History


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 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:

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 2022 eighty six students were given a cash gift of $300. 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.

San Diego Kiwanis Club Foundation, Inc.

The Kiwanis Club of San Diego works in concert with the San Diego Kiwanis Club Foundation, Inc. (the ‘Foundation’). The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) foundation incorporated in California that annually provides more than $250,000 to projects and organizations in the community.

Scholarships

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. 

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.

Concert in the Park

For years, the club hosted an Annual Concert in the Park a gift to the community from the Kiwanis Club of San Diego, San Diego State University (SDSU) School of Music and Dance and our partners. The concert raised critical dollars to provide scholarships and career grants to SDSU School of Music and Dance students. The club helped support in developing the wonderful talents of our deserving youth.


Past Club Presidents

2002-03 Art Stillwell 1981-82 Paul R. Pulliam 1961 Pay Hyndman* 1940 E. G. Merril, Jr.*
2022-23 Susan Day
2001-02 Stephen All* 1980-81 Jack M. Templeton 1960 Julius J. Fink* 1939 Frank M. Lowe*
2021-22 Mike Boland 2000-01 John L. Kizer 1979-80 Thomas C. Peek 1959 Clyde Cunningham* 1938 Thomas M. Bomar*
2020-21 Mike Boland 1999-00 Ronald L. Munroe 1978-79 Ellis M. Benson 1958 Cecil D. Hardesty* 1937 Emery D. Sherwin*
2019-20 Judy Leitner 1998-99 Conny Jamison 1977-78 Robert W. Klaiber* 1957 Norman D. Ferguson* 1936 Arthur M. Shoven*
2018-19 Brian Krause 1997-98 Carl Nettleton 1977-79 Harry D. Frels*+ 1956 Roy French Kidd* 1935 E. G. Colby*
2017-18 Patrick Maurer 1996-97 Don Sturek+* 1975-76 M. Ted Dixon*+ 1955 Leslie E. Gehres* 1934 C. E. Sisson*
2016-17 Karina Sousa 1995-96 Sally Hazard 1974-75 LeRoy A. Bellwood* 1954 Herbert C. Peiffer, Jr.* 1933 Donald E. Hanson*
2015-16 Joe Sigurdson 1994-95 Mark McDonald+# 1973-74 C. A. Karaberis* 1953 Leo B. Calland* 1932 P.H. Davenport*
2014-15 David Gugerty 1993-94 Jay W. Jeffcoat 1972-73 Ben W. Hagar* 1952 Howard Carroll* 1931 T.O. Scripps*
2013-14 Brian Krause 1992-93 Michael P. Alessio 1971-1972 Walter A. Zitlau* 1951 S. Robert Frazee* 1930 A. G. Peterson*
2012-13 Ryan Callan 1991-92 James W. Lediwth 1970-71 Douglas Giddings 1950 Dwight E. Keider* 1929 Sam R. Frazee*
2011-12 Corrine LeCates 1990-91 J. Scofield Hage 1969-70 Robert H. Bollum 1949 Richard A. Nelson 1928 Robert L. Mueller*
2010-11 Ken Coley 1989-90 James W. Hurry* 1969 James O. Hewitt* 1948 A. Monroe Sanders 1927 Glenn O. Perkins*
2009-10 Ethel Merriman 1988-89 Charles F. Merz 1968 Don R. Driese* 1947 Orien W. Todd, Jr.*+ 1926 Edgar McMath*
2008-09 Don Sturek+* 1987-88 Griff J. Hayes* 1967 Milton R. Cheverton* 1946 Andy Borthwick* 1925 Arthur J. Morse*
2007-08 Judy Leitner+ 1986-87 Morris A. Peelle* 1966 Fred S. Hage, Jr.* 1945 Edward P. Scott*+ 1924 John J. Frazer*
2006-07 LaDrue Jordan 1985-86 Richard A. Shaw 1965 Richard L. Johnston 1944 Berma W. Bonham* 1923 George L. Mayne*
2005-06 Tom Bauer+ 1984-85 Clark B. George*+ 1964 James M. Gillean* 1943 Russell S. Stowell*+ 1922 C. E. Reinhart*
2004-05 Douglas Frost+ 1983-84 Rene H. Gentry* 1963 George K. Palmer* 1942 John Aseltine* 1921 W. H. Fraser*
2003-04 Persida Drakulich* 1982-83 Robert A. Shumake* 1962 Lawrence Carr, Jr.* 1941 Harry G. Malm* 1920

#Past District Governor  +Past Lt. Governor *Deceased

Don McKee Spirit of Kiwanis Award

Don McKee was a long-time Kiwanis Club of San Diego member who left an endowment upon his death to the Club.  In his honor, we established the Don McKee Spirit of Kiwanis award - given to a member each year, not necessarily for having accomplished a great deal, but for embodying the SPIRIT of Kiwanis (as did Don) - someone who loves Kiwanis and lives it - who is evidently and obviously passionate about Kiwanis - who sort of overflows with the Kiwanis spirit! The Kiwanis Club of San Diego has honored these members with the Don McKee Spirit of Kiwanis Award:


  2010-1 Charlie Coleman
2021-2 Ryan Callan 2009-10 John Kizer
2020-1 Victor Bianchini 2008-9 John Irons
2018-9 Karina Sousa 2007-8 Don Sturek
2016-7 Kenneth Coley 2006-7 Bill Winterbourne
2015-6 Judith C. Leitner
2005-6 Bill Gibbs
2013-4 Arthur Stillwell 2004-5 Richard A. Shaw
2012-3 Jay Jeffcoat 2003-4 Harry D. Frels
2011-2 Dr. Stephen A. All 2002-3 Mark McDonald


Join our Club and perform extraordinary things in your community!

Kiwanis Club of San Diego is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization. 

3276 Rosecrans Street, Suite 202, San Diego, CA   92110-4893

619-324-9853
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