In 1984 the Kiwanis Club of Beaufort sponsored and helped organize the Kiwanis Club of Hilton Head Island. The charter was granted in April of 1984 and was presented by then District Governor Jackson.
Early meetings were held at the Mariner’s Inn. The first major recipient of fund-raising was the Deep Well program. We pledged $25,000 toward this program as well as many hands-on repair projects including painting their warehouse.
As the years passed, meetings were moved the Commodore in Shelter Cove harbor. Our service projects changed to an emphasis on children’s programs. Jim Hudson, a Texas transplant, convinced the club to sponsor the Annual Chili Cookoff. The event has become a staple for island fun in October. and has been run continuously since 1984 as a fund raiser. In 1998 Bill Haley urged the club to use their chili experience to also hold a Rib Burnoff each spring. Restaurants and amateur cooks each compete for trophies in both events.
In recent years, the major recipients of these fundraising activities have been the Boys & Girls Club, The Children’s Center, and Safe Kids of Hilton Head / Bluffton.
In 1994, Leo Zabinski, a club member, served as Governor of the Carolina’s district and the club hosted the annual district convention in August of 1995. Another member, Paul Glick served as Lt. Governor for District 21 of the Carolina’s District in 2002-2003.
Over the years, the club has donated over $300,000 to community projects. In addition, the club was one of two dozen Kiwanis clubs in the district cited for it’s efforts to support the Kiwanis International campaign to eliminate iodine deficiency.
In recent years, our club has assisted in the formation of two new Kiwanis clubs in the Low Country, one in Bluffton/Okatie and the other on Hilton Head Island as a noon club.
In 2007, we changed our meeting location to the Golf Club at Indigo Run. At the guard gate you can obtain a pass and get directions to the meeting site.