The Stampede City club was chartered April 19, 1964 with sixteen charter members. The nucleus of the club had come from a group of Kin within the Calgary club known as the Jolly Fellows.
And there the paths diverged!
During the first year the club staged a country carnival at the North Hill shopping center, and looked into service work at a home for boys and a new convalescent hospital. The major project in the sixties was the purchase of seven heart and lung resuscitators after a plea from a local doctor. These units were to be placed in city ambulances, only there weren’t enough qualified people in the ambulance service to operate the machines. Deemed to be a danger to life if not handled properly trained people, they were put into storage. The club then began investigating and planning for an intensive care ambulance. The club also sponsored minor hockey in the city and a bingo for the residents of the Glenmore Auxiliary Hospital.
Funds were raised by staging dances, raffles, newspaper bingos, Kintree carnivals, beer fests, and stag nights. In 1966 the club membership has reached 25, by 1969 it had risen to 61, a fact which won the club the National Expansion Award in that year. The club received the Boake Efficiency Award from 1964 to 1969 and won the National Gimmel bowling trophy one year.
Even though membership had fallen to 52 in 1970, bylaws were adopted, information nights were begun, and the club hosted the Spring Zone Meeting. The club participated in the Calgary Kingo that year and netted $1,000.
In the early seventies the club began its Salvation Army Christmas parties, assisting the Boys and Girls Club of Calgary, and the Shinny Bowl game for Easter Seals. Assistance in the Shinny Bowl involves helping with activities and selling tickets. The Club decided to assist the Boys and Girls Club of Calgary both physically and financially in the operation of one of their activity houses which was in need of aid due to a budget cut back by the United Appeal.
In 1971 the heart and lung resuscitators put in storage two years earlier were dusted off and donated to a city hospital. Construction on the Kinsmen Sports Center began in the fall of 1971 and was completed in February of 1972. The Kin contribution of $50,000 was paid in full by the time the ice arena was completed. The following year activity was flourishing with the construction of a second Kinsmen arena. This time the club contributed some $115,000 of the $265,000 total cost.
New services added were sponsorship of the Calgary school patrol and the Kin Y pool. The club paid around $10,000 for a portable pool and donated it to the YMCA, who took the pool to such outlying areas as Canmore, High River and Strathmore and held swimming lessons. The club later supplied funds for pool repairs. The program was dropped by the YMCA after about four years.
From 1974 to 1978 the club assisted in a recreational program for the children at the CNIB. Every Saturday afternoon members of the club spent two of three hours “showing” the blind children how to do various exercises and offer much needed physical and moral support in doing some of the more difficult movements. Although some money was spent on equipment the job was basically a manpower project. Also that the year the club hosted five children’s Christmas parties: for Cystic Fibrosis, Salvation Army, Spruce Cliff Home for Juvenile Delinquents, CNIB and the Kin Kids.
By 1979 the club was still holding three Christmas parties each year, for the blind, the Down’s Syndrome children and for those with Cystic Fibrosis. At these parties gifts are handed out by Santa, a skit is put on by the Kinsmen and a special visitor from the zoo is in attendance. Other activities provided for these children have included aircraft and hot air balloon rides.
The third Kinsmen sponsored arena was started and completed in the spring of 1977. A $250,000 contribution of the $750,000 was required to twin the new Henry Viney arena to the existing Renfrew Arena in northeast Calgary. For three years, 1975, 1976 and 1978, the club participated in the Tri-Club telethons that raised over one million dollars for Kinsmen pediatric research. The club has also continued its service work with the Glenmore senior citizens bingo, and has continued to sponsor the school patrol. Stampede City Kinsmen hold an annual car rally which consists of thirty to forty Kinsmen drivers and an equal number of blind people, who with the aid of Braille instructions, acts as navigators.
In 1979 the Kinsmen completed the renovations of two Calgary residences services housing paraplegics and Down’s Syndrome patients. Funds were provided for a carpenter to renovate one house to make it suitable for paraplegics. A great deal of the decorating in these 5,000 square foot residences, such as painting and wallpapering was done by Kinsmen. The cost of the project was in the vicinity of $45,000.
