The credit for the organization of the Kiwanis Club of Manassas, Virginia, is due to Mr. G. Raymond Rateliffe. We had a Business Men's League, a Retail Merchants' Association and other organizations of the kind that blazed up, burned more or less brilliantly for a while and died without accomplishing much.
Mr. Ratcliffe, while attending a meeting of the Virginia Bankers' Association at Roanoke in June, 1923, was invited to a meeting of the Rotarians and was immediately inspired with the idea of having such a club at Manassas. After studying the situation, he decided that a Kiwanis club would be more practical for us on account of their more liberal classification of membership and at once set about the signing up of a list of applicants.
Finally the Alexandria Kiwanis Club came up and started us off with a fine meeting on October 24, 1924, and we having been going full steam ahead ever since. Merle E. Towner, District Governor, and a committee from the Alexandria Club visited us on Ladies' Night, December 4, 1924, and presented us with our charter and a beautiful Kiwanis banner from our parent club in Alexandria.
Officers until January 1 1926
While ours is a small club, we have a close, enthusiastic and harmoniously working organization of 41 members and have accomplished something, perhaps the greatest of which is getting the business men of the town to work together in a friendly spirit.
We attended to our duties as a member of the Capital District, always having representatives at the District meetings, both conferences and conventions and sent a delegate to the International Convention in Montreal.
Among the things which we have done for the good of the community have been: meetings in different parts of the county to acquaint others with Kiwanis; supplied Christmas cheer for the unfortunate. Dr. E. H. Marsteller, Chairman of the Underprivileged Child Committee, has done splendid work with the assistance of the club. We sent a number of crippled children to the hospital at Richmond and the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. A number of undernourished children were provided with a well balanced luncheon each day of the winter at the public school. About 500 luncheons were served them at the expense of the Kiwanians and the results were most gratifying. About 30 children were sent to Georgetown Hospital in Washington for work on their throats and noses, the work being done by Dr. Fred Schreiber without charge, the Kiwanis Club paying the hospital charge.
We helped put across a bond issue for a new and much needed high school building.
We have held Ladies' Nights about three times a year and have had successful and largely attended meetings. The last one was unusual as the committee turned the program over to the wives of the Kiwanians and they furnished a very entertaining evening.
The club furnished and erected many highway signs over the county, giving directions and distances from outlying points to Manassas and greetings from the Kiwanis Club.
One of the best things we have accomplished for Manassas has been to bring about a better understanding and a closer co-operation with the farmers of Prince William County. Our farmers meetings have been very successful. At these meetings each member of the club is expected to bring one or mare farmers as his guests, and the programs were especially designed to entertain the farmer visitors.
We have entertained many guests during our existence, among them being Merle E. Towner of Baltimore, J. Randall Caton, Julian Y. Williams, Harry B. Caton and Kenneth W. Ogden of Alexandria, R. Walton Moore and Harry G. Kimball.
Almost every issue of importance to the town has been discussed first before the Kiwanis Club until we are ready to agree with the headline of an editorial that appeared in the Manassas Journal, which said, A new spirit has come to Manassas. It is Kiwanis.
The year was a very successful one of the club. While the membership remained at about the same figure, the attendance for the year showed a marked increase, especially towards the last of the year. This was due to two things: First, dropping members who were indifferent and then taking in their places men who would take an interest in the work of the club and, secondly, our increased activities.
We entertained a number of notable visitors during the year, among others, District Governor Merle E. Towner, Captain Grant Williams of the New York Police Department, Mark Lansburgh, President of the Washington Club; Harry G. Kimball, Distirict Historian; Dr. Tisdale of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, W. H. Montgomery of Richmond, John McGill of Washington and General William Mitchell of Middleberg. All of these gentlemen, as well as a number of others, delivered addresses to regular meetings of the club.
The Underprivileged Child Committee was probably the most active of the committees. This committee arranged to have fifteen children supplied with hot lunches every school day during January and February with most excellent results. They took twenty-one children to Washington hospitals for tonsil operations, paid a $150 hospital bill for a crippled girl, bought a brace for another, and sent still another to the hospital where she is still being treated but will, in all probability, be entirely cured of what was apparently a totally helpless condition.
