Serving the Children of the World
ROSEMEAD KIWANIS –
History and Programs
Rosemead Kiwanis began in 1945. “Rose’s Mead” (as thoroughbred horse rancher, L.J. Rose, had named his grazing meadow a half-century before) was not yet even a city. The club, founded by local businessmen, was initiated with guidance from Kiwanians from neighboring Temple City.
This synopsis of our history and current activities is divided into three sections:
The Early Years
The Early Years
Kiwanis, a word taken from an Indian language in Michigan, is translated loosely “self-expression” and is exemplified by the original Kiwanis motto adopted in 1922 “We build.” And the Rosemead Kiwanians proceeded to do exactly that.
The Club’s early members included:
● The chairman of the El Monte High School Board of Trustees
at the time Rosemead High School was constructed.
● The co-owner of a local bank who would go on to become the
worldwide President of Kiwanis International in 1987
● A furniture manufacturer who would leave large endowments
to both the Rosemead Kiwanis Foundation and the Lincoln
Training Center for developmentally disabled adults.
Enhanced by subsequent growth and further bequests by
others the Foundation remains the major engine for the RKC's
ongoing ability to fund projects for Rosemead.
● Several local store owners and professional men who
would spearhead incorporation, serve on the City Council and
school boards and oversee the redevelopment project which
brought Edison International and other corporate entities to the city.
● A thrift-minded church elder who would become Rosemead's
long time City Treasurer, responsible for building the cash
reserves that even today make our city one of the most solvent
in the area - still operating without a city property tax.
As the decades passed our community changed. Rosemead Kiwanis is today, apart from the Rosemead Women’s Club, the sole remaining Rosemead based service club. We have survived by adapting to the realities of the 21st Century and the Internet. We now operate in cyberspace through this website and e-mails (RKC Reporter, RKC Kiwanicle. special bulletins, etc.) as well as in our traditional regular weekly meetings and most recently our newly approved late afternoon satellite.
Today our Club roster still includes leaders in the scholastic and local business community. We remain dedicated to addressing the current and future needs of the Rosemead community. We partner continually with others and welcome participation by all who are interested in giving to their community.
Kiwanis International over the years has developed associated groups to serve children. Rosemead Kiwanis has been deeply involved at the local level in this area including:
● Key Clubs for local high schools
● Builders Clubs at the intermediate school level
● After school programs in both the Rosemead and Garvey School Districts
● Resource center and library at Maryvale (modern name of the Los Angeles County Orphanage, founded in 1856 and relocated to Rosemead in the early fifties)
● Support for Muscatel Intermediate's championship Science Olympiad program – and similar programs in Garvey School District intermediate schools.
● Support for Temple Intermediate's Math Academy and Aviation Center
● Literacy improvement, including 100% RIF (Reading is Fundamental) participation by eligible Rosemead elementary schools
● Support for the West San Gabriel Valley Boys and Girls Club
● ROSY (Rosemead Organization to Serve Youth) Fund grants
● Winter Youth Leadership Camp – open to elementary students as well as intermediate school Builders and Science Olympiad members
● Relay for Life to fight cancer
In addition to direct assistance through the Rosemead Kiwanis Foundation, Rosemead Kiwanis today partners with both commercial enterprises and non-profit groups to obtain grants and funding for worthwhile youth-oriented projects.
Kiwanians are perhaps best known for helping children, but we also do more in several other major areas: Health, Community Communication and Unity, Adult Services, Economic Development, and General Community Activities.
● Health: Our health-related efforts include education for young mothers, and participation in the Kiwanis/UNICEF effort to stamp out Iodine Deficiency Disorders worldwide and more recently Maternal and Neo-natal Tetanus. Our website has downloadable .pdf literature related to a number of these areas.
● Community Communication and Unity: Kiwanians build communities. The resource centers on this website, and our RKC Email Newsletters, Focus Reports, and bulletins are illustrations of this. Another is our disaster preparedness and relief work In support of Rosemead's Safety Center and Neighborhood Watch programs, as well as participation in the city-sponsored Rosemead Connections Forum.
● Adult Service: We have been involved with the Lincoln Training Center from its inception We also have helped facilitate, in partnership with others, flu inoculation and blood donation programs.
● Economic Development: we work actively with the Rosemead Chamber of Commerce and City government to identify needs and publicize information of general interest to residents. Of particular note in recent years has been our support for the teen-oriented "Cool Stuff" economic education program.
● General Community Activities: These center around holiday and special community events, such as Health Fairs, blood drives, inoculation campaigns and Relay for Life.
Obviously much of this is done in partnership with others. The population of Rosemead is now over 50,000. There are over forty religious groups, several score organizations and numerous government agencies in an ethnically diverse environment. Our membership and community partnerships reflect this diversity. Together we continue to believe in and practice the original Kiwanian motto of 1922 -- “We Build.”