An Invitation from
The Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos
What is Kiwanis?
The Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos was founded in January 1948. It is the oldest service organization in Los Alamos.
The club is affiliated with Kiwanis International, a worldwide organization that started in Detroit, Mich., in 1915.
Local members take seriously the Kiwanis International Vision, which states, “Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time.”
The objectives of Kiwanis International spell out in greater detail the ideals that all Kiwanians seek to uphold:
To give primacy to the human and spiritual rather than to the material values of life.
To encourage the daily living of the Golden Rule in all human relationships.
To promote the adoption and the application of higher social, business, and professional standards.
To develop, by precept and example, a more intelligent, aggressive, and serviceable citizenship.
To provide, through Kiwanis clubs, a practical means to form enduring friendships, to render altruistic service, and to build better communities.
To cooperate in creating and maintaining that sound public opinion and higher idealism which make possible the increase of righteousness, justice, patriotism, and good will.
of Community Service
A partial list of projects shows the wide range of Kiwanis accomplishments in Los Alamos in the club’s first 67 years:
Kiwanis has many faces. The public is probably most familiar with Kiwanis as a collection of people in yellow or blue vests and aprons who have conducted hundreds of pancake breakfasts over the years. But Kiwanians also put on protective clothing and staff the firing line each Fourth of July.
Kiwanis has a well-deserved reputation as a group of dedicated people who can move fast when the need is great. For example: In 2006, when floods ravaged orphanages in Juarez, Mexico, Los Alamos Kiwanians kicked in $600 in a matter of days to help. In 2007, when tornados struck Southeastern New Mexico, Los Alamos Kiwanians handed in more than $300 in just one hour to help the people there. In 2015, the club's annual Kentucky Derby Party took in $4,725 for the Kiwanis International-UNICEF drive to end maternal and neonatal tetanus worldwide.
Los Alamos Kiwanis giving through the first five months of 2015 totaled $12,220. Every penny that the Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos raises from the public goes back into service projects!
Los Alamos Kiwanis holds weekly luncheon meetings that provide the “glue” holding the club together. The noon meetings feature reports on completed activities, announcements of future activities, and sharing of “Happy Dollars” to mark major events in individual members’ lives. Details of these meetings, related service activities, and upcoming events are provided in a weekly newsletter.
Three meetings each month feature speakers on topics important to Kiwanis. For example, in just one recent month—May of 2015—the list of speakjers included Kim Gabaldon (the director of Los Alamos County Social Services Department), Feliciano Gabaldon (director of Los Alamos Medical Center), and Chuck Valenti (chief executive officer of Del Norte Credit Union). Kiwanis regularly invites all candidates for local offices to speak on their reasons for running and what they see as the major issues facing the community. All Kiwanis noon meetings are open to the public.
The fourth meeting of each month is devoted to committee sessions that plan for and carry out Kiwanis service. Among the club’s many important committees are: “Boys and Girls,” which provides funding for youth activities sponsored by organizations from the YMCA to Special Olympics; the Scholarship Committee, which awards thousands of dollars in college scholarships to graduating Los Alamos High School seniors; the Science Fair Committee, which does its own judging and then awards $1,500 in prizes each year to outstanding exhibits at the Los Alamos Science Fair; and the Fourth of July Committee, which makes all of the arrangements for fireworks, vendors, and entertainment for an estimated 8,000 people who come to Overlook Park to mark Independence Day each year.
Kiwanis is run by a president, first and second vice president, secretary, treasurer, and board of directors. Members of the local group attend twice-a-year meetings of the Southwest District of Kiwanis, which includes clubs in three states. They also sometimes attend meetings of Kiwanis International, which has thousands of members in countries all over the world.
Both men and women are welcome in Kiwanis, and the Los Alamos club is evenly divided between the two. Both men and women have served in all offices of the club.
Picture Yourself as One of Us
Kiwanis provides its members with information, inspiration, fellowship, and meaningful service activities.
If you want to serve your community, if you want to make things better—both for children and for the community, if you would like to work with people who share your own idealism, then Kiwanis is the place for you.
If you are interested, call one of the club officers (listed below on this menu) and ask for more information. You might end up wearing one of those blue vests while you flip pancakes—and loving it.