Who are the Kiwanis of La Jolla?

By Henry Chiu, Ph.D.

Achipelago Strtegic Management Inc.

A couple of years ago, I was searching for a civic group that would allow me to give back to my community without the encumbrance of a professional society or the rigidity of a religious organization. Serendipitously, an acquaintance I hold in high regard suggested to me the Kiwanis of La Jolla. My first impressions were: What’s a “Kiwanis”? And what do they do in La Jolla? To my pleasant surprise, I found the answers intriguing and embracing.

Founded in 1915, the Kiwanis is a coeducational group who dedicate themselves to bettering the world by “Serving the Children of the World.”

Our local chapter, “The Kiwanis of La Jolla,” (founded in 1925) fulfills this charter by donating generously to enrichment programs at local schools, providing funding to the Dollars for Scholars program, doing inner-city outreach with the All About Youth Foundation, provides funding and volunteers to the meals-on-wheels program, helps veterans and their families through a variety of charities (Semper Fi Fund, Challenged Athletes Fund, Guide On) and contributes to the most needy of our community through our affiliation with the House of Guiding Hands, among many others.

How do the Kiwanis of La Jolla contribute to all these worthwhile organizations? That was what I set out to explore first hand!

Every year around the last weekend in April, you might notice that the traffic in to and out of the Cove is more impacted than normal. This has been true for the past 31 years – that’s how long the La Jolla half-marathon has been running! The

Kiwanis of La Jolla have been organizing this event since its inception. The race is more than a quaint amusement, as the proceeds generated by entry fees and sponsorships represent the major fundraising event for the Kiwanis of La Jolla. It is through this event (and to a lesser extent the Rough Water Swim), that the Kiwanis can provide contributions to a host of worthwhile causes. All this is made possible by the generosity and fellowship of our members, our neighbors and our wonderfully understanding local merchants.

I found the Kiwanis of La Jolla to be a group that focuses on the important virtues of civic responsibility and fellowship. I found a group of vibrant professionals who live, work and seek to improve our community. I found some very friendly folks, who live by the mantra of “Paying it forward.” I found a welcoming group, I’m proud to call family. I found my community.

Won’t you join us? Together we’ll “Make a big noise!” To discuss volunteer opportunities or to arrange for a visit to our weekly meeting (lunch is on me!) contact me at