987, the all-male group invited women to join the club, which longtime member Thim Baker said eventually saved the organization by keeping membership up.

The club currently has 30 members and is always looking for new ones. Meetings are held Tuesdays at 6:15 p.m. at Coyote’s Bar and Grill, 5301 Baseline Road in Hillsboro. The first and third Tuesday meetings feature guest speakers, while on the second and fourth Tuesdays they hold board meetings.

“There’s nothing better than to give yourself to your community,” Baker said. “It’s about the camaraderie, friendships and bonds we form.”

Currently, the club participates in numerous service projects, and members are invited to participate in one or all. Among others, here are a few:

n The Kiwanis Club started Key Clubs — service clubs — in local high schools, which they continue to partner closely with for various projects such as raking leaves for the elderly.

“They really train our youngsters to do good in the community,” Baker said.

n Over the years, Hillsboro Kiwanis has donated more than $1 million to the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital cancer fund.

n They help support the Mount Hood Kiwanis Camp for special needs students, who can stay there during the summer to work with Portland State University students. They raise funds for the camp and to offer scholarships. They also help clean up and secure the grounds for the season.

n Members organize a fishing trip for special needs kids to Henry Hagg Lake each September, with professional fishermen as guides. They provide a barbecue in partnership with the Forest Grove Kiwanis Club.

n Kiwanis members raise funds for scholarships for Hillsboro School District students in various ways, including a Christmas tree disposal drive and an annual pancake breakfast before the Hillsboro Fourth of July parade.

n Kiwanis club members nationwide collect old prescription lenses to give to various local eye clinics, where they are reformed for those who cannot afford new glasses.

n Members raise money to donate to the Hillsboro Police Department so they can purchase bike helmets for kids who can’t afford them.

n They work with the police to paint over graffiti around town.

n They also provide many hours of volunteer service for organizations such as SOLV, the Oregon Food Bank and Habitat for Humanity.

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