We had two Ladies' Nights, both of which were largely attended and thoroughly enjoyed. We also had two Farmers' Nights, at which addresses were made by agricultural experts. These meetings were well attended and quite worthwhile. We held a Fathers' and Sons' meeting which was one of the best attended meetings of the year and a success. We entertained the faculty of the high school and heard a discussion of their problems at first hand.
We sent representatives to all of the District meetings and to the International Convention at Montreal. We fell down on the Inter-Club meeting at Fredericksburg when the Washington, Alexandria and Manassas Clubs were guests, because our county schools had a celebration on the same day and our merchant members were unable to go to Fredericksburg.
We met twice during the year with our county neighbors, Sudley and Bethyl, and in both cases had interesting and well attended meetings.
We arranged for a special train to carry citizens of the county to Charlottesville to meet the State Highway Commission in an endeavor to get them to complete the link of road between Manassas and the Lee Highway. We were partly successful but were especially gratified that 150 of us could pull together.
We held a very successful Christmas celebration, all of which was due to the interest, energy and ideas of Fred Hynson. He collected all the broken toys that the people of the town had and, enlisting the help of some idle Kiwanians, he repaired, repainted and generally made new and acceptable gifts of them for the poor children of the community. Also he collected funds with which he bought confections to go to all the children Who attended the union service held at the Kiwanis Community Christmas Tree. About one hundred and seventy children were thus made happy.
Altogether, we feel that we had a very successful year and that the Kiwanians have a more friendly feeling for each other and that all take a more active interest in the community and in the welfare of each other.
Early in the year we raise funds for our Underprivileged Child City officials were guests of the club. Served hot lunches to needy school children during the cold weather. Held a picnic for the boys and girls of the Northern Virginia H Clubs.
We appropriated funds for the country nurse salary. Secure a Town Manager form of government. We secured the endorsement of the Town Council, drew up the petition to the court, held a mass meeting to crystal sentiment in favor of it and worked in the election by which it was adopted. We sent a committee to appear before the State Highway Commission in the interest of Centerville Road. Appointed a committee to co-operate with the citizens of Fredericksburg in arranging for a pageant at the official opening of the Richmond Washington Highway, and took part in these ceremonies.
Money was appropriated for the relief of the Mississippi flood sufferers. A prize was given for proficiency in the high school. We were active in a letter advertising program and induced the railroad to repair the town crossing. Work was done to secure a landing field. We co-operated with the State Highway Commission in locating Route 28 through Manassas. Needy children received a visit from Santa Claus and we assisted in arranging for the community Christmas services.
The best piece of work done during that year was in the matter of the county nurse. Public sentiment was decidedly lukewarm on this question. The movement was initiated by the Kiwanis Club and was largely brought to a conclusion through the efforts of a single Kiwanian, Doctor E. H. Marstellar, Chairman of our Underprivileged Child Committee. He did, however, have some real assistance from Kiwanian Richard Hayden. The services of the county nurse were secured largely through private subscriptions and through help from the Red Cross, the Kiwanis Club, and the State. Fortunately, Doctor Marstellar was able to secure the services of a nurse and in the course of the year she showed herself to be so indispensable to the county that the supervisors have now made her a regular county official on the county payroll. While it may not seem much of an achievement in this community. Great credit should be given to Doctor Marstellar and to Mr. Hayden.
In February we agreed to co-operate in the underprivileged child publicity work.
In September we assisted in a dental clinic.
We planted trees as a memorial to those who lost their lives in the world war. A shelf in the public library was assigned to us to be kept filled with good books.
We had a cross-country road listed in the State system and attended a State Highway Commission meeting.
Public health work and an effort to attract new industries to Manassas both received our attention. We co-operated in securing a competent town manager. A committee helped in the re-organization and re-equipment of the Manassas Fire Department.
District Anniversary in Washington on August 29.
We agreed to enter the efficiency contest, wrote essays on "Why I am a Kiwanian," heard a splendid address by Mr. Terrell. A large delegation from Washington visited us in April and we returned the visit in May. We were, also represented at the Children's Home Society of Virginia, delivered toys and other presents to 150 needy children at Christmas, and took part in a successful community Christmas celebration.
