Club History

This document is dedicated to the man who I took over the editing duties from, Robert B. Neely, Jr. Bob was a member of the Kiwanis Club of Glenshaw from August 1946 until his death in January 2009. For sixty-three years he not only lived and participated in the events described here, he also had the foresight to document them. Because of his efforts, those of us who did not have the opportunity to participate in these activities at least have the opportunity to remember them.

Thank you, Bob, you are greatly missed.

The Kiwanis Club of Glenshaw was chartered June 11, 1945 in the Glenshaw Presbyterian Church with the Kiwanis Club of Springdale as its sponsor. There were 107 members during the first year. Willard Lange was the first president, followed by Ralph Hunter January 1, 194

The club's first main objective was underprivileged children, for which it had a Christmas party every year. Each child was picked up and transported to the meeting by a Kiwanian. A turkey dinner was served and each child was presented with a gift from Santa. When they were taken home, several presents for each child were left for Christmas morning, plus food for the entire family. Usually there were 100 plus at the party.

The club's first project was to replace all the twenty-six cribs at the Zoar Home. Other early projects were Tiny Tim Fund for Shoes and immediate need for clothing. Under the control of Willard Lange was the Donny Newman Fund for a young boy who lost a leg in a car accident involving a driver with no insurance. The leg had to be replaced every so often as he grew. A young girl with a rare hemorrhagic disease was sent to Cincinnati for diagnosing, then to New York City for treatment by a doctor whom the New York Club secured for no charge.

The Glenshaw and Pittsburgh Clubs brought the Gumball Machine project to this area after the 1947 Chicago Convention. All moneys made were to go into the Project Fund. In 1948, the first Pontiac car raffle was held. The Club won first place in the Orange Division, which meant it was the best club for its size in Pennsylvania for the 1948 year.

In 1948 a Key Club was organized and a free musical concert was presented. In 1950 buses were provided to take children to North Park Pool with no charge to the children. These projects were financed mostly by shows, such as the Duquesne Tamboritzans, Slim Bryant and his Wildcats, a hypnotist, and an advertisement program at all shows. A bicycle inspection was held each spring with Kiwanians repairing brakes, tires, reflectors, etc.

The Club's next big project was starting Boys Baseball. First came the High School age and then Little League. The popularity of baseball soon created a problem of fields, which led to the Club looking for property on which to put more. Bob Dick, a club member and real estate agent, came up with a twenty-seven acre farm off Wetzel Road. The Club took an option on the property and, after much deliberation and meetings, purchased it with a loan from Provident Trust Company. The property was deeded July 9, 1951 for a total of $17,206. The mortgage was for $8,600. $1,500 was borrowed from the Club's Initiation Fund, local businessmen donated $2,625 and individuals donated $1,261.50. John MacKenzie was the president during this property negotiation.

This started many years of Cadillac raffles, Carnivals and even a Circus, and Broom Sales. The Association for the Blind was in danger of going under due to the lack of sales. When Kiwanis became aware of their plight they set up a Broom, Mop, Mat, Etc. Sale. Neely's basement was loaded wall to wall with cleaning equipment from the Blind. The following year the Club had purchased the park, and the barn on the property was used as a warehouse. The sales were a lot of work, but the effort started the Blind Association back into business as many other Service Clubs picked up the idea. As our Club got smaller and the men older, the project was dropped.

In 1951 work was started on the Park, which had been named Kiwanis Park. The property contained a farmhouse in which a caretaker was placed and a barn. The Club members worked every free hour, building two picnic shelters, tables, skating pond, horseshoe pits and a tots' playground. Contractors were hired to level areas for two ball fields, build a sanitary facilities building and sewer lines. Later three tennis courts were built and a Scout Cabin constructed from telephone poles. During the building of Route 28 585,000 tons of fill was brought to the Park to greatly enlarge level areas.

When Jeffrey School was to be built, the School Board needed 2.2 acres to meet the state code. After much hassle and threats of Eminent Domain proceedings, the Club sold the needed ground with the promise that the area would be left for recreation. Over the years, it is estimated that the Club put over $87,000 into the park.

In 1962, the Club moved to St. Bonaventure Church for meetings, as the rent at Glenshaw Presbyterian Church became too high. In 1963, the Club started a Band Competition that was such a success the School Board took it over from us.

