“Mount Vernon Kiwanis is chartered to provide service and financial assistance to the youth, the elderly, the local community, and the nation. It does so without regard to race, color, creed, gender, nationality, or economic status.”
In the late 1940s, Mount Vernon Kiwanis found its start in a local restaurant, through a small group of businessmen from the Alexandria Junior Chamber of Commerce. Every week, these men attended a luncheon club at the Penn-Daw Restaurant on Route 1, owned by member Cooper Dawson. After years of meeting on their own, the men decided to form an official organization, hoping to expand their influence and serve their community.
Clarence Gosnell, a land developer and home builder, took the lead on this expansion, and he eventually brought the group to the Kiwanis International service organization. It was clear to the group that the Kiwanis mission fell in line with their own values, so the men set about creating a chapter specifically for the Mount Vernon area, where many of them lived and worked. After the group approached some key Kiwanians in Alexandria, the Alexandria Kiwanis Club offered to sponsor and charter the new Mount Vernon Kiwanis Club. On November 5, 1953, Mount Vernon Kiwanis became official, chartering with 35 founding members at the Belle Haven Country Club.
Now, decades later, Mount Vernon Kiwanis still stands strong. With bimonthly meetings at the Mount Vernon Country Club, annual service projects, and hundreds of children in sponsored organizations, the club is proud to be a part of the Mount Vernon community.