We co-operated with the Chamber of Commerce of Fairfax, Virginia, in an effort to secure the completion of a road between Manassas and Centerville. A committee attended a meeting of the Road Commissioners at Charlottesville. We wanted to secure better service from the express and telegraph companies. We endorsed the organization of a County Chamber of Commerce. A large sign to aid aviators was painted on the roof of R. S. Hynson Dept. Store.
Work in Vocational Guidance and Placement was undertaken. We pledged aid to the citizens of Wakefield and Catlett after the tornado disaster to those communities. Dr. Johnson, President of the Lee Highway Association, spoke to us telling of the plans of the association. A delegation attended the Fairfax County Fair. Mr. Charles Pickett spoke on the constitution, as did Vice-President Bob Hutcheson. Moral support was pledged to the attempt to get a chemical company to locate here.
Governor Kimball and 14 from Washington visited us on March 22, and initiated two new members of the club as "Kiwanisonians." During Inter-Club Week, we were at the Alexandria meeting. A delegation attended Washington on April 29, in honor of International President 0. Sam Cummings. We were represented in Baltimore at the dinner given the Past International Presidents.
Kiwanians helped to make the meeting of 4-H children more profitable by taking them to the Manassas battlefields. Our Fifth Anniversary was celebrated with LG-Elect Edwin F. Hill as the speaker. At Christmas, gifts were distributed to about one hundred and fifty children throughout the county.
Adopted for this year-Under-privileged Child Work, and Vocational Guidance.
In the former, it was decided to work for the removal of adenoids and diseased tonsils from the children of the county. The committee made a canvass and found that there were in the county 574 children suffering from these troubles, of whom 172 were unable to pay for operations. It was decided that we would take care of 100 of these cases for the year, which was done. At first it was planned to use the buildings of the Swavely School, of which Past President Eli Swavely is Principal, for the treatment of these cases, as Manassas lacks hospital facilities. The Alexandria and Washington clubs, however, used their good offices so that the children were sent to the hospitals in these two cities for the necessary operations and care. This action was successful without exception. Lectures were given by Kiwanian Swavely at Manassas and Occoquan.
Until this year, this club had done nothing in Vocational Guidance. A committee was appointed with Kiwanian R. C. Hayden, County Superintendent of Schools, as Chairman. Splendid work was done bv this committee in arranging for addresses to the school children on various vocations, which were followed by round-table talks.
The club was active in the matter of getting allocations for good roads and seeing that they were used where they would do the most good.
LTG Hill accompanied by a Washington delegation, visited the club on March 7, while on Canadian Night, President James B. Edmunds and other Washingtonians visited us and presented a Canadian flag to the club and Kiwanis buttons to all the members. All-Kiwanis Night was observed. Governor Binford paid us a visit in August, at which time an open air meeting was held at the Swavely School.
Farmers' Night was celebrated with a large number of guests, including a delegation from Washington, among whom were LTG Hill, Past Governor Kimball, and Dewev Zirkin, Chairman of the District Committee on Vocational Guidance. A delegation attended the DiviSion Meeting held in Washington (luring Constitution Week. We cooperated in the matter of securing a community chest organization. A Ladies Night in November, with visitors from Washington and Alexandria was very enjoyable.
A committee was appointed to work out a plan for the planting of about five acres of trees in 1932 in commemoration of tile two hundredth anniversarv of the birth of George Washington.
The poor of the community were substantially remembered at Christmas.
Kiwanis Anniversary was observed.
The County School Board, supervisors and teachers were guests of the club. We continued to serve hot lunches to about So undernourished children in public schools. Transportation was furnished children to the clinic.The Volunteer Fire Department was entertained by us.
A large delegation from Alexandria visited us and presented the program. On another occasion, Washington gave a Kiwanis Education program.
We cooperated with, the Women's Club in giving a (lance, 75% of the proceeds going to our Under-privileged Child Work. A boy was sent to the hospital for the removal of tonsils and adenoids and we kept a tubercular girl in a sanatorium.
The principals, faculty and graduates of all the county high schools were our guests. 70% of the club attended an inter club in Fredericksburg.
Our TB Clinic was held weekly for 3 months.
Cooperated with the Piedmont Dairy Festival Association in organizing and putting on the first dairy festival ever held in Manassas.
