This is the third in a series of features exploring the world of service club organizations. They all have familiar names, but do you know what they really do? The name of each service club organization may evoke a particular memory from your past that describes what you think is their main activity in the community. This series will examine aspects of these groups that may not be as well-known to all of us but are very important to the people they serve.
How did it all start? Again, the explanation is not so simple. Active 20-30 International had a rather unusual start in 1922. Two young men in different states found the need for a service club for younger men. They found the other service clubs were populated by older men and their leadership was comprised of even older men. The Active International was started in Aberdeen, Washington while 20-30 International began in Sacramento, California. Both groups were charter members of the World Council of Young Men’s Service Clubs (WOCO). In 1959 Norm Morrison, President of 20-30, and Ken Helling, President of Active, wrote back and forth with each other discussing the proposal that the two pretty much identical young men’s service clubs merge into one organization. After meetings between the two groups they came up with a proposed Constitution and Resolution that was presented at both group’s conventions in 1960. The 20-30 International convention was held in Santa Cruz, California while the Active International convention was held in Calgary, Alberta Canada a month later. Both groups unanimously adopted the resolutions. Thus, the Active 20-30 was officially born on August 1, 1960. Their first official convention was held in Tucson, Arizona July 10-14 1961 when they formally approved the constitution and bylaws. They selected four major projects including Keys in the Car, Aid to Scouting, Public Speaking, and Rheumatic Fever. In 1975 the new International Charity Foundation was adopted to replace Rheumatic Fever. In 1982 the Active 20-30 United States and Canada was formed.
“The Eugene Based Active 20-30 Club was founded in 1927 and focused on serviceable citizenship in the community of Oregon’s Lane County, while improving the quality of life for special needs children.” The members of the Eugene Active 20-30 Club donate tens of thousands of hours each year in order to help raise money for the children’s charities in Lane County. The club helps the community in three ways. 1) Staff projects held by other children’s organizations to help them raise money. 2) Hands on projects where they work directly with children. 3) Staff projects put on by the club in order to raise money that is redistributed to the dozens of local charities that they help fund.
Many of us know about the Eugene Active 20-30 Club because of their spectacular fireworks displays for Freedom Festival for the Independence Day celebration.
One of the Eugene Active 20-30 Club’s most recent projects was their annual “Coats For Kids” where they collect Winter coats for needy kids. For the 2013 project they more than doubled the previous year’s collection with 1,500 coats that were distributed to the children.
The “Children’s Shopping Spree” is another event the club is proud to hold. Local children in need get to go on a shopping spree for back-to-school supplies and clothing with $100 to spend. In 2012 40 youngsters from three local non-profit agencies (Women’s Space, Birth to Three, and Candlelighters for Children with Cancer) benefitted from the project. The 2013 Children’s Shopping Spree was sponsored by donors and participants of the Active 20-30 Putt Putt Tourney that was held in May.
Some of the other projects of the Eugene Active 20-30 Club are the Springfield Children’s Parade, Candlelighter’s Christmas Party, the Buzz Saw Ball and Auction, Children’s Charity Raffle, Parenting now flyers provided for new parents.
The Giving Tree, where 2,500 gifts were donated for needy kids, was a great success. The Club members also participate in the annual Christmas Tree Pick Up helping area residents properly dispose of their discarded Christmas trees. With the help of sponsors they provided 28 Christmas trees for the Pearl Buck youngsters. Another money-making project is the “Duck Pen” where the members give valet service for over 2,000 bicycle riders at the U of O home football games. With the help of sponsors they collected $12,000 for 2013. Other interesting events are their blood drive with the Lane Blood Bank and Hop Valley called “Give Pint Get a Pint” and the “5-K On The Runway” at the Eugene Airport. Cesar E. Chavez school garden work party takes place 4-times a year as members get to dig in the dirt to help out.
Special thanks to Rogelio Cassol, current President of the Eugene Active 20-30 Club, for his assistance in researching their organization.
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