May was another successful scholarship season for the Kiwanis Club of Santa Monica. Handing out over $43,000 worth of academic, music and arts scholarships to our high achieving local students is always our favorite activity of the year. We gave out scholarships to the area high school seniors for academic achievement and community involvement. Students from Samohi, St. Monica’s, New Roads, Olympic and Crossroads were represented as well as PAL and the Boys & Girls Club. All are graduating seniors and will attend institutions around the country including Berkeley, NYU, Nebraska Wesleyan, diesel mechanic school, Tuskegee, and Santa Monica College. The final student of the evening to receive a scholarship drew tears from the audience as she described how proud of herself that she was to be able to have achieved academic success while taking care of her blind father from the age of 5.

The following night we handed out 27 scholarships to our area’s most talented musicians. Club members, parents and community members in attendance, were entertained with music on instruments including the viola, the flute, a marimba and the voice. Earlier in the month, we gave out scholarships to our student visual and fine arts achievers at the annual school district art show.

For the younger children in our community we hosted the first Make A Mess Day and it was a spectacular success. Over 550 parents and kids K – 8th enjoyed making a mess with art on Sunday, June 3 at Bergamot Art Center. The event was sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Santa Monica and with the support of the Santa Monica Arts Commission. There were 18 art projects, each was hosted by a gallery. Projects included large page charcoal still life drawing, paper cut outs using a live model, mask painting, mosaics out of pebbles and colored glass, bead collages, Jackson Pollack styled splatter paint – wow did that make a mess!, paper flowers and so much more. Our UCLA Circle K heroes hosted a table making tissue paper wreaths, our Samohi Key Clubbers managed the projects at our 2 tables, and the Pali Kiwins gave out water, apple juice and raisins all day.

We look forward to hosting these events again!

Since 1922 the Kiwanis Club of Santa Monica has been the most active service organization in Santa Monica; each year the club awards over $140,000 to our community in the form of grants, scholarships and sponsorships. We meet regularly. To join us or to donate to Kiwanis Charities, please visit our website,, or follow us on Facebook at

Jessica Handy