All services organizations including Civitan membership were strictly men. Civitan clubs were for men only; their wives worked a lot of the projects behind the scenes. Civitan International was the first service organization to open its doors to women in 1974. However it wasn’t until the 1980’s when the Civitan clubs in Canada started to invite women to join. Kingston Civitan invited the women to join the club but only because the membership had declined. It took another 4 years before Sharon Payne was elected as the first female president of Kingston Civitan.
In the beginning Kingston Civitan organized and ran several projects in the Kingston area; i.e., child fingerprinting. Members worked with the city of Kingston police; table were set up at the Kingston Centre inviting parents in the Kingston community to bring their young children out with a sign permission slip to have them fingerprinted for identification purposes. This project grew very quickly; later it was completely taken on by the police associated.
In the beginning Kingston Civitan was deeply involved in the Ontario Special Olympics organizing sports and running tournaments. The Ontario Special Olympics grew very quickly and before long they had out grown the Civitan clubs in Canada. Kingston Civitan still continues to support the Ontario Special Olympics’ Kingston Chapter. Kingston Civitan members built accessible ramps for local homes and schools in the Greater Kingston area. Kingston Civitan purchased a large van, which was used to take young boys to Beavers and Cubs and to their summer camps. Kingston Civitan clubs have continued to support children and adults with special needs in many ways.
Kingston Civitan members worked several hands on projects that would benefit our community. Kingston Civitan has an ongoing partnership with Corus Entertainment’s Clothes for Kids Campaign since it inception, which began in 1988 22 years ago and today supplies over 2,500 snowsuits to local children. 2004 -2008 Kingston Civitan takes on the Rick Hansen Wheels in Motion this walk and roll event raises over $57,000.00 for spinal cord injuries. It became very difficult to get community business involvement Civitan had to let go. 2009 two other organizations took over the Wheels in Motion event. 40% of the money raised each year was returned to Kingston to support local organizations i.e. ABLE Sail Kingston, St. Mary's of the Lake Rehab, and Kingston Independent Living Centre. Kingston Civitan started supporting the Independent Living Kingston Centre’s (ILC) Accessible computer lab In 2006 and still continues today, the money we donate to ILC pays for one to one computer training for people with disabilities in the Kingston area that are unable to pay for computer courses.
2006 - 2011 Kingston Civitan started to arise money and awareness for our deployed Canadian Troops the money is donated to Operation Santa Claus a fundraiser Kingston Civitan still participates in today. Kingston Civitan club has donated over $8,000.00 to the Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency (CFPSA) the money is sent to Ottawa to help purchase holiday gift packages for our deployed Canadian Troops. Kingston Civitan has received recognition by the CFPSA - 5 beautiful framed photo and letters written and signed by the Brigadier General.
April of 2008 Kingston Civitan sponsored 3 guide dog puppies for children with autism. Money donated to the National Service Dogs paid for the first year of training and the first year of veterinary bills for the young guide dogs. 2008 Kingston Civitan has also purchased and donated two adapted tricycles to two local Kingston children with physical disabilities. The tricycles help improve their strength endurance and give children with special needs a way to join their siblings and friends for a bike ride. The tricycles range from $2,500 — $4,000 making it impossible for young families to afford.
2009 the Kingston Civitan club helped a young mother living in Kingston area pay for a Guide dog for her autistic child. 2009 - 2010 Kingston Civitan takes on a new project called the Kingston Mission Truck, which is a mobile shelter for the homeless by paying for the hydro used by the Mission truck which provides the homeless a place to keep warm and a nutrition snack while waiting for the shelters to open for the evening. The Mission Truck carries the Civitan logo and is parked at a local church located in the downtown area. The Mission Trucks engine breaks down 2011 and the shelter moves into a local church.
2010 Kingston Civitan donated money towards an all-terrain wheelchair for the Kingston Community Living Centre. Community Living Centre will use this wheelchair in the community when their staff takes their clients out to a park or a beach.
2011 Kingston Civitan supported the Kids a disability awareness organization that uses child life size puppets to educate school children about the different disabilities young school children face each day. Our club made a donation to this great organization to help defray the cost of disability awareness and inclusion education for our local schools. The Kids on the Block are a special group of ‘kids’ that act, think and feel just like real kids. Each one has likes and dislikes, talents and laminations, hopes and fears. This is an amazing way to teach children how to except each other for who they really are.
2012 Kingston Civitan donates money to a local high school to purchase book for the special needs library called School to Community.
2013 Kingston Civitan supported the local elementary school Cataraqui Public School by donated enough money to help send the grade 7-8 students to a cyber bullying course.
June 2014 Kingston Civitan sponsored the charter of the Kingston Women in Action Civitan
Club. (KWIA) The membership of the KWIA is women from the ages 22 plus. Kingston Civitan donated money to a local high school to assist with the cost to take a volleyball team to an out of town tournament. Kingston Civitan pays for a special needs school bus to transport special needs students from local elementary schools to the Toronto Zoo.
Oct 2014 & 2015 Kingston Civitan received a request to support students of a local high school with the cost of CPR and Defibrillator training for a two-year training course for students at Regiopolis - Notre Dame Catholic Secondary School.
Kingston Civitan has supported other organizations in the past i.e. H’art Studio and the New Leaf Link - organizations that offers continuous educational programs for adults with learning disabilities.
2015 Kingston Civitan donates money to support Kingston Youth Diversion, the Kingston Youth Shelter and Girls Inc. Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington.
Kingston Civitan supports other local organizations such as Community Care Access Centre by purchasing much-needed assistive devices equipment for children and adults living in the Greater Kingston Area.