Host to Fredericksburg, Winchester, Arlington, and Washington, the last named club supplying the program. Fifteen members attended Fredericksburg, 11 members attended the Training School in Washington and met with that club at its regular luncheon.
Our Public Affairs Committee attended a meeting of the State Highway Commission to secure funds for county roads.
308 packages containing toys, nuts, candy and fruit were distributed to deserving children at Christrnas.
Treated 130 Under-privileged Children including 80 T. and A. operations, 30 for defective vision, and 4 operations at the Orthopedic Clinic. Five mothers were hospitalization. One program was devoted entirely to Under-privileged Child Work. Delivered 169 Christmas packages over snow-drifted roads where many of the deliveries had to be made on horseback.
Promoted and completed the organization of a Boy Scout Troop, entertained the high school senior class and the faculty at luncheon. Held a meeting with the 4-H Clubs at Occaquon at which the 4-H Clubs served them supper. A joint meeting with the Farmers Club was held in the country, and on July Fourth, the farmers were guests.
The Public Affairs Committee made a study of the town's budget in an effort to retain the city nurse. The club put on a Fire Prevention program at which the Fire Department was the guest of the club, and it entered a Kiwanis float in the Piedmont Dairy Festival Parade.
The club was represented by a large delegation at the celebration of the l5th anniversary of the Washington club and was host to Washington, Alexandria and Fredericksburg on its own 8th anniversary.
The club held nine 100% meetings. Celebrated Kiwanis Anniversary and All-Kiwanis Night. Entertained the District Governor and the Lieutenant-Governor.
Put on a Golf Tournament with Washington and Alexandria to raise money for its Under-privileged Child Work. The club entertained the senior class of the High School and its faculty. It had a luncheon served at Nokesville by the 4-H Clubs, the proceeds to go toward a fund for sending one member to the short course. One program on the use of a radio in police work. Supported the Piedmont Dairy Festival.
Entertained the District Governor and a delegation from Washington and Arlington, and sent a delegation to the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Capital District held at Bay Ridge, Maryland. A Ladies Night was held at Occoquon.
Furnished hot lunches to undernourished school children starting with 30 children and increasing the number during the year to 90. A Minstrel Show written by a member netted a goodly sum for the work. Baskets of candy and fruit were given to 376 children at Christmas. The club gave a scholarship for a post-graduate business course in the High School. One meeting was held at a church in the country. The club had one meeting devoted to the Dairy Industry, cooperated with the Piedmont Dairy Festival and won first prize with a Kiwanis float in the parade,
The club sent a delegation to visit Fredericksburg and was later host to Arlington. A Ladies Night was held with 100% attendance. The club entertained the District Governor and members of the Charlottesville club and the LTG and members from Alexandria, and celebrated Constitution Week.
Continued to furnish hot lunches for 105 children in the school. When some of these failed to show a gain in weight, medical examinations were given and the causes were corrected. The club promised the County Physician and the County Nurse to furnish funds for necessary T. and A. operations and for the correction of eye defects of county children. As the result of this the defective vision of 22 children was corrected and 55 T. and A. operations were performed. Club members delivered 253 Christmas packages to the children in the county.
Sent a boy to the Red Cross Life Saving Course and upon his return he conducted a class for boys and girls of the community. The club entertained the faculty and students of the High School and presented to the retiring principal a silver vase in recognition for the service she had given to the youth of the community.
The club continued to furnish hot lunches to school children. Gave dental treatment to 100 children. Entertained the graduating class of the High School, and during Americanization Week entertained 25 boys and girls with a patriotic program.
The club furnished two truck loads of supplies for the Flood Sufferers. It entered a float in the Dairy Festival Parade and won first prize, and attended in a body an important Road Meeting. It had programs on First Aid, Road Safety, Road Hazards, Modern Photography, Religious Education in the Schools, and State Planning.
It was host to Arlington at one meeting and to Fredericksburg and Washington at another, and attended a meeting at Fredericksburg. It had two Family Nights and one Ladies Night and celebrated its own anniversary. Entertained the LTG.
Contributed $100 to the Episcopal Eve, Ear and Throat Hospital for its aid in the club's under privileged child work. Joined other civic clubs in purchasing a wheel chair for the use of the County Health Service.
