Who Are We?
The Kiwanis Club of Tacoma was chartered on October 8, 1918 and subsequently numbered as the 120th Kiwanis Club in the United States following the original creation of Kiwanis in 1915 in Detroit. The Tacoma Club is the first club in the Pacific Northwest followed by Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, B.C., Canada Clubs.
Now in its 102nd year of service in the Tacoma area the Kiwanis Club of Tacoma is one of over 8,000 clubs in over 80 countries who make up Kiwanis International, now headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. The motto of Kiwanis is “Serving the children of the world, one child and one community at a time!”
Our Foundation and its Purpose:
The Kiwanis Club of Tacoma Foundation was created in 1962 by members of the Kiwanis Club of Tacoma with an initial gift from Henry Foss, one of the founding members of the club. Since 1989, when the Foundation was placed in the care of a national brokerage firm, the Foundation has donated over $300,000 supporting the children of our community. The Foundation’s portfolio is now managed by Morgan Stanley with guidance from the Foundation’s Board of Directors.
The purpose of the Foundation, since its inception, has been on the support of programs benefiting children, in our community and, through Kiwanis International, children around the world. On the local level the Kiwanis Club of Tacoma Foundation regularly reviews community needs for children and their families and seeks to use its financial resources in projects that will improve the potential for children to reach their full potential. Projects supported by the Foundation range from improvements to a Boy Scout campground, to resources for the expansion of programs for a day care center, to the provision of backpacks for low-income students at the start of school, to the promotion of a special Christmas party for the children and their families at a local homeless shelter, to the building of a playground in an area park, to the sewing and presentation of special blankets for neonatal newborns at the local children’s hospital.
On a broader level, the foundation has supported Kiwanis International in two critical campaigns. Working closely with the United Nations and UNICEF, Kiwanis International has headed a worldwide campaign to do away with Iodine Deficiency Disease. IDD had long been a major killer in countries where nutritional practices include little, if any, iodine. For several years Kiwanis and UNICEF raised funds to support projects to increase the availability of iodine in the diets of citizens of third-world countries, especially children. In 2009 the Kiwanis IDD project came to completion with the celebration of the elimination of the disease. While programs to continue the promotion of iodine use remain, the funding effort by Kiwanis changed to another crippling disease plaguing third-world countries.
Through The Eliminate Project, Kiwanis International and UNICEF have joined forces to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus—a deadly disease that steals the lives of 34,000 innocent babies and a significant number of women each year. Since 2010 Kiwanis has reached its goal and raised $110 million in cash and pledges to eliminate this dreaded disease. Continued efforts to fulfill all pledges remain and work with UNICEF in some fifteen countries goes forward as active efforts to complete the elimination of this disease.
© 2020 Kiwanis Club of Tacoma