|Kin Canada is an all-Canadian service organization made up of active community volunteers. Working together, members are enhancing the quality of life in their communities by promoting service, fellowship, positive values and national pride. Kin clubs support cystic fibrosis (CF) research and fund local projects across the country.
History of the Association
The Association was founded on Feb. 20, 1920 in Hamilton, Ontario by Harold A. Rogers O.C., O.B.E. (1899-1994). Rogers was 21 and had just returned from the trenches of the First World War when his father, a prominent Rotarian, encouraged him to get together a few young men his own age. However, when Rogers decided to join the same Rotary club as his father, his application was rejected. It was the policy of the Rotary not to have two members from the same business establishment. As a result of this rejection, Rogers and a small group of men gathered for a dinner meeting and became the first Kinsmen Club – the Kinsmen Club of Hamilton, Ontario.
“Kin Canada is a dynamic volunteer organization enriching our communities through service while embracing national pride, positive values, personal development and lasting friendships.”
“Serving the Community’s Greatest Need”
More than 8,000 members belong to 605 Kinsmen, Kinette and Kin clubs from coast to coast. Kinsmen clubs are predominantly male-only while Kinette clubs are predominantly female-only. Kin clubs have a mixed membership of men and women. The Association was founded in Canada and there are no clubs outside of Canada.
Kin clubs undertake a wide variety of local fundraising and service projects. Its motto – “Serving the Community’s Greatest Need” – means that each club determines how it will raise funds and how those funds will be spent in the community. The Association encourages the autonomy of its clubs so that as many decisions as possible are made by its members at the club level.
Since 1964, the Kinsmen and Kinettes’ national fundraising project involves supporting the work of the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CCFF). This year the Association’s total contributions are expected to surpass $33 million for CF research and treatment. Kin are also active from coast to coast promoting a variety of national pride initiatives designed to give Canadians the opportunity to demonstrate that they are proud of their country. For example, Kinsmen and Kinettes annually spearhead ‘Raise the Flag!’ Day, a patriotic event encouraging Canadians everywhere to raise and fly the Canadian flag. This annual national event takes place in hundreds of communities on the Saturday before the Victoria Day weekend in May.
Every year, Kin clubs contribute millions of dollars to Canadian communities with all monies raised in the community, staying in the community. Last year, more than $15 million was raised; to say nothing of the countless hours spent planning and carrying out the many fundraising and service projects. The national Association does not receive money raised in the community. Kin Headquarters and its programs and services are financed through the members’ annual dues along with some revenue from such activities as the internal sales division.
- Kin Canada raises on average $1 million for the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, making Kin the largest single fundraising organization for CF research in the world. Since 1964, Kinsmen and Kinettes have donated more than $32 million towards CF research.
- In 2002, Kinsmen and Kinettes donated more than $73,000 to the Hay West project. This project brought hay from Central and Eastern Canada to western farmers whose fields were suffering from drought conditions. Kinsmen and Kinettes in Alberta also assisted with a benefit concert to raise funds and awareness to the plight of farmers in Western Canada.
- August 2003 saw devastating fires rip through British Columbia leaving many homeless or living in shelters. In less than a day, Kin pledged more than $50,000 and 30,000 pounds of beef to help feed firefighters and those in shelters.
- In 2003, BBQ Canada, an initiative of Kinsmen and Kinettes, supported the ailing beef industry in Canada. On Labour Day, Kin clubs and groups across the country, hosted free barbecues to show the world that Canadian beef is safe and that they support the Canadian Beef Industry. This one-day event set a new Guinness Book of World Records by serving more than 280,000 individuals a beef product.
National Kinette President is Sharon Armstrong of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and National Kinsmen President is Curtis Kimpton of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. (Term ends August 2005)
Kin Canada is located at 1920 Hal Rogers Dr., in Cambridge, Ontario, about 100 kilometres west of Toronto on Hwy. 401. Staff is made up of seven full time workers who provide administrative services to more than 605 Kinsmen, Kinette and Kin clubs. The chief administrative officer is Executive Director Ric McDonald.
