By Samantha SLAYBACK
As the international Kiwanis Club prepares to celebrate its centennial, the local Montrose-La Crescenta club isn’t far behind. The Montrose-La Crescenta 90th installation of new officers and board members is at Joselito’s West in Tujunga at 6:15 p.m. on Sept. 25. The club itself will officially turn 90 years old in May 2015.
The Kiwanis Club is an international service organization that works to improve each community in every way possible. In their brochures, the club prides itself on sheltering the homeless, feeding the hungry, mentoring the disadvantaged, and caring for the sick, with a special focus on children.
“Our club exists to serve the children in the community,” explained Division 3 Lt. Governor Ray Huff. “Each club is unique in how it carries out this mission.”
The worldwide organization is divided geographically into sections known as “districts.” The Montrose-La Crescenta Kiwanis Club is one of 468 clubs in the California, Nevada and Hawaii district. The districts are then further split into groups known as “divisions.” Montrose-La Crescenta is a part of Division 3, along with nine other clubs located throughout Eagle Rock, Glendale, Highland Park, Hollywood/Los Feliz, La Cañada and Verdugo Hills.
Clubs in each division work together to elect a lieutenant governor. The lieutenant governor provides regulatory assistance and meets with the club officers monthly to discuss and share. Their administrative duties also include meeting with clubs to share the yearly theme. The past few years have been spent focusing on international efforts, working in a partnership with UNICEF to eliminate neo-natal and maternal tetanus in the developing world, especially in Africa.
The Montrose-La Crescenta Lt. Governor Ray Huff will be the leader in charge of retiring the current officers and board members, and installing the new officers and board members this year.
“The lieutenant governor’s duties are ceremonial in nature,” explained Huff. “A duty I am happy to perform.”
The Club board consists of three officers – the president, secretary, and treasurer – along with five additional board members. These leaders are chosen from among the membership and generally volunteer for the positions, though the other members must vote to approve the new candidates. While the club traditionally holds only two regular meetings a month, officers and board members must meet at least six additional times throughout the year.
An official term of office is one year, but members can and have been known to serve multiple times, though not always consecutively.
“I have served as secretary for three years, from 2011 to 2014,” said current secretary Kathy Pfeiffer. “Our president-elect, Dr. Paul Anding, will be serving his fourth year as president since he joined our club in 1977. Dr. Anding is also our longest standing member.”
These two, though, are not the only ones who have served multiple terms. Current president Robert Wollenweber has served three times intermittently, immediate past president Lynn McGinnis served for three years from 2010 to 2013, former secretary Nita Pearson served for 10 years from 2001 to 2011, and current treasurer Kathy Allmon has served for 14 years, so far, from 2001 to present.
To learn more about the Kiwanis Club and how to get involved, visit Kiwanis.org.