Founded in 1915, Kiwanis International is a global organization of members dedicated to serving the children of the world

Kiwanis Independence Ohio helps children of the world

  • Kiwanis and its family of clubs, including:
  • Circle K International for university students
  • Key Club for students age 14-18
  • Builders Club for students age 11-14
  • Kiwanis Kids for students age 6-12
  • Aktion Club for adults living with disabilities

Kiwanis members dedicate more than 18 million service hours each year to strengthen communities and serve children. The Kiwanis International family comprises nearly 600,000 adult and youth members in 80 countries and geographic areas.

Members of every age attend regular meetings, experience fellowship, raise funds for various causes and participate in service projects that help their communities. Members also make an impact throughout the world by participating in Kiwanis International’s Global Campaign for Children, The Eliminate Project: Kiwanis eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus.

Learn more about Kiwanis International by visiting

Our History

In 1952, the Kiwanis Club of Independence joined 17 other area clubs-extending to Rocky River, Westlake and Brecksville, to form the 16th Ohio Division of Kiwanis International. Independence resident Bob Longano, of the Brecksville Kiwanis, was instrumental in recruiting Independence businessmen to found what has become one of the most active clubs in the now Kiwanis Ohio District 24th Division.

Many of the businessmen who gathered at Broglio’s Restaurant were life-long residents of the area-many of whose families still reside here. The group included Mel Kurtz, Ken Feick, Pete Wisnieski, George Bender, Forrest Bramley, Frank Bousi and Henry Merkle. The Kiwanis Club of Independence was chartered on January 17, 1952 with the club’s first meeting held at the home of George Bender with Dr. Herkle presiding. It was at this meeting that officers and board of directors were selected. With “Young Children-Priority One” being the emphasis of the club, we have sponsored the Key Club at the high school (1952), the Builders Club at the middle school (1997), K-Kids at St. Michael’s (2006), Builders Club at St. Michael’s (2007), K-Kids at the primary school (2008) and most recently we co-sponsor a Circle K at Tri-C downtown campus (2015). These clubs are an active part of the Kiwanis family.

Our community service activities are still being enjoyed by our residents on daily basis. The club built the band stand (1984) that proudly stands in the square and is enjoyed by all during band concerts and Home Days alike; the gazebo (1990) originally on the corner of Selig Drive and Brecksville Road, now stands proudly on the corner of Selig and Kathy Lynn Drive is a favorite for wedding photos; the Land Lab (1970) on the school property is enjoyed today by the students of the Independence schools; the original Kiwanis pavilion in Elmwood Park and the city’s first Bocci Courts (1977) were completed by club. These projects are a small number of projects that the club completed over its 70+ plus years.

Each year the club holds its annual Easter Egg Hunt, Fishing Derby and Santa Delivery. Not only do the children of Independence enjoy these annual events, but the Kiwanians themselves can’t wait to see the children’s faces.

Our fundraising over the years have included our annual Pancake Breakfast, spring and fall BBQ’s, Golf Outing, and Home Days. It is because of these fundraisers and the continued support of our community that we are able to provide scholarships to graduating seniors.

The Kiwanis Club of Independence has a bright future! There is still so much that has to be done. Our club’s focus will remain on children and family. We will strive to uphold the Objects of Kiwanis International which still holds true today. Whether it’s a need in the schools, home, or in the city, Kiwanis will be there to give its support. Bringing the community together whether through an activity, fundraiser or community project our goal is to enhance “the true community spirit”.

Past Presidents

Independence Kiwanis Presidents through the years


1952 – Kenneth G. Feick*
1953 – W. Pete Wisnieski*
1954 – Forrest Bramley
1955 – Clifford Ayers*
1956 – Lewis Wicks*
1957 – James D. Gates
1958 – James Murphy*
1959 – George S. Broughton*


1960 – LeRoy W. Myers*
1961 – Howard A. Belser*
1962 – John J. Nicastro*
1963 – Richard J. Blaszak*
1964 – Robert Hlavin*
1965 – Frank A. Chaloupka*
1966 – August J. Topolski*
1967 – Robert W. Agan*
1968 – Robert W. Agan*
1969 – Jack Jordan*
1969-1970 – Edward Kukawka*


1970-1971 – Gordon P. Bennett*
1971-1972 – Harold R. Cassidy*
1972-1973 – Raymond J. Hasman*
1973-1974 – Leonard J. Hrdlicka*
1974-1975 – Thomas S. Apter
1975-1976 – Eugene Sauter*
1976-1977 – John Romanchick, Jr.*
1977-1978 – William J. Sharp
1978-1979 – Clinton Zimlich*
1979-1980 – A. Jay Rose*


1980-1981 – Larry Walland*
1981-1982 – Mario Lucarelli*
1982-1983 – Leonard J. Roll*
1983-1984 – Jerry Mycoskie*
1984-1985 – Leon Skowronski
1985-1986 – Tom Priebe
1986-1987 – Hampton Shadrach*
1987-1988 – Joseph J. Hornack*
1988-1989 – Joseph Hocevar*
1989-1990 – Willis S. Wells*


1990-1991 – Lawrence Aguier*
1991-1992 – Jim Charles*
1992-1993 – Harold J. Todt
1993-1994 – Thomas D. Tomlin
1994-1995 – Louis J. Vetter
1995-1996 – Louis J. Vetter
1996-1997 – John G. Scouloukas*
1997-1998 – Celeste Mycoski
1998-1999 – Robert Jordan*
1999-2000 – Michael P. Costanzo*


2000-2001 – Sam Testa*
2001-2002 – Michael P. Costanzo*
2002-2003 – Fred Wright*
2003-2004 – Necia Spilker
2004-2005 – Rick Duhan
2005-2006 – Bob Scott
2006-2007 – Ed Chrzanowski
2007-2008 – Marilyn T. Senick*
2008-2009 – Marilyn T. Senick*
2009-2010 – John Kapusta


2020-2021 – Deborah Nicastro
2021-2022 – Chuck Ricco