In 1964-65 the Township Commissioners decided to start into recreation and approached the Club to purchase the Park. The Park was becoming a heavy burden financially and the Club decided to give it to the Township as a gift. The Commissioners would not accept it as such; so future commissioners would have to keep it up, so a settlement of $20,000 was agreed upon, plus some other conditions. The Township would not use any part as a dump, garbage or other storage area, and would develop it further. The Township also formed a Recreational Committee consisting of two Club members (Vince Leatherby and Bob Neely) as Co-Chairmen, two Commissioners, and two School Board members. The Park today is the result of this group's work.

When the pool was finished and opened, the Club asked to bid as Concessionaires on a 60-40 basis. The Club received 60%, and the Township furnished the facilities and received 40%. The agreement was to last as long as the Club was interested. Our first year netted $785.

The Township Recreation Committee started to expand recreational areas through the Township. The State of Pennsylvania owned one area, now known as Falls Run Park. When the Club accepted the $20,000 from the Township for Kiwanis Park, it was stipulated by the Club that the land would be for recreation only. The Township could not purchase the Falls Run property, as it had been a gift to the state by Judge Miller as a Bird Sanctuary. But the state could trade the Fall Run property acre for acre for the same use. A piece of property was found in Greene County abutting State Game Lands. The Township could not purchase property so far out of Shaler Township, so the Club purchased the Greene County property and made the switch with the State, and then the Township purchased the Falls Run property from Kiwanis and developed it as a park. Unknown to many, Falls Run area has flowers and fossils found only much further to the north. It is believed to be an area where a glacier stopped.

During the new park development the Scout Cabin was burned by vandals and, due to a lack of interest, was never rebuilt.

Due to the loss of our head cook at St. Bonaventure, the Club was forced to move to the Inn in the Shopping Center, which was found too noisy to hold good meetings. The Building and Loan was contacted, and we secured the use of the community room. In order to have a dinner; we contracted with McSorley's for catering. In 1980, after several years and some not-so-good meals, we were lucky to find Molly Missey, and the Club is still enjoying her cooking at the present time. In 1993 Laurel Savings needed to convert their community room to a storage area. After investigating several possible locations, we moved to Undercliff Fire Department. After several years at Undercliff, we moved full circle and returned to the Glenshaw Presbyterian Church, our present meeting location.

In the early years of the Club, we had a Ladies Night twice a year and an annual Club picnic at North Park for members and families. With the fall-off of membership, many of the social affairs have had to be curtailed. Our 25th Anniversary Party was held at Long Vue Country Club. Our 50th anniversary was celebrated with a dinner cruise aboard the Gateway Clipper Fleet.

We had a disaster when our Treasurer decided to go into business for himself with the Club's Bank and Savings and Loan accounts. Allegheny Valley Bank made all of the falsified checks good. The Savings and Loan insurance would not cover theirs, but they have made most of it up by giving extra donations every time we have a fund raising project. This had occurred during a year that the Board of Kiwanis had not insisted on bonding the officers.

During all of the previous years we still kept up with our free clothes, glasses, dental work, shoes for the needy, and pledged $1,000 to the "Hut," a project of the Shaler Youth Group. The Club helped in the start of Troop 154 Boy Scouts, 154 Explorer and 154 Cub Scouts, Little League, Pony and Jr. Baseball, Girls Pony Tail and the Canteen.

We now sponsor Christmas clothing and gifts for school children with the school nurses furnishing us the names of the needy and shopping is done at a local store.

In 1980 the Kiwanis met with numerous community groups to facilitate the addition to the Shaler North Hills Library. With the help and support of nearly every local organization, the addition became a reality without any assistance from township funds. We continue our commitment to the library with annual donations to the Harry Best Toy Corner and special contributions such as the Bill Crawford Children’s Classics Collection.

During the disastrous flood of 1986, the Kiwanis Club was asked to organize the relief effort and immediately procured and distributed over 150 new hot water heaters to needy households.

The Homer Wallace Scholarship was started to honor Dr. Homer Wallace, one of the Club’s charter members, and continues in his memory. The Scholarship awards $1,500 annually to help a worthy student in some form of medical-type schooling. Past Scholarship award winners have been aspiring doctors, physical therapists and nurses.

In 1990 the Club made a four-year commitment to award a Business Scholarship for $1,000 per year. Our scholarship winner graduated in 1994 and has gone on to his career.