Harold A. Rogers, O.C., O.B.E. (1899-1994)
Harold A. Rogers was born in London, Ont. on Jan. 3 1899. Harold (Hal) moved to Hamilton, Ont. to work for his father when he was appointed manager of the Standard Sanitary Co. Ltd. Soon after the move, in March 1916, Hal, at the age of 17, enlisted with the 173rd Argyle and Sutherland Battalion. After further training in England, and anxious to get to the front lines, he transferred to the 54th Kootenay Battalion. He fought at Vimy Ridge, Lens, Hill 70 and Ypres, where his leadership skills in the field led to his promotion to the rank of corporal and a recommendation for a commission. Before it could be acted upon, he was gassed at the Paschendaele front (Ypres) and wounded at the Amiens front. After hospitalization in England, he returned home to Hamilton in January 1919.
Missing the camaraderie of army life, Hal decided to join the local Rotary club where his father was a member. Because a once fundamental rule of the Rotarians was to only have one member from each employment classification and as he worked as a salesman in the plumbing industry for his father, Hal’s application was rejected. (It was a humorous recollection of Hal’s for many years).
Not a person to be outdone, Hal, then 21-years-old, decided to create a new club. As a result of his initiative, a small group of like-minded men gathered for a dinner meeting on Feb. 20, 1920 and formed what became known as the Kinsmen Club of Hamilton – Canada’s first Kinsmen Club.
Throughout his life, Hal Rogers believed in the value of education. In his own words, “providing and promoting the finest and most effective education possible for our young people” was a noble endeavour.
He was dedicated to the concept of education throughout his life. His commitment is evidenced in his many years as a trustee on the Forest Hill Board of Education. His devotion to the concept of education for young people was recognized by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, which named him the first recipient of the coveted Lamp of Learning Award in 1950. The Lamp of Learning is awarded annually to a non-teacher who has contributed to the furtherance of education in the Province of Ontario.
More than 10 years ago, the concept of developing an endowment fund for the purpose of promoting and encouraging the pursuit of education was approved enthusiastically by Founder Hal. Consequently, after he died in September 1994, the Kinsmen & Kinette Clubs of Canada established the Kin Canada Bursaries, a program of the Hal Rogers Endowment Fund in his memory.
How To Join
When you were a kid, wasn’t it great to have a place to meet new friends and discover new horizons? It can be the same now. Join a Kinsmen, Kinette, Kin, or Kinsmen & Kinette club and become part of a dynamic organization filled with people just like you.
Help your community
Kinsmen, Kinette, Kin, and Kinsmen & Kinette clubs are the country’s largest all Canadian service groups made up of active community volunteers. Members work together to serve their communities’ greatest needs by promoting service, fellowship, family values, and national pride. They support cystic fibrosis (CF) research and fund local projects, like playgrounds and ice rinks, across the country. So, if you’d like to give something back to your community, joining a Kinsmen, Kinette, Kin, or Kinsmen & Kinette club is the perfect answer.
It’s very satisfying to be a member of the Kin organization. You’ll be proud of the work you do for others and pleased with the personal benefits that result. You may become a better leader or more of a team player. You’ll find yourself more relaxed in dealing with groups; your presentation skills will improve, and you’ll become a better public speaker. Plus, you’ll have a chance to network with people from a wide variety of businesses.
Make life-long friendships
Kinsmen and Kinettes come from all walks of life, so you’ll enjoy being part of a diverse and spirited group. And, like most members, you’ll make lifetime friendships that extend far beyond your own club.
Have a whole lot of fun.
Although the Kin organization dates back more than 80 years, there’s nothing old-fashioned about what Kinsmen and Kinettes do. Activities and events are lively, interesting and fun. Fundraising projects get you into the community, and they’re always rewarding and entertaining. So join a Kinsmen, Kinette, Kin, or Kinsmen & Kinette club today, and brighten the horizon – for yourself and your community.