Recalled Chadwick: "Those charter members were the pillars of the community, and their names are still familiar to us including Fowler, Schilling, Dobbins, Ward, Atherton, and Ingram, just to name a few.
"Those men, and they were all men back in those days, saw, firsthand the tremendous challenges of the Depression and wanted to do something good for their larger community."
Remember that at the time the life expectancy of the average male was only 58 years old and female 61. A loaf of bread cost 9 cents, and round steak sold for 42 cents a pound.
"On the day that our club was formed, the members may have sung Hail, Columbia," or "My Country Tis of Thee," because The Star Spangled Banner had not yet been adopted as our national anthem. That's right - our club is older than the official national anthem of our great United States." Chadwick said.
"And that's not all - would you believe that our club is older than: The Empire State Building and the Golden Gate Bridge? The ball-point pen? Parking meters? Beer in a can? Commercially prepared baby food? Everyone's favorite game, Monopoly? We are even older than the classic "Gone with the Wind.'"
"Despite the worst depression our nation has ever known, the founders of our club sponsored a charity ward at Marietta Hospital to address some of the time's most deadly diseases, including influenza and tuberculosis. The club also sponsored medical and dental services for poor children throughout the 1930s and held an annual President's Ball to raise money for polio research and care of the victims. They also actively supported the creation of the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield.
The 1930s club also sponsored many activities to improve livestock in the county, including a pig chain for boys in the 4-H.
"Our club was formed in a different time - one without television or drive-in movies, a time of desperation for our nation with more than 25 percent unemployment. Yet our founders came together to improve our community. They began an eight-decade long commitment of service to our children and the success and well being of our city and county," Chadwick said.
The club has supported children and our community in many ways. Members in the 1940s supported the war effort and were active in getting the Bell Aircraft plant located in Marietta. They offered many recreational activities for the children of the many workers who flooded the town.
The club provided hot lunches to preschool students in the 1950s, and lobbied to change the name of Marietta Air Field to Charles Dobbins Air Base and encouraged the founding of what is now Southern Polytechnic University. It supported the founding of many new Kiwanis Clubs.
In the 1960s, Marietta Kiwanis continued to focus on children by sponsoring 4-H activities, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, little league teams, Candy Stripers at Kennestone Hospital, and a city-wide bicycle safety program. The club raised funds for the YWCA on Henderson Street.
The highlight of the 1980s was the introduction of female members. Drucy Beck, wife of club secretary Fred Beck who served in that position for more than 40 years, was inducted as the first honorary female member. Cobb Commissioner Thea Powell became the club's first dues-paying female member.
In the 1990s, a major focus of the club was education. It sponsored five Key Clubs, helped re-charter Circle K at Southern Tech and supported a new Circle K Club at Kennesaw. It began the Go the Extra Mile Awards, or GEM, to recognize teachers and students in Cobb and Marietta schools for services to their peers and the community.
The club last week hosted International Kiwanis President Paul Palazzollo of Springfield, Ill., at its Thursday meeting last week. But it missed the chance to brag on having been the home of an earlier International Kiwanis president, Dr. Glen Reed Jr., back in the 1950s.
"The club's service to the community was remarkable, with too many activities to list. However, I will mention our Flag Project that began in 1996 with 400 flags and now is over 1,000," he concluded.
That's where president Turney picked up, talking about the 2000s.
"In the last few years, our activities have covered a wide range from college scholarships, to drug free schools, the revival of the popular Soap Box Derby, and the moving Field of Flags memorial to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11," she said. "Our members are in the schools on a regular basis, reading to children and rewarding their teachers. Our Flag Project has continued to grow and has become a valued part of our community.
"As we look back on those 80 years, we see that our club has made many meaningful contributions to our community, donating their time, their talents, and their treasure to improve the lives of our most precious resource, our children.
"The Kiwanis Club of Marietta has over 250 members. We are not only the biggest club in Georgia, we are the best club in the world. Happy Birthday Marietta Kiwanis." she said.
Amen to that.
Associate editor Bill Kinney's column runs on Tuesdays and Saturdays.