The Kiwanis Club of Thousand Oaks was founded in the year 1964-65. The first president was Everett "Ev" Hagerty, a real estate salesman who worked for the Janss Corporation. The program for the charter night was arranged by a still dues-paying member of our club. He now lives in Texas and his name is George E. Engdahl.
EV had secured the services of Sanford "Sandy" Warner as the unofficial secretary of the new club. Sandy was the administrative assistant at that time of a fairly well-known County Supervisor by the name of John Montgomery.
In those early days of the club, stalwarts were Sandy, Hugh Holbert, Hank Forte and Jim Blackburn. Sandy was a "by-the-book" kind of club secretary and pushed for attendance, especially "perfect" attendance. In those days the club met at the Conejo Lodge (across the street from what is now Corrigan's restaurant). It would become our meeting place until shortly thereafter when the club moved to the old DuPar's Restaurant. It should be pointed out that the Kiwanis Club of Thousand Oaks has been a successful breakfast club right from the get-go.
The Kiwanis Club of Thousand Oaks, way back in its early years around 1968, got involved with a local yearly event namely Conejo Valley Days. In return for organizing and running a Children's Parade to tie in with the event, our club was given the option of running the Beer Booth at the CVD Site, at that time held on a piece of open space on the corner of Westlake and Thousand Oaks Boulevards. So successful were the Kiwanis in putting on the Kids' Parade, they were given the option a year or so later of being the host and organizer of the regular bigger parade, which at the time catered to all charitable and volunteer organizations. Entries were huge and the entire club membership "worked" the event.
The parade was such a success, complete with bands, floats, and Hollywood celebrities, that in two years it was broadcast on local TV stations. Early celebs were actor Walter Brennan, who had a ranch in Simi Valley, "Wagon Train's Ward Bond, and Iron Eyes Cody, another fine actor with ties to Hidden Valley and Ventura County.
As a further attraction to make the parade a roaring success, parade youthful participants and their parents received free admission to the carnival and rodeo. After the parade, all participants and their parents were picked up by bus at the Teen Center parking lot on Janss Road and bussed to the CVD five-day site. As an added attraction, parents driving their own cars were also admitted free to the site. The children were from preschool age through 3rd grade.
Over the years the club has seen many changes. We have witnessed the addition of clubs to Division 42 (our Cal-Nev-Ha Division comprised of clubs from California, Nevada, and Hawaii). We have also seen our Division grow. We used to be strictly Ventura County but eight years ago we expanded to take in Santa Barbara and Goleta. Also adding to the ranks was the dropping of the gender clause at the International. Convention in the city of Washington in 1988. That happening paved the way to install women members within our ranks.
Over the years, The Club assisted in the development in starting The Kiwanis Club of Westlake Village, The Kiwanis Club of Newbury Park and The Kiwanis Club of Conejo Valley. Over time, all of the Clubs have folded back into The Kiwanis Club of Thousand Oaks.
The Kiwanis Club of Thousand Oaks welcomes new members. Although service club membership throughout the United States has been gradually declining for decades due to changing demographics and increased personal responsibilities, our Club has been growing. We currently have 95 members. We invite you to come to one of our weekly Wednesday meetings to see what we are all about.