The Kiwanis Club of San Diego was chartered in 1920, the first in San Diego County.  The club is one of the largest Kiwanis Clubs in San Diego and Imperial Counties.  The club is also known as the ‘Downtown Kiwanis,’ but has approximately 100 dues-paying members and honorary or otherwise privileged members from throughout the region.

The Kiwanis Club of San Diego represents a diverse spectrum of business, government, military, and community leaders providing services to youth and the community.

The Kiwanis Club of San Diego has a proud history.  These major programs mark that history and are often referred to by club members:

Children’s Hospital

Through the years, the club has had a very close relationship with Children’s Hospital. The club was a major financial contributor and a force that led to the founding of the hospital. Over the years, the Kiwanis Club of San Diego has contributed more than $551,000 to its programs. Participation continues through activity in the hospital’s Mile of Quarters campaign and in contributions to help the hospital meet its needs.

Laurels for Leaders

Laurels for Leaders is governed by a board of directors consisting of members of the Kiwanis Club of San Diego, school officials, public and private leaders of the community. The program was established to recognize and honor the high leadership accomplishment of the student body presidents of San Diego County high schools. The program culminates in an annual luncheon at which the student leaders are presented certificates of recognition, a distinguished speaker brings them a message on patriotism and leadership and in 2003 eighty-one students were given a cash gift of $500. The luncheon is held in February around the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. This time was selected to relate the event to these great presidents and to recall their service to their country and their patriotic devotion.


The Kiwanis Club of San Diego and the Kiwanis Club Foundation donate more than $100,000 each year for scholarships to students in San Diego County. The Foundation Scholarship Committee provides financial support to students attending San Diego area colleges and universities. Special scholarship grants include the Walter Zitlau and Don McKee memorial scholarships. For more than 25 years the Kiwanis Club of San Diego and the San Diego State University (SDSU) School of Music and Dance have provided annual music concerts to raise money for SDSU music scholarships. In 2008 more than $24,000 was donated to the scholarship fund at the SDSU School of Music and Dance.

Past Club Presidents

1920-Ed P. Sample* 1953-Leo B. Calland* 1986-87-Morris A. Peelle*
1921-W. H. Fraser* 1954-Herbert C. Peiffer,
1987-88-Griff J. Hayes*
1922-C. E. Rinehart* 1955-Leslie E. Gehres* 1988-89-Charles F. Merz
1923-George L. Mayne* 1956-Roy French Kidd* 1989-90-James W. Hurry*
1924-John J. Frazer* 1957-Norman D. Ferguson* 1990-91-J. Scofield Hage
1925-Arthur J. Morse* 1958-Cecil D. Hardesty* 1991-92-James W. Ledwith
1926-Edgar McMath* 1959-Clyde Cunningham* 1992-93-Michael P. Alessio
1927-Glenn O. Perkins* 1960-Julius J. Fink* 1993-94-Jay W. Jeffcoat
Eugene Zeiss* 1961-Pat Hyndman* 1994-95-Mark
1928-Robert L. Mueller* 1962-Lawrence Carr, Jr.* 1995-96-Sally Hazard
1929-Sam R. Frazee* 1963-George K. Palmer* 1996-97-Don
1930-A. G. Peterson* 1964-James M. Gillean* 1997-98-Carl Nettleton
1931-T. O. Scripps* 1965-Richard L. Johnston 1998-99-Conny Jamison
1932-P. H. Davenport* 1966-Fred S. Hage, Jr.* 1999-2000-Ronald L. Munroe
1933-Donald E. Hanson* 1967-Milton R. Cheverton* 2000-01-John L. Kizer
1934-C. E. Sisson* 1968-Don R. Driese* 2001-02-Stephen All*
1935-E. G. Colby* 1969-James O. Hewitt* 2002-03-Art Stillwell
1936-Arthur M. Shoven* 1969-70-Robert H. Bollum 2003-04-Persida Drakulich
1937-Emery D. Sherwin* 1970-71-Douglas Giddings* 2004-05-Douglas Frost+
1938-Thomas M. Bomar* 1971-72-Walter A. Zitlau* 2005-06-Tom Bauer+
1939-Frank M. Lowe* 1972-73-Ben W. Hagar* 2006-07-LaDrue Jordan
1940-E. G. Merril, Jr.* 1973-74-C. A. Karaberis* 2007-08-Judy Leitner+
1941-Harry G. Malm* 1974-75-LeRoy A. Bellwood* 2008-09-Don
1942-John Aseltine* 1975-76-M. Ted Dixon*+ 2009-10-Ethel Merriman
1943-Russell S. Stowell*+ 1976-77-Harry D. Frels*+ 2010-11-Ken Coley
1944-Berma W. Bonham* 1977-78-Robert W. Klaiber* 2011-12-Corrine LeCates
1945-Edward P. Scott*+ 1978-79-Ellis M. Benson 2012-13 – Ryan Callan
1946-Andy Borthwick* 1979-80-Thomas C. Peek 2013-14 – Brian Krause
1947-Orien W. Todd, Jr.*+ 1980-81-Jack M. Templeton  2014-15 – David Gugerty
1948-A. Monroe Sanders* 1981-82-Paul R. Pulliam*  2016-17 – Joe Sigurdson
1949-Richard A. Nelson* 1982-83-Robert
A. Shumake
E. Keider*
1983-84-Rene H. Gentry*
1951-S. Robert Frazee* 1984-85-Clark B. George*+
1952-Howard Carroll* 1985-86-Richard A. Shaw

# Past District Governor
+ Past Lt. Governor
* Deceased