The History of Active 20-30 International
Realizing the Need
Active 20-30 International had its beginnings in 1922 when young men in two widely separated communities of the United States saw the need for a service club for young men. They found that established service clubs were dominated by older men, run by older men, and whose officers were invariably much older men.
This realization led those groups of ambitious young men to stray away from existing groups and organized a club of their own. These clubs shared the ideal that young men would have a chance to engage actively in service to their communities; where young ideas, backed by enthusiasm and the energy of youth, could share in civic responsibilities on an equal basis with clubs composed of older men.
These pioneers of young men’s service clubs simultaneously created two virtually identical clubs: the Active International, located in Aberdeen, Washington, and 20-30 International formed in Sacramento, California.
Both the International and Active International Associations were charter members of the World Council of Young Men’s Service Clubs (WOCO). John Armenia, Joe Crowe and Arnie Scheldt of Active and Dr. James Vernetti, Henry Heyl and Ray Fletcher of 20-30 were among those who fostered the World Council movement up to its formal beginning in 1945.
Merging Ideas and Resources
In 1959, President Norm Morrison of 20-30 and President Ken Helling of Active, exchanged a letter renewing the long standing proposal that these two identical young men’s service clubs should merge.
Between 1959 and 1960, meetings were held between the two groups, culminating in the proposed Constitution and Resolution to be presented to the 1960 Conventions of each organization. In addition to Morrison and Helling, Jack Kummert, Doug Martin and Clint McClure of 20-30, and Victory W. “Bill” Smith, Owen Barnes and Jim Robertson of Active participated in the early negotiations.
In 1960, the 20-30 International Convention was held in Santa Cruz, California. The delegates unanimously adopted the merger proposal and the Constitution. One month later, the delegates at the Active International Convention in Calgary, Alberta, also unanimously adopted the propositions. Therefore, on August 1, 1960, Active International and 20-30 International became the Active 20-30 International.
While the mechanics of the merger were being formulated, each organization maintained its separate administrative structure, officers and National Office through its convention year. In October 1960, the first combined magazine, Active 20-30 made its appearance. The first convention of Active 20-30 International was held in Tucson, Arizona, July 10-14, 1961, where the Constitution and bylaws were officially adopted.
The major International Projects selected for the new organization were Keys in the Car, Aid to Scouting, Public Speaking and Rheumatic Fever. During the 1975 Convention in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the new International Charity Foundation was adopted to replace Rheumatic Fever.
The Creation of the Active 20-30 United States & Canada
In 1981, a proposal was put forth to the membership to allow for National Associations in Active 20-30 International. In 1982, the Active 20-30 United States and Canada, Inc., was formed with its National office in the building owned by Active 20-30 US & Canada on 1915 I Street, Sacramento, California. Arnie Krogh of Sacramento served as its first National President. In 1996, the National Office was moved over to 915 L Street in Sacramento, California, where the Nossaman, Guthner, Knox and Elliott, a professional association management team, is currently serving Active 20-30 United States & Canada.
Active 20-30 USA & Canada is also a member of Activo 20-30 International (with clubs in Columbia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic) and the World Council of Service Organizations (WOCO).