Officials from the Kiwanis Club of Forest Park gathered at the Roos Recreation Center on Sept. 30, to celebrate the local club’s 95th year in existence with a plaque placed at the club’s birthplace. Forest Park’s Kiwanis Club was founded in 1923 at the site of the new Roos Center, which sits where the old Roos Cedar Chest Factory building once stood. 

Members of the Mohr family were prominent Kiwanians when the group was founded, the heads of thriving businesses at Mohr Oil and Mohr Concrete, and their descendants were there at the plaque unveiling. The Roos family also had charter members in the Forest Park Kiwanis Club.

“I want to thank the park district for recognizing the importance of the anniversary and hosting us, and the community for always backing this club as it works to better the lives of the youth of Forest Park and the community as a whole,” Kiwanis President Chris Harris said in a statement. 

As the group plans for its centennial in five years, member Gerald Lordan said the Kiwanis Club wants to give a gift to the community, and they have formed a task force to study the community’s needs, with a focus on Roosevelt Road. 

“We think one of the futures of Forest Park is going to be along Roosevelt Road, and we want to kind of decentralize off Madison Street,” he told the Review in July. He said the Kiwanis are thinking of putting a fountain on Roosevelt and calling it “Centennial Plaza,” modeling it after Constitution Plaza on Madison. 

Nona Tepper