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Kinsmen History

THE 20'S & 30'S

  • February 20, 1920, The Kinsmen Club was born in Hamilton, Ontario, by founder Hal A. Rogers.
  • Responding to a radio appeal for milk for British children, Rogers began to rally Kin troops across Canada to raise funds for the purchase of powdered milk. The goal for the first year was to raise enough money to purchase one million quarts. Within nine months, Kinsmen and Kinettes had supplied more than three million quarts. By the end of the Milk for Britain campaign, the Kin family had raised close to $3 million and sent 50 million quarts of milk to Britain.

THE 40'S & 50'S

  • The Association's motto, "Serving the Community's Greatest Need," took on a more global perspective as the association helped to found the World Council of Young Men's Service Club (WoCo) in 1945.

THE 60'S & 70'S

  • In 1964 the Kinsmen Club of North York began working with a relatively unknown disease that struck down children by the age of four. From this one service project, support grew for the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation so that it is now the Association's major project.
  • The Association celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 1970 in grand style as the entire country supported a national project of raising $400,000 to assist in the construction of the Kinsmen National Institute of Mental Retardation, built at Toronto's York University and opened on February 20, 1970.
  • The late 70's gave the Kinsmen a heightened profile through their involvement in the Particip-action Movement, particularly with the construction of Participarks. Kinsmen led the way in building these fitness-oriented parks and opened more than 100 by early 1980's.

THE 80'S & 90'S

  • In 1985 over $1 million was raised for cystic fibrosis research and in 1987 CF was adopted as a National Service Project.
  • 1986 saw Kin assist wheelchair athlete Rick Hansen on the final stretch of his world journey.

THE NEW MILLENNIUM

  • 2003 saw devastating fires rip through British Columbia leaving many homeless or living in shelters, Kin Canada pledged more than $50,000 and 30,000 pounds of beef to help with the needs of the area. Also in September of 2003, BBQ Canada, an initiative of Kinsmen and Kinettes, supported the ailing beef industry in Canada. On Labor Day, Kin clubs and groups across the country, hosted free barbecues to show the world that Canadian beef is safe and that they support the Canadian Beef Industry. This one day event made the Guiness Book of World Records by serving more than 280,000 individuals a beef product.
  • In 2010 Kin Canada celebrated the Association's 90th Anniversary. Kin raised over $50,000 to support Haiti earthquake elief efforts.
  • 2011 Kin Canada launched the Portraits of Honour National Tour, an oil painting mural of the 157 soldiers killed in Afghanistan to raise awareness and funds to help those affected by the war by supporting the Military Family Fund.