Kiwanis Club Secretary Jim Baran, Past President Fran Berting, President Kristy Ortega and Southwest District Lt. Governor Ray Valdez. Courtesy Photo
The Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos was recognized by the Kiwanis Southwest District today for excellence. Lt Governor Ray Valdez attended the Tuesday lunch meeting to hand out the awards. The Club received the 5-Star Award for Growth, Outstanding Service Award, Interclub Inner Circle Award and Distinguished Club Award. Past President Fran Berting received the Distinguished Club President Pin and Secretary Jim Baran received the Distinguished Secretary Pin.
Kiwanis is the local service club with a focus on youth projects. They meet each week on Tuesdays from noon to 1:00 pm at the Pajarito Masonic Lodge (15th Street and Sage Loop). The lunch meetings are open to guests and feature fellowship, interesting speakers and information on upcoming service projects.
The local club was founded in January 1948. Kiwanis International is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time.
The Los Alamos Kiwanis Club has an impressive list of contributions and service projects.
- Kiwanis sponsored Pierotti’s Clowns, a five-man softball team that raised more than $200,000 for charity and won so many games that Sports Illustrated once featured the team on its front page.
- Kiwanis started Little League in Los Alamos.
- Kiwanis sponsored organization of Los Alamos County’s Chamber of Commerce.
- Kiwanians played a major role in building Entry Park and Dinosaur Park (on Barranca Mesa) and renovating Rover Park in White Rock.
- Kiwanis organized and continues to support the Key Club at Los Alamos High School, the Builder’s Club at the Middle School and K Kids at the elementary school.
- Kiwanis actively supports Explorer Post 20, famous for its white water raft trips.
- Kiwanis helped sponsor establishment of the YMCA in Los Alamos.
- Kiwanis provides thousands of dollars in college scholarships to graduating seniors every year.
- Kiwanis has recycled thousands of pounds of aluminum brought to Sullivan Field on collection days.
- The club helps to sponsor and run a Christmas party for foster children each year.
- It awards hundreds of dollars in prizes to outstanding Science Fair projects every year.
- Kiwanis has supported both Family Council and Family Strengths Network.
- The club cooks breakfast every spring for Senior Appreciation Night.
- It conducts “Breakfast with Santa.”
- Kiwanis organized and still runs the Fourth of July festivities, which now draw more than 8,000 people to Overlook Park every year.