In the 1730s, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “The good men may do separately is small compared with what they may do collectively”.
If you get out and around Glendale at various civic, school and charitable events, you've probably seen us surrounded by a cloud of smoke. We are not firemen, we are members of the Jewel City Kiwanis Club.
Over 26 years ago, several members of Glendale Kiwanis Club found that meeting for a long, lunch meeting on a Friday afternoon just wasn't convenient with their work schedules. They decided to start the Jewel City Kiwanis Club that would meet at night, making it easier to fit things into their schedules. A handful of original Charter Members are still members of JCK. And, do they all have some stories to tell.
Besides meeting at night, this Club is famous for two things: no neckties and no singing. Many clubs love to sing but not these guys. This maverick club is very successful with raising charitable funds for local schools, YMCA, YWCA, CASA, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Little League, City of Hope, High School sports teams, Music departments, CV ROTC and Operation Gratitude. You can find them preparing BBQ food for civic functions at parks, schools and street fairs.
Dick Wosner was the founding member and late Bob Davidson was the first President of the Club. After a few years of trying to raise money by selling coloring books and ringing bells during the holidays, the members had had enough. There must be a better way to go. At the time, all the members happened to be men; and men like to barbeque, right? They rustled up an old travel trailer and the guys set to work with a chain saw to "remodel" it. After ripping out the interior, they built a pretty decent kitchen to prepare food to see to the public.
This homemade trailer kitchen lasted a number of years during which the JCK men saved a portion of their sales for new equipment. About ten years later, the piggy bank had enough money in it to pay for a new commercial 20 feet trailer. It was just a square white box but the JCK boys considered it a blank canvas.
Tom Brittan and Howard Shermer headed up the trailer team, designing the perfect kitchen trailer that they had dreamed about for so many years. White formica cabinets, stainless stell counter tops, couble sins, a gas cooktop, triple fryers, commercial refrigerators, a freezer and ots of storage. Hidden below is a generator, propane gas system and fresh and gray water storage tanks. They installed fly-up doors and a sixteen foot deck that folds down from the back of the trailer. The deck holds two, 6 feet commercial BBQ's and food preparation tables.
A local business donated a box cargo van to pull the trailer. That truck olds a second commercial refrigerator, a chest freezer, rolling bread racks and misc. equipment needed for the whole setup. This truck has s second generator to help power everything.
Bob Morris, of Monterey Tow Service generously stores the truck, trailer and equipment and provides electricity all year long. Bob is just one of a half dozen key members that enable the Club to operate. Tom Brittan and Howarrd Shermer do most of the mechanical work on the equipment. Bill Warner is the Treasurer behind the scenes, a thankless but necessary job in many clubs.
Alice Hamrajbaian applied for membership and became the first female member of the Club. Alice works for City of Glendale. She brings with her a strong work ethic and lots of new contacts to help the Jewel City Kiwanis. Her daughter Meghedie Der Sarkissian who is an honorary member of the club, served in US Air Force and currently is a Blackhawk pilot in US Army.
The JCK caters food for lots of local school events, many City events and charitable groups of all types throughout the year.