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About Almaden Valley Kiwanis

Almaden Valley Kiwanis was chartered on August 24, 1988. We currently have about 10 members, and enough projects going on that we really need about twice that!

Club meetings

We meet the second Wednesday of month from 6:15pm to 7:30pm, at the Cup & Saucer restaurant (near the corner of Blossom Hill and Meridian). Its address is:

   Princeton Plaza Shopping Center
   1375 Blossom Hill Rd.
   San Jose, CA 95118
   [google map]

It's probably a good idea to email before coming to a meeting, in case it happens to be a rare week when we have no meeting. Our general email address is info@almadenvalleykiwanis.org.

As a custom, when members arrive at the meeting, they are encouraged to greet all the other members. This develops fellowship, club involvement, and helps spread any communicable diseases you may have. It also helps you to learn everyone's names, so that you're not always saying, "hey dude!"

Sometimes there will be a designated "mystery greeter" appointed by the president. Anyone who acts antisocial and doesn't habitually greet everyone at the meetings risks being ratted out by the secret "mystery greeter", with a penalty of being shot. (Actually, just a dollar.)

At some point, the club president will call for "happy/sad dollars". This is a time for members to share events, happenings, dates, or whatever is going on in their lives. Common themes are vacations, sports team victories, medical afflictions, and new great-great-grand-children.

The meeting is begun and concluded with the Kiwanis bell and gavel. The bell can also be struck repeatedly to try to regain control over a particularly rowdy crowd, though in practice that generally just adds to the din. There is a long, storied history of members attempting to steal the bell and/or gavel from an unwary president, which is why the bell is now firmly tied to the Kiwanis satchel, and why the gavel is usually worn in the president's pants. (Ew.)

Board meetings

In addition to regular club meetings, the club officers and Board of Directors meet separately once a month. Currently, the meeting is held in a nondisclosed location. If you are invited, you will discover a self-destructing note left mysteriously on your desk. If you do not have a desk, you will also find a mysterious desk.


We have annual club dues to cover membership costs at the international, district, and division levels. As of this writing, the dues are $162/year, but that cost fluxuates whenever the external dues change. Not much of the annual dues goes to our local club -- many clubs have have fundraisers specifically so that being in Kiwanis is not a financial burden.

About Kiwanis International

Kiwanis International is an independent, worldwide community service organization that is unaffiliated with any political or religious organizations.

Kiwanis was founded in Detroit on January 21, 1915. The first Kiwanian was a merchant tailor named Joseph Prance. The original name of the group was actually the Benevolent Order of Brothers, and its purpose was the mutual exchange of preferred treatment in professional and business dealings.

Within a year, the name had been changed to "Kiwanis." (The apocryphal story is that "Kiwanis" comes from a native American term "Nun Keewanis," which roughly means "self expression" or "we make a loud noise" or "we have a good time".) It had also become obvious that the original purpose lacked the power to attract and hold members. The purpose of the organization was thus changed to "community service," and remains so to this day. A little later, Kiwanis "bought itself" from organizer Allen Browne, and began a growth pattern that continues today.

In 1916, at one year old, Kiwanis entered Canada (Hamilton, Ontario), thus becoming "international." It took Kiwanis another 46 years before it extended into a third country, establishing a club in Mexico in 1962.

Kiwanis now has about 250,000 members in 8,500 clubs in 122 countries. We hope to have a million members in the entire Kiwanis family by 2015!

The Kiwanis Family

Kiwanis Clubs are just one member of the entire Kiwanis family. One of our greatest strengths is our sponsored leadership program. Other members of the family are:

Kiwanis Organizational Breakdown

  • International. Presided over by the International President and a team of about 15 Trustees.
  • Districts. Presided over by the District Governor, and a team of about 18 Trustees. We are in the California-Nevada-Hawaii District.
  • Divisions. Presided over by a Lieutenant Governor. We are in Division 12, which runs from Morgan Hill to Fremont, and from Campbell to Evergreen.
  • Club. Presided over by the Club President and the Board of Directors. We are the Almaden Valley Club. (Hear us roar!)
There is an additional entity called a Region, which is a grouping of (usually) three divisions. The purpose of the Regions is to elect one Trustee to serve on the District's Board. Regions are just a logical grouping, and do not have meetings or conventions or officers.

Other clubs in Division 12

For more information on the other clubs, see their links from the Division 12 website.
  • Cambrian Park
  • Campbell
  • East San Jose
  • Fremont
  • Los Gatos
  • Milpitas
  • Morgan Hill
  • Pueblo de San Jose
  • San Jose
  • Santa Clara
  • South San Jose
  • West Metro San Jose
  • West San Jose
  • Willow Glen