Louise Mendius Named Kiwanian of the Year!

Kiwanians gathered for an evening of fellowship, dinner and the installation of next year’s officers and board members. Photo by Greg Kendall
Outgoing President Karen Kendall, left, awards Louise Mendius Kiwanian of the Year. Photo by Greg Kendall
Lt. Gov. Don Casperson, left, installs Steve Boerigter as president. Photo by Greg Kendall

Los Alamos Kiwanians gathered Sept. 13 at the home of Kiwanis Treasurer Cindy Eaton for a potluck installation dinner. The special event raised more than $1,000 for Project Eliminate, the Kiwanis International-UNICEF joint vaccination project to wipe out maternal and neonatal tetanus.

At the installation dinner, Louise Mendius was named Kiwanian of the Year. Mendius serves as secretary and is co-editor of the organization’s newsletter. She also manages the newsletter for the Southwest District. Outgoing President Karen Kendall said she selected Mendius because of how invaluable she was to Kendall during their joint term. Mendius provides a variety of roles in the club. She keeps the club on track for reporting requirements to the International club, sang the national anthem at the 4th of July extravaganza, helped at several pancake breakfasts and attended the Kiwanis international convention.

Kendall thanked the entire club for another great year of service. The Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos sponsors the high school Key Club, middle school Builders Club and the elementary school K-Kids. The K-Family is dedicated to service and helping children.

A partial list of projects show the wide range of Kiwanis accomplishments:

  • Kiwanis actively supports Explorer Post 20;
  • Kiwanis provides thousands of dollars in college scholarship to graduating seniors every year;
  • Kiwanis recycles thousands of pounds of aluminum brought to Sullivan Field on collection days;
  • Kiwanis helps to sponsor and run a Christmas party for foster children in the Espanola Valley each year;
  • Kiwanis awards hundreds of dollars in prizes to outstanding Los Alamos Science Fair projects each year;
  • Kiwanis cooks a free breakfast for Senior Appreciation Night every year;
  • Kiwanis conducts “Breakfast with Santa.” Families at this free breakfast are treated to a visit from Santa and an opportunity for their kids to have their photographs taken with Santa. Canned food is collected for LA Cares; and
  • Kiwanis runs the Fourth of July festivities for Los Alamos County, which draws more than 8,000 people to Overlook Park each year.
Don Casperson not only is a very active member of the local Kiwanis Club, but he also serves as Southwest District Lt. Governor. He installed the 2014-2015 officers and board members at the Sept. 13 event including:
  • President – Steve Boerigter;
  • First Vice President (President-Elect) – Lisa Wismer;
  • Secretary Louise Mendius;
  • Treasurer Cindy Eaton; and
  • Immediate Past President Karen Kendall.

The new board of directors includes Kristy Ortega, Cheryl Pongratz, Don Casperson, Jordan Garcia, Paul Cunningham, Chuck Kooshian and Charmian Schaller.

Lt. Gov. Don Casperson installs Lisa Wismer as first vice president. Photo by Greg Kendall

Lt. Gov. Don Casperson installs Cindy Eaton as treasurer. Photo by Greg Kendall

Lt. Gov. Don Casperson installs Louise Mendius as secretary. Photo by Greg Kendall

Cheryl Pongratz is installed as a board member. Photo by Greg Kendall