In 1992 the Club became the Charter sponsor of the Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) program at the middle school. The RIF program provides new books for children to own, thereby encouraging reading. We have also provided support of the RIF program at Jeffrey School. The Club has also been pleased to assist the Shaler Police in their D.A.R.E. drug education program in the Shaler School District.

The Club still manages the refreshment stand in Kiwanis Park as our major fundraiser, hiring high school and college students to work at the stand.

In 1986, our first Annual Pancake Breakfast was held to cover a specific project each year. The breakfast has now become a semi-annual event and has proven to be to be a steady fundraiser and enjoyable for both customers and members.

Over the years we have had the honor of having seven Lieutenant Governors elected from our Club:

John MacKenzie 1951
Frank R. Segina 1969-1970, 1970-1971
Allen J. Brodsky 1986-1987
Paul W. Garrett, Jr. 1989-1990, 1990-1991
Robert G. Marko 2000-2001
Dale L. Brackin 2001-2002, 2002-2003
Sandra L. Brackin 2005-2006, 2012-2013, 2013-2014

Bob Neely was Pennsylvania District Membership Chairman in the 1950s.

The Kiwanis Club of Glenshaw had the very first District Trustee elected in Region II, Pennsylvania District and the world. Dale L. Brackin served two years of a three year term from October 2004 to November 2006, when he resigned due to health problems.

Dale L. Brackin served as President of the Kiwanis Conference of Western Pennsylvania from October 1, 2002 to September 30, 2005 and from October 1, 2010 to September 30, 2015.

Dale was appointed by Governor John Burke as PA District Education Co-Chair for the 2008-2009 administrative year.  He was appointed by Governor Bruce Eberly as PA District Webmaster for the 2012-3013 administrative year.

Dale was elected to the Pennsylvania Kiwanis Foundation Board for two terms, from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2013 and served as Foundation President for two years from October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2013.  Dale was again elected to the Foundation Board for the period October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2017.  He was appointed Treasurer for the years 2013-2017.

Past Presidents
1945 Willard L. Lange 1970 Charles A. Smullin 1995 William J. Schofield III
1946 Ralph W. Hunter 1971 Louis J. Letterle 1996 Robert G. Marko
1947 Ronald R. States 1972 Frank Fischer 1997 Jerry R. Starr
1948 Ray E. Weaver 1973 Wilbert Griffith 1998 Robert G. Marko
1949 J. Harper Jackson 1974 Alex Nickel 1999 Frank R. Perman
1950 John M. Mackenzie 1975 Vaughn M. Campbell 2000 Frank R. Segina
1951 Robert B. Neely, Jr. 1976 Jerry W. Barrho 2001 John P. DelSignore
1952 Henry A. Ball 1977 John F. Schonder 2002 John F. Schonder
1953 Vincent C. Leatherby 1978 William J. Schofield III 2003 Maximilian Mavrovic
1954 Victor H. Shepherd 1979 Thomas J. Bachman 2004 Sandra L. Brackin
1955 George F. Hoburg 1980 Glenn C. Williams 2005 James E. Fries
1956 Leo J. Schmitt, Jr. 1981 Richard R. Cessar, Jr. 2006 Frank R. Perman
1957 Robert N. Goss 1982 Joseph H. Kobus 2007 James W. Young, Jr.
1958 John W. Nickum 1983 James W. Young, Jr. 2008 Sandra L. Brackin
1959 Walter E. Kurth 1984 Allan J. Brodsky 2009 Maximilian Mavrovic
1960 Robert E. Ammon 1985 John F. Schonder 2010 Patricia Hughes
1961 Karl W. Gundlach 1986 James L. Fisher 2011 Sara A. Muckian
1962 L. David Weir 1987 John L. Johnston, Jr. 2012 Nancy C. Young
1963 Glenn C. Williams 1988 Joseph Lazor 2013 Nancy C. Young 
1964 Paul W. Garrett, Jr. 1989 Arthur L. Weber 2014  Dale L. Brackin
1965 Robert Bleil 1990 Frank R. Segina 2015 Robert G. Marko
1966 Fred J. Zbasnik 1991 George B. Leaver 2016 Sandra L. Brackin
1967 Frank R. Segina 1992 Dale L. Brackin  2017 Robert G. Marko
1968 Erwin Betz 1993 Joette L. Miller  2018  Dale L. Brackin
1969 Alvin Schafe 1994 Samuel A. Bennardo 2019 Robert G. Marko

We believe that as Kiwanians we live up to our motto:
“Serving the children of the world"


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