Happy 95th Anniversary to the Active 20-30 Club Sacramento #1

Every year, we raise our glasses all around the world to celebrate Sacramento #1’s anniversary and the beginning of Active 20-30 International. I would ask for stories, memories, and photos of people’s time in the organization.

Back in December 2012, we celebrated turning 90 years. I came across a post from Robert Allen who is a past active of Sacramento #1. It continues to be a wonderful memory that I want to re-share five years later. Cheers!!

Happy 90th birthday to the Active 20-30 Club Sacramento #1. It is……very simply……the greatest service organization in the world!!! President Richard Nixon, Congressman Robert Matsui, Senator Barry Goldwater, Governor Pete Wilson and hundreds of the most influential businessmen in the Sacramento Region have been members of the Active 20-30 Club. The club was founded here in Sacramento and has since grown worldwide helping young people come together for leadership development, personal growth and friendship. All while helping the children in their respective communities! I am a PROUD past active member of the organization and am very humble to be part of it over the years!

I still think many people in the community have no idea what we do. A singles group…….a networking organization? Really?? So far from the truth. Our “hands on” events focus on having 20-30 members actually spend time with and help underprivileged or disadvantaged kids in the area. Our events range from our annual Michael Smythe Cancer Kids Party to the Back to School and Holiday Shopping Sprees that give us the opportunity to buy clothing and toys for children in need. Don’t get me wrong. We throw a great party and have thrown many of them to raise millions of dollars. Just so you know……100%…..that is 100% of proceeds go to charity!!!!! Nothing goes to anyone in the club. Listen to these numbers. In Sacramento Club #1 alone there have been thousands of men, that have raised millions of dollars, helping tens of thousands of children, assisting hundreds of non-profits and volunteering hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of man hours!!! Just in Sacramento.

The most moving event for me was a few years ago at the Mike Smythe Cancer Kids Party. Sitting on plastic chairs, face to face with a girl that was about 7 and fighting cancer. Her parents and healthy sister watched from across the room while eating pizza. I was painting a snowflake on her cheek. I am NOT an artist. My buddy Robb W. in the club is a pro at this, but not me. I held her chin with my left hand and painted with my right. We talked about Christmas, her family, her medical staff and school. Her face was not far from mine and we talked eye to eye as I tried to paint. She was a beautiful little girl and wearing a blonde wig. At one point I told her that “her hair” was beautiful (and winked)…just letting her know I knew it was a wig. The party wasn’t over, but my painting was complete. As her parents walked over I said something like, “You are a special girl. Have a Merry Christmas and YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL GIRL whether you have hair or not.” …and I smiled! I am not sure if it was the right thing to say or not……she is not my daughter……I only met her that day. I went on to my next attempt at face painting. Later when it was close to the end of the party a man’s voice gave a little shout across the room….”Rob!” I turned to look and there she was with her family waving as they walked out the door……..HER DAD RUBBING HER BALD HEAD AND SMILING!

Our motto is timeless and is as true today as it was 90 years ago! “One never stands so tall as when kneeling to help a child.”….or in my case painting a snowflake on a child’s cheek.

Here is to another 95 years!

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Portland Makes Frank Sinatra Honorary Member

Climax to all membership drive efforts in 1947 for the Portland, Oregon 20-30 Club was the pinning of a 20-30 button on singer Frank Sinatra.  President Bill Thelin made the presentation to the popular radio and screen star at the huge PAL benefit show, stage at Portland’s International Exposition building.

Appearing in Portland for the first time, Sinatra headlined a large group of Hollywood stars that included Edward Arnold, Jack Paar, Eddy Peabody and singer Nora Martin.  In close cooperation with other civic groups, Portland Twenty-Thirtians helped to sponsor the first PAL charity performance, designed to raise funds for PAL, Inc. a public youth building program set up to fight juvenile delinquency.

When appeals for public help failed, Twenty-Thirtians pounded pavement distributing posters; handled the multitude of details necessary to publish a printed program from advertising sales to the vending.  A speaker’s bureau was set up from which fast-on-their-feet speakers carried the story of PAL and publicized its purposes to countless community groups.

by Dick Johnson

The Twenty-Thirtian. February 1948. Volume XXII, Number V.