To promote fellowship and lasting friendship among its members.
To give back to our community through service and philanthropy, with particular emphasis on projects relating to diabetes and diabetes research, and support of Strelitz Diabetes Center at EVMS.
Cosmopolitan International was founded in Kansas City, Missouri in 1918 by Attorney Patrick J. Hodgins who organized it as a business classification networking club reputed to be the first of its kind in the United States. The first Cosmopolitan Club east of the Mississippi River was established in Baltimore in 1922. The Norfolk Club has been contributing civic service to Hampton Roads since it was chartered on February 27, 1924.
In 1928, a Norfolk Club Charter Member, Thomas A. Hanes, conceived the idea of an Annual Distinguished Service Award Banquet and the initial First Citizen Award was given that year. “Norfolk’s First Citizen” has been recognized annually since then.
In 1958, the Cosmopolitan Club of Norfolk Foundation, Inc. was organized and chartered as a non-profit corporation devoted entirely to charitable efforts with the major source of revenue coming from individual contributions, and various fund raising projects conducted by our members. such as the long standing Cosmopolitan Travelogue Series of tour films held at the Norfolk Civic Center and Chrysler Hall, and the “Great Human Race” an annual Tidewater Striders sanctioned running event. Currently, we participate in Norfolk Festevents to support research at Strelitz Diabetes Center at EVMS.
We are one of 58 clubs located in the areas of the Mid-Atlantic, Southwest, Mid-West and Western Canada. In 1973, Cosmopolitan International decided to make the campaign against diabetes mellitus their principal challenge for the future. In 1983, the Cosmopolitan International Diabetes Center was dedicated at the University of Missouri in Columbia. At about the same time, the east coast urban areas were identified as needing diabetes treatment and education for an increasing population. In 1985, the Norfolk Club and its sister clubs of the Capital Federation helped spearhead the “Million Dollar Connection” to provide the million dollars of seed money to start a diabetes institute for research and treatment at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Our own First Citizen of Norfolk for 1958, the late Henry Clay Hofheimer, donated the first $25,000 towards the campaign. Now known as the Strelitz Diabetes Center at EVMS, it has become a world renowned center for diabetes research and treatment thanks to the efforts of many in our community.
The Cosmopolitan Club motto is Unity, Service, Action. Our original slogan was “the club that builds friendship” and has now also become, “the club that fights diabetes.”