The club has two major fund raisers, the Skate-a-thon and the Swing into Spring Fashion Show. The Stampede City club has exclusive right to run Skate-a-thons in the City of Calgary and each year thousands of skaters participate in ten or eleven different arenas. This results in the club grossing approximately $150,000. The Skate-a-thon proceeds in the past helped to pay for the three arenas. Swing into Spring is for ladies only. During National Secretaries Week, the Kinsmen contact the various city employers to sell them #35 tickets for female employees. Included in the evening’s entertainment are drinks, dinner, a fashion show and some appropriate “for ladies only” entertainment. The proceeds from this evening are directed to the Cystic Fibrosis research fund.
The Stampede City club has employed other fund raisers such as bingos, fall stags, raffles beer fests and the Kinsmen Kitchen food booth at the Stampede.
Zone, District and National participation increased greatly in the seventies. The club sponsored four Deputy Governors: Terry Lawrence, Norm Asmundson, Larry Jorgenson (70-71), Bing Runquist, Clark Fowler (86-87) Bob Planidin and Tim White (92-93). Bing was elected as Vice-Governor at the 1979 District Convention in Red Deer after the untimely assassination of opponent Sturdley Thrunch of Edson. Bob Planidin also served as governor of district 4 in 1988-89. Bingo was elected as the National President in 1982.
The club won zone curling, hockey, golf and public speaking competitions on various occasions, won the Founders Public Speaking Award in 1975, the District Bulletin Awards in 1978 and an Outstanding President’s Award.
Stampede City co-hosted World Council in 1977 with Calgary and Foothills City Kinsmen Clubs and hosted the District Convention in 1981 and 1992, both themes were Kin Comics.
The club has many life members: Doug Harding, Ray McCorquondale, Stan Simms, Ernie Kitzel. Mickey Boyle, Gerry Bader, Peter McClocklin, Bing Runquist, Dave Allery, Jim Meehan, Kin Runquist, John Stauffer, Earle Johnson, Bob Planidin, Len Schnell, Clark Fowler, Walter Kasper. It has various club awards, the Fellowship Trophy, Executive-of-the-year and Kinsmen of the Year Trophy.
In 1993, the club began its dynasty of home lottos once again. The Children’s Home Lotto began to raise funds for the Alberta Children’s Hospital. At least one million dollars has been donated to the hospital annually for a total to date of over $20 million.
In 2004, the club celebrated it 40th anniversary and continues our great tradition of “Serving the Communities Greatest Need”.
2014 saw the sudden and tragic loss of a dear husband, father, friend and Kinsmen, life member Mickey Boyle. Mickey’s passion and love for Kin Canada will forever serve as the example for how one lives a life of service. A national award was created in Mickey’s name and will be presented to those who represent the values and commitment by which Mickey lived.
In 2014, the club celebrated a major milestone of 50 years by gifting $1.3M to the Citizens of Calgary, as part of it’s history and heritage of “Serving the Communities Greatest Need”. It occasion was capped off with a gala event that saw Kinsmen and Kinettes from far and wide, recent and past, gather together to tell reminisce of days gone by and to imagine days to come.
2014 also saw the club and it’s president, Sean Libin, receive the Outstanding Club Award from Kin Canada.
After 12 years of enjoying the camaraderie in the annual Ride for a Lifetime in support of Kids Cancer Care, the Stampede City Kinsmen couldn’t let it just fade into the sunset. So in 2015, the club took the lead role in planning and executing the event with high hopes of raising more funds for Kids Cancer Care, a cause near and dear to the club and those riders who supported the event every year.
At 2015 National Convention in Brandon, Manitoba, District 4 received the Outstanding District Award thanks to the Young Gunz team lead by Stampede City Kinsmen Life Member and 2014/15 Kinsmen District Governor Al Martin, together with Kinette Governor Cathleen Cooper-Martin.
In 2016, the club has 32 members and continues to grow. Kin Dean Faithful is District 4 Governor, Rick Kuzyk is District Membership Director, Mick Moore is Zone E Deputy Governor, and Rob MacCannell is Kinsmen Vice Governor. Stampede City Kinette Terri MacCannell is elected National Vice President. Despite the economic downturn, the support for the Kinsmen Ride for a Lifetime was strong which meant a lot for the Kids Cancer Care Foundation. The Kinsmen Lotto in support of the Alberta Children’s Hospital, while down from previous years, still showed strong community support.