Originally, Fort Collins only had a single Kiwanis Club. In 1973, several Kodak employees wanted a Kiwanis club to join that did not meet in the middle of the day. The organizational meeting for this new club was held on April 3, 1973 and the charter night for the Fort Collins Kiwanis Eyeopeners was May 22, 1973. There were 27 people listed as charter members.
The club initially met at 6:45 a.m. at the Junction across from the Colorado State University campus. The club kicked off their service projects with a pie raffle.
The Eyeopeners hosted the Carson and Barnes circus in May of 1974 (our club went big with our events from the very beginning). The circus came to town and set up large tents near Hughes stadium. During the set up strong winds almost took away these tents along with several Eyeopeners members! The event was successful despite the strong winds and rain, and the funds raised at the event were donated to the Foothills Gateway Rehabilitation Center. Other early fundraising efforts included the sale of fruit cakes and Drums Along the Rockies.
In October 1978 the Eyeopeners sponsored the first Oktoberfest. This event ran for 30 years (the last event being held in 2006). The event had varied success through it’s history and even included a parade the year the Eyeopeners teamed up with the Downtown Business Association. While our club has contributed several thousands of dollars to worthwile projects in the Fort Collins area, our club has always preferred work projects with allow the members to work closely together as a team to provide for the welfare of some community group with needs our help. It is with this mentality we continue to select projects and organizations to work with today.
The Eyeopeners started teaming up with the Taste of Fort Collins in 1998 as another fund raiser for the club. Today, it is the single fund raiser of our club.
Sponsoring youth through Service Leadership Programs has always been a large part of the Eyeopeners history. There is a long history with sponsoring a variety of clubs in the Fort Collins area and we continue to look for partnerships across the community.
The Eyeopeners club is filled with friendships, service, big ideas, and club members going above and beyond all for service. We look forward to welcoming new members and continuing to serve the Fort Collins community well into the future.