Brief History

  • 1896 – A group of business and professional men began to meet for lunch in Detroit to share ideas.  They called themselves the “Booster’s Club”.
  • 1911 – One of their members, Charles Berkey, a wholesale jeweler, organized the Boosters into the first Exchange Club.  They chose the name because they exchanged ideas and philosophies.
  • 1917 – Exchange Club becomes a national organization with its headquarters in Toledo, Ohio where it still is today.  The first annual national convention is held that year in Toledo.
  • 1958 – The Pompano Beach Exchange Club is formed and continues to be one of the most prosperous and active Clubs in America.
  • 2003 – There is nearly 1000 local Exchange Clubs throughout the USA and Puerto Rico with some 32,000 members.

National Projects

  • The first national project adopted by the National Exchange was the aviation industry which was just beginning.
  • The present national project is the prevention of child abuse which was adopted in 1979.  Today there are some 100 Exchange Club supported Child Abuse Prevention Centers throughout the US including our own HUGS for Kids, formerly the Dick Weber Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse.

Famous Alumni

  • President George H.W. Bush
  • Calvin Coolidge
  • FDR
  • Harry Truman
  • Warren G. Harding
  • Orville Wright
  • Jimmy Doolittle
  • Admiral Richard Bird
  • Justice Earl Warren
  • Dr. Norman Vincent Peale