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Did you attend the Fishing Derby, the Sun and Sea Parade or Septemberfest"? Well "IB's Raising Stars", The Imperial Beach/South Bay Kiwanis, those are just some of the events were they’re working to help the Children of IB and more.

Jan 03, 2015 02:45PM ● By Paul Spear

The group with the most activities helping to supporting others in Imperial Beach has to be the Kiwanis of Imperial Beach. Their focus is helping children locally in Imperial Beach, Rady Children's Hospital and children around the globe. You can always find them out there working to help others! Besides their own projects, you can find them teaming with other groups to help with their events. Their attitude is great and they always find a way to have fun in what they do!


Besides the events like the Fishing Derby, Septemberfest or the Sun and Sea Parade, they work on projects and events for Rady Children's Hospital. Rady’s is the largest children's hospital in California and works exclusively on pediatric healthcare. It's associated with UCSD as a teaching hospital for future pediatricians, and it is a research center in conjunction with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and UCSD.

 The Kiwanian "FREE Fishing Derby" is for children up to 16 years old. The Fishing Derby took place Saturday August 23rd at the Pier Plaza. The Kiwanis' turned so many kids’ faces into smiles during the Fishing Derby that it was worth going to see that alone! Besides getting to experience fishing, many for the first time, The Kiwanis' had so many prizes for them that every kid went home a winner and a prize!


SeptemberFest” is one of the Kiwanis major fundraisers. It’s a fun night for the adults 

 to party and socialize with friends. It had music from Ron Kelley’s Band, brats and beer. It helps them cover expenses for donations or projects they do. 

 I can’t think of a better place to start talking more about what they’ve done to help than to start with  the 2014 IB Kiwanis of the year”. That was awarded to Sha-Ron Cobb. I can't think of a more deserving person! Every time I have been at an event in IB, I have seen Sha-Ron doing something to help others out! If you have lived in Imperial Beach for any amount of time, you probably already know Sha-ron and the giving person she is! Her winning the award for 2014 is well deserved.


Their biggest and most involved effort had to be the 19th Annual “Feed the Kids and Families” event November 24th. The IB Kiwanis had 30 to 40 members who helped out. Their effort made it a big success. They fed around 500 children and their families. Some members helped with gathering food and supplies and other members helped in other ways. The event was held at the Boys and Girls Club of IB with them and other groups contributing greatly.

But sometimes small things turn into a big deal as well! Many Kiwanians painted the exterior of an elderly ladies house and clearing her back yard of overgrown vegetation. 

 A week before Christmas they “delivered Gift Basket to 5 families”. Melanie Ellsworth, Gary Brown, and Ruth Clingan went grocery shopping and loaded their carts with hams, potatoes, stuffing, apples, oranges, vegetables, spaghetti and sauce, beans, cookies and other goodies that became holiday meals for five families.

 They packaged the food with other gifts for parents and children that were donated by other Kiwanians such as blankets from Gary Trieschman, toys from Donn Hall, shower gels and lotions for the teenagers, and parents, coloring books for the little ones, donated by Ruth Clingan, and books for all of the children, young and older, donated by Dana Tomlinson. Ms. Ellsworth gave a heap of toys. Dana Tomlinson collected and labeled 3 to 5 books for each of the 15 children in the families that received the Christmas Baskets.

That afternoon and evening they delivered the food and gifts to five grateful families who had been chosen by the Imperial Beach/South Bay Boys and Girls Club as part of its efforts to help families during the holiday season.


The Kiwanis also had a booth at “Christmas comes to IB”.  Kiwanis with help from the Key Club raised money to fund their various charity programs to help out the needy children of the world. They were out there for 5 or 6 hours selling hot dogs not including all the time it takes to get the equipment all set up and then put it back away.

 Another big effort of the IB Kiwanis is working with Schools. They have the “Student of the Month Award” that they give out. The Student of the Month is nominated by his or her teacher. The winner is chosen in recognition of his/her academic excellence, great effort, and willingness to work hard.  As Student of the Month, they attend the next Kiwanis meeting with their family, teach and school principal were they receive an award certificate, have their picture taken with their family, teacher, principal and a member of the Kiwanis. They also receive $25 to go into a savings account for college. They donated around 40 books to the SBUSD Elementary to go in their Library for students to read or classes, signed in recognition of those speaking at their Meetings, and Students of the Month.

 Additionally, there were other times our club met up and prepared sandwiches for Sports For Exceptional Athletes, on at least 3 times and also participated in one of the track and field events along with MVHS Key Club in April 2014. Members of the IB Kiwanis club also helped Camp Surf by providing lunch with a BBQ lunch for Sports for exceptional Athletes.

They donate money to support “Project Eliminate”. The Eliminate Project: Kiwanis eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) is a global campaign that will save and protect millions of mothers & babies.

 They also have 4-5 members help out at MVHS home Football games as ushers, etc. referred to as the “MVHS Chain Gang”.

 Nine of our members participated on “Red Shoe day” June 26, standing on the corner to help raise funds for Ronald McDonald House for a total of $655.

Members of club, the MVHS Key Club joined in the City in an effort to clean up the beach March 2014.

 They donated funds to two Imperial Beach Students to help defer some of their cost to attend Valley Forge, Freedom Foundation.

The Kiwanis honored lifeguards in January for an act of heroism, saving a life of someone pulled out from the ocean in Imperial Beach.

 One of the members, who happens to be a firefighter in Imperial Beach, volunteered for the SD Burn Institute at Camp Beyond the Stars last week in July and 1st weekend in August.

May 2014 our club participated at the MMQ event by laying out quarters and making our budgeted donation, while some of our members helped with breakfast at the event and cleaning tables.

As you can see, the Kiwanis of Imperial Beach/South Bay is a very giving group and helps the Imperial Beach community in so many ways; we don’t have time to go into lots of details on all of the projects and events the Imperial Beach Kiwanis were involved in. However, it is easy to see why they are “IB’s Raising Stars”. This is a big group of people who makes a very big difference in our community. We are very fortunate to have them!

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