Kiwanis Club of Orlando Celebrates 100 years of helping kids

Dueling Dragons Dragon Boat
Dueling Dragons competitors get ready to do ‘battle’ on Lake Fairview. Sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Orlando, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2021, the Dueling Dragons program pairs inner city youth and Orlando Police Department officers—serving as mentors—in dragon boats in a year-long racing program. They travel to and compete in regattas around the country.

Orlando, FL- The Kiwanis Club of Orlando (, one of Central Florida’s most active, involved community service organizations, will be celebrating 100 years of helping children on October 1.

Children's Christmas Party 2
Smiling children wait in line to see Santa Claus—and get gifts—at the Kiwanis Club of Orlando’s annual children’s Christmas Party. Since 1948 the club, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2021, has treated more than 7,000 inner-city children to lunch and a day with Santa.

“Throughout its history, the Kiwanis Club of Orlando (KCO) has supported children with its time, talent, and treasure,” said Florida Kiwanis Governor Mary-Lynn Desjarlais. “Its members serve on local boards, conduct community service projects, and raise funds for organizations that serve children.  This club is the essence of Kiwanis.”

The club, which has contributed more than $7.5 million to community organizations in addition to countless thousands of hours of volunteer time, will celebrate its century of service throughout its 100th year—which began October 1—with a wide variety of special events.  The KCO 100-Year Anniversary Gala will culminate with a fund-raising gala, September 18, 2021, at a Central Florida golf club.

4 R Foundation Grant Kids
Students at Ocoee High School smile as they see the ‘fruits’ of their labor as they learn about growing plants, fruits and vegetables through the 4 R Foundation. The goal of the Foundation is to encourage Orange County Public School students to set their sights on careers as farmers, business owners and industry leaders in agriculture. The Kiwanis Club of Orlando, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2021, has made a $100,000 grant to the 4R Foundation to expand its program to Edgewater High School. Since its inception in 1921 the Kiwanis Club of Orlando has contributed more than $7.5 million to Central Florida community organizations.

At the highlight of the gala, KCO’s Foundation will award grants totaling $160,000. Four community organizations—from 65 nominated by KCO members—will receive grants.  One organization will receive $100,000 and three will receive $20,000 each.

“All the organizations nominated are outstanding, community groups worthy of the $100,000 grant,” said KCO President Jeff Cox. “Our Foundation has quite a job ahead of them narrowing the field down.”

The club is a member of Kiwanis International, one of the world’s largest service organizations with more than 551,000 members in more than 80 nations. During legacy of service, KCO and its Foundation have enjoyed partnerships with numerous organizations that serve children and youth. Its partnership with the Orlando Day Nursery—where KCO’s weekly meetings are held—began in 1922 and emphasizes its primary mission of helping children.

For more information on the Kiwanis Club of Orlando and/or gala sponsorship information, contact Steve Kirby at (407)-756-6430.