10 Questions: Karen Miller helps guide St. Germaine’s work for children


Karen Miller is president of St. Germaine Children’s Charity, an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to stopping child abuse. St. Germaine’s signature fundraiser, The Silver Tea, will mark its 30th anniversary on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at the home of Claire Reiss in La Jolla. Inspired by St. Germaine Auxiliary founder, Barbara Christensen, Karen was also president when St. Germaine Auxiliary left CAPF (Child Abuse Prevention Foundation — now Promises2Kids) to become its own 501(c)(3) seven years ago.

Miller has also volunteered with San Diego Opera (La Jolla Opera Guild president), The Salvation Army (Women’s Auxiliary president and Women of Dedication chair), St. Germaine Auxiliary (board member), and USO San Diego (board member and three- time USO Gala chair).

She and husband, Dale, hosted six exchange students through American Field Service (AFS) when they weren’t collecting dogs. She said both the students and the dogs have greatly enriched their lives.

What brought you to La Jolla?

The ocean. My father was a Navy pilot and we moved every two or three years, but we were ALWAYS by the water. And then we were transferred to Texas. I loved Texas and the people, but I missed the ocean (and the milder climate) terribly. La Jolla was the obvious choice as my grandparents lived here. My mother is a San Diego native.

What might you improve in the area?

I would improve our infrastructure. La Jolla is so beautiful and yet we have potholes to rival those in the Midwest. Streetlights and landscaping also need major work.

Who or what inspires you?

Our former exchange students inspire me. Our “daughter” from Ukraine and “sons” from Denmark and Chile, have made our lives so much more meaningful. We are “grandparents” now with another grandchild on the way.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

I would send invitations to Beethoven, Roger Federer, Phil Mickelson, Thomas Jefferson, Michelangelo, Vladimir Horowitz, Margaret Thatcher and Julia Child.

What are your favorite movies and what are you currently reading?

My favorite movies are “Best in Show” and “Pride & Prejudice” (the BBC production). As for books, I enjoy murder mysteries. It makes my husband very nervous.

What is it that you most dislike?

Man’s inhumanity to man. How could one abuse an innocent child or animal? ... Or anyone who couldn’t defend themselves?

What is your most-prized possession?

I don’t consider them “possessions,” but our two German Shorthaired Pointers are very dear to my husband and me. We are the beneficiaries of their unconditional love.

What do you do for fun?

I like to hike with my girlfriends and walk our dogs on the beach. I also enjoy Opera, theater, music and entertaining family and friends at home.

What is your philosophy of life?

Always leave things better than when you found them.

What would be your dream vacation?

My dream vacation would be to visit our children in their homelands and spend enough time there to really understand their cultures.