OCEANSIDE — The Blue Wave Kiwanis of north San Diego County recently celebrated gaining its charter and becoming the third Kiwanis club in Oceanside.
The club registered in July. Since that time it has signed up 20 members and already taken on the Kiwanis Eliminate Project and ongoing standing projects to serve Ivey Ranch Park therapeutic horseback riding program, Brother Bennos soup kitchen and Milestone House programs for at-risk teen girls.
The Kiwanis Eliminate Project is an international effort to end maternal neonatal tetanus by raising funds to provide tetanus shots to mothers in Third World countries.
Club president Jim Jones said the Kiwanis club is all about service.
“I’m a retired Marine veteran,” Jones said. “I’ve always been of service. It’s deep in my soul. Helping people and the community is my passion.”
He added that the Blue Wave Kiwanis is a one, two, three club. Members meet twice a month and put in one hour of social camaraderie and three hours of service a week.
Service projects are generated by club members and community requests. They can range from installing playground equipment to running an annual golf fundraising event.
Once club projects are determined members select the projects they want to work on.
“A successful Kiwanis club will have projects that engage its members,” Dave Schmitt, new club builder of California-Nevada-Hawaii District of Kiwanis International, said. “Members are positive and community minded. It’s the joy of helping someone. We do a lot of hands on service.”
Men and women age 18 and older can join Kiwanis. The average age of a member is 57. “It’s primarily businessmen and businesswomen who are retired,” Schmitt said. “A lot of members are looking for something to do. They are not raising kids anymore and want to add community service into their routines.
“Their business experience is very valuable,” he added. “It’s amazing how connected they are to the community in North County.”
At the Blue Wave Kiwanis club’s charter ceremony in October the club received its banner, flag, bell, gavel and member pins.
The catalyst for starting the new charter was to have a club that meets in the evening. The Oceanside Pacific Kiwanis club meets in the morning and Oceanside Kiwanis club meets at noon.
Schmitt said there is a bit of healthy competition between clubs to raise funds for causes but the shared goal for clubs is to provide community service.
“We collaborate on projects and getting new members,” Schmitt said.
There are 17 Kiwanis clubs in North County and 65 clubs total in San Diego County. “We’re all doing community service,” Schmitt said. “One can make a difference. Working together we can multiply our difference.”
The Blue Wave Kiwanis meet at 7 p.m. on second and fourth Wednesdays at Ivey Ranch Park clubhouse.