Enthusiasm for the new organization was high, largely due to the energy, can-do attitude, and sense of purpose while having fun that was created by the founding members. By the end of the 70’s there were 58 active groups with total membership around 1300. The neighborhood groups were directed by an overarching, city-wide board, allowing Kindervelt to create fundraisers at the city level as well as in the neighborhoods. Local fundraisers were as varied as the imaginations of the members, who organized progressive dinners, sold cookbooks, had breakfast with Santa and brunch with the Easter Bunny, threw Derby Day and New Year’s Eve parties and so much more.
Many enduring Kindervelt traditions were created at this time, including the Kinder Klaus Markt, which evolved from a 1975 holiday craft show and was so successful it was held in the Ohio National Guard Armory. Inside the immense space, the decorations committee created a life-size Bavarian Village, with eight storefronts to display members’ wares. The storefronts were used for 35 of the Markt’s 38 year run. The popular event generated media attention as well as funding, with members of the 1976 Bengals attending the opening night celebration. From 1976-2013, the event raised almost $3,918,000.
For the first few years, our funds were unrestricted. It was then decided it was best to have a specific area of commitment, the first being the Radiology Department which was able to purchase new equipment.