Had 2 programs on Boy Scouts, one of which consisted of the explanation and exhibition of Boy Scout Work. Entertained the High School graduates. The club held one meeting in the County.
Raised $180 for underprivileged child by a "Womanless Wedding." Furnished glasses and provided T. and A. operations. The usual Christmas baskets were sent to indigent families. The club entertained the senior class at the High School.
Held two Kiwanis Education meetings, entertained the District Governor and LT Gov.
This club tried a novel way for its welfare work. The club was divided into two groups on Sundays, each group sold gas and oil, making a profit of two cents per gallon on gas and 5 cents per quart on oil. Along with tips, amounted to more than $43 and was a new experience for most of the members, and they got a lot of fun out of it. Examined 108 children eye and throat trouble at the monthly clinics, and gave 37 treatments for skin diseases. Hot lunches were furnished to 84 children during the school session. In cooperation with the Women's club, a Christmas party with fruit, candy, and toys, was given to 190 children. Sent 2 children to a T. B. hospital. The budget amounted to $581.
Entertained at luncheon the HS graduates, sent a boy to Boy State, and had a report from him at one meeting and also had a program on the Boys club of Manassas.
The club was host to Washington which put on the program, and to Arlington, and two visits to Fredericksburg.
The club had five or six Kiwanis Educa-tion program-and entertained the LG.
The club again put on its project of tending filling stations on two successive Sundays, clearing $50, which was used to finance a dental clinic. Aided in sponsoring the President's Ball which netted the club 25% of the receipts for its infantile paralysis work. The club made contributions to a clinic in a Washington hospital and obtained transportation for children to and from this clinic. It formed a real Boys Club for boys of the less favored group and enabled these boys to form a fine football team. At Christmas time the club distributed five hundred packages of candy, fruit, and toys to families in the county.
The club sponsored an all-day playground through the summer and made a donation toward its cost. A boy was sent to Boy State, the Scout troop was revived, and an active Assistant Scout master was secured.
A course was planned for one of the county High Schools which would develop such topics as how to write a letter of application for a job, how to apply in person, how to study in preparation for a particular job. The club also aided high school graduates in getting suitable jobs.
Two Ladies Nights were held and one Family Night, and at one meeting representatives of the graduating classes of the four high schools in
the county were guests of the club.
Treated 215 children at a dental clinic, furnished hot lunches to 100 children, and provided funds by means of which 67 T. and A. operations were performed. Furnished 26 children with glasses. Delivered Christmas packages to 85 county families.
Through the efforts of the club and under the auspices of the NYA, a trade school with an enrollment of 400 boys, sponsored a Boy Scout troop, and the graduating class of the High School was entertained at luncheon.
A Farmers Night was held with 40 farmers as guests, an Agricultural Club Night was held with the boys of these clubs present, and AAA work was aided.
Worked for the construction of a road connecting main highways.
Sponsored a championship softball team, and held two Ladies' Nights and 2 Family Nights.
Presented an Achievement Report, and was represented at the Training School for Club Officers, the Mid-Winter Conference, and the International and the District Conventions.
The club had the same arrangements as formerly with the hospital in Washington.
There were no Ladies' Nights or Family Nights this year. The club's social activities came from a number of purely amusement programs. Had several Kiwanis Education meetings and was represented at the International Convention.
Working closely with the Welfare Department of the County, assisted needy children where directed by the Department, furnishing shoes and medicine to those not able to purchase them. Contributed $50 to furnish milk to the grade school children, $20 went to the Red Cross, and $25 to PTA for correction of throat ailments. Several needy families were investigated, to see that they got wholesome food and medicines. Spent $400 for underprivileged children, and $100 for the Christmas fund. Delivered packages to 218 children of 61 families. Oranges, apples, nuts, candy, and other gifts were given to each child.
The club celebrated Boy Scout Week with an appropriate program. It sponsored the High School Victory Corps, and aided in forming a Girls' Service Club.
It worked for the Red Cross, sale of bonds, the collection of scrap, the planting of Victory Gardens and had a program put on by the WAVES and the Marines.
The club had 4 Kiwanis Education meetings and was represented at the District Convention. On December 31, there were four members in the armed forces.