Kiwanis was founded January 21, 1915, in Detroit, Michigan, by a group of businessmen as a networking organization. It attracted 200 members in its first six months. Soon, the members were distributing Christmas baskets to the poor and performing other charitable acts. By 1919 it was decided the primary mission of Kiwanis should be community service.
The efforts of Kiwanis International have included helping to greatly eliminate iodine deficiency disorder throughout the developing world — a leading cause of developmental disabilities of the brain in areas where iodized salt was not previously available.
Today, there are more than 550,000 Kiwanis clubs around the globe. Kiwanis clubs host nearly 150,000 projects each year and complete more than 19 million service hours. Every year clubs raise more than $100 million to support community causes.
The Kiwanis Club of Monterey was established in 1926. Members meet weekly on Friday for lunch, meeting, and a featured speaker. The club now meets of Wednesdays and provides opportunities for volunteer service and fellowship to over 45 members who raise money each year through the club projects but derives most of our funds by providing volunteers at the various Pebble Beach Taylor Made Pebble Beach Invitational.
Event proceeds are given to non-profit organizations and schools in the communities of the Monterey Peninsula. Each year the club distributes over $35,000 to various projects of the club, scholarships and to local charities. Charities must complete a grant request application. Recipients are invited to a weekly lunch meeting to receive the check and to speak briefly about how the grant will be used by the organization.
Club members work on a variety of projects that might range from caring for recreational trails in our parks, entering a float for the annual 4th of July Parade. The professions and interests the members bring to the club may be diverse, but they share a commitment to their community and to serving young children – the number one Kiwanis priority.