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Exchange Club of Richmond, Ky (1932-) | Eastern Kentucky University - Special Collections and Archives

Name: Exchange Club of Richmond, Ky (1932-)

Historical Note:

"Service is Exchange. That single word succinctly summarizes its spirit and purpose." The first Exchange Club was organized in Detroit, Michigan, on March 27, 1911. This group of men banded together to exchange ideas for the betterment of their community, state, and nation. The Exchange Club National Headquarters were established August 6, 1917, in Toledo, Ohio. The members, better known as the Exchangites, hold leadership positions in industry, business, education, and religion throughout the nation. The Richmond Exchange Club was founded on June 22, 1922 by thirty-one business and professional men. The beginning of many worthwhile civic functions came from the dinner table of these men. The club raised money to install electric street lights on Main Street, pushed to have a permanent Board of Health with a resident physician in charge, and sponsored a Chautauqua Week--a week of plays and other types of entertainment and notable speakers. Other projects included the Teddy Bear Fund, whereby a teddy bear was given to sick children in the hospital, and the Madison County Athenaeum, a fund for the Madison County Public Library. The Exchange Club participated in many programs that involve the youth, American citizenship, and community service:

Youth Junior Exchange and Exchangette Clubs: These help the youth develop leadership and civic responsibilities. Exchange Club members share their business and professional experience and insure that juniors' activities are constructive and beneficial. The Youth of the Month/Year program directs public recognition to young people who have performed worthwhile achievements or showed outstanding citizenship by presenting them with a special award or gift. The Sunshine Special was developed to bring happiness to underprivileged or disadvantaged children. Exchange members select a group of deserving youngsters and treat them to a day of enjoyment at the amusement park, zoo, a picnic, etc.

American Citizenship: "One Nation Under God" is an important program that involves American citizenship. It reminds Americans that "we have always been and must always be a religious nation." It also strengthens the concepts of individual moral responsibility and dependence on God, promotes church attendance, and combats attempts to have the words "under God" removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. The Freedom Shrine is a collection of twenty-eight of the most important and historic American documents such as the original drafts of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and Washington's Farewell Address. A Freedom Shrine is installed in every high school. The Exchange Club supports National Defense by promoting measures aimed at perfecting the nation's military preparedness. They also encourage employers not to penalize members of the Active Military Reserve who must fulfill their annual Reserve training requirements. Also in supporting National Defense, Exchange Clubs participate in and celebrate national military holidays.

Community Service: The Crime Prevention program checks the rise of the crime rate by arousing public awareness and sparking public action to resist and repel crime. Speeches, news releases, crime fact sheets, editorials, and messages from prominent citizens are distributed throughout National Crime Prevention Week. Fire Prevention programs educate young and old about fire hazards. Exchange Clubs also stress Traffic Safety. They cooperate with traffic safety campaigns, sponsor driver education programs, and cooperate with law enforcement agencies.

These are only a few Exchange Club projects. Exchange Clubs are allowed to produce their own service projects as well as participate in the national programs. The Richmond Exchange Club has become a highly respected organization in Madison County because of its many service projects.

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