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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Snooping Into Active 20-30’s Past?

I LOVE history, especially when I can find a more personal connection to it. Knowing that my grandparents and parents were members of Sacramento #1, made me curious to learn more about this organization’s past.

Here are two articles that I found had some interesting information, the first is an article the day after the very first official meeting of the 20-30 club and the second one mentions the 50th anniversary celebration where there was an explanation of the hourglass symbol (interesting to note that things haven’t changed much with a social hour, followed by a dinner where likely there were speeches and announcements, followed by dancing).  I might be the only one that’s jumping for joy at this find but it is exciting to be able to solve mysteries of the past and learn how things came about and what happened. Enjoy!

Active 20.30 article1a

Organization of 20-30 Club is Completed

Final organization of the 20-30 Club, composed of men between the ages of 20 and 30 years engaged in all lines of work, yesterday was completed at a meeting held at the chamber of commerce, when officers were elected and constitution and by-laws were approved.

The officers of the club are: Paul Claiborne, president; A.B. Frank, vice president; Carroll Couture, second vice president; C.J. McBride, secretary; Joe Rohl, treasurer, Jack Foale, sergeant at arms; directors, E. Casey, R. Cohen, Homer Dunn, R.Kirby, and Clarence Breuner.

The next meeting of the club will be held December 28th at 8 p.m. at the chamber of commerce.

A feature of the program yesterday was the appearance of Verne Vernill, female impersonator, who sang several songs.

 Sacramento Union, 20 Dec. 1922:  22.

Active 20.30 article7

20-30 Club Was Born In Sacramento

“Twenty-Thirty is Fifty” is the theme of a dinner dance which will be held Saturday in the Woodlake Inn in observance of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the 20-30 club.

More than 500 members and former members and their wives will be in attendance at the affair, which will start with a 6 p.m. social hour followed by dinner and dancing.

Toasts and messages of welcome will be offered by David K. Murphy, president of the club; J. Edward Cain, president in 1927, and Robert Baumgart, who held the office in 1953.

Gene Pendergast is chairman of arrangements.

It was in 1922 that 20-30 Club, long an international organization, had its beginnings. The late Paul Claiborne conceived the idea of forming a service club with a membership that would consist only of young men and with goals directed toward helping the youth of the community – two needs that were not being filled at the time by senior service clubs in the Sacramento area.

Along with Earle G. Casey, Alfred B Franke, Charles G McBride and Marshall A Page, Claiborne took his idea to Mitchel Nathan, then president of the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce.

The first meeting was held Dec. 19 and the hourglass, a symbol of the passage of youth, was adopted as the emblem.

Soon after the Sacramento club had established itself, 20-30 began to expand into new areas. Clubs were formed in San Bernardino, San Francisco, Hayward, Tracy, and Oakland.

By 1941 charters were granted to clubs from California to Indiana, from Washington to New Mexico. In 1946, with the chartering of a club in Juarez, Mexico, 20-30 became an international organization and at a “victory” Convention, the official name of the association of 20-30 Clubs was changed to 20-30 International and the age limit advanced to 35.

In the years to follow, expansion began in the far west and Southwest. Clubs also spread through Mexico and into all the Central American countries and parts of South America.

Nineteen Twenty-Two was also the birth date of another service club. Some 700 miles of Sacramento, in Aberdeen, Wash., another group of young men had hit upon Claibornes’ idea and formed an organization which they named “Active”. Throughout the years of expansion both 20-30 and Active were drawn along similar paths. In 1959 President Norm Morrison of 20-30 International and President Ken Helling of Active International proposed that the two almost-identical clubs should merge. On August 1, 1960, Active and 20-30 became known as Active 20-30 International.

Throughout its fifty years of service to the community and country, 20-30 members (or more recently Active 20-30 members) have provided aid and service to youth and provided a training ground for young businessmen.

Sacramento Bee, 26 Nov. 1972:  W-1+.