The first Kiwanis Club in Arlington Heights was organized and approved by Kiwanis International, the parent organization, on May 20, 1974 with 22 members. The Club included residents and businessmen whose offices were located in Arlington Heights and two members of the Kiwanis Club of Palatine. The Kiwanis Club of Palatine sponsored the new club in connection with its organization and interaction with Kiwanis International. The official Kiwanis Charter was presented to the club on July 17, 1974. By that time it had grown to 38 members, all of whom were considered “Charter Members”. The club served the children and other residents of Arlington Heights until September 30, 2015 when it was officially dissolved, primarily due to declining membership.
In the Summer of 2017 the incoming International President of Kiwanis, an Illinois resident, announced that Arlington Heights was too important not to have a Kiwanis club. Moreover, as Kiwanis often says, “The children of the Village need Kiwanis.” He formed a team of experienced Kiwanians, headed by the incoming Governor of the Illinois-Eastern Iowa District of Kiwanis International, to establish a new club in Arlington Heights. The team researched potential members and interviewed many, including members of the former club. It also “beat the streets” talking to a large number local businesses and residents in order to generate interest.
Their efforts bore fruit, and on October 27, 2017, a new Kiwanis Club of Arlington Heights was organized and recognized by Kiwanis International. The club consisted of 16 members, two of whom had been members of the first club and several were current or former members of other Kiwanis clubs. The club sponsor also was the Kiwanis Club of Palatine. On December 14, 2017, the new club completed its first service project – the delivery of Christmas food baskets to several underprivileged families in the Village. The Kiwanis Charter was presented on January 13, 2018, at which time the club had grown to 20 charter members.