History of Our Club

The Kiwanis Club of Caldwell-West Essex was organized on November 18, 1923, and chartered on February 28, 1924. Our first president was Joseph C. Conover. The Club was initially founded to open a dental clinic and provide dental services to the children of the community.

From its inception, the organization attracted people of high moral character from all levels of the West Essex community. Our club offers personal growth through its involvement in a variety of community activities, teamwork, and deep long-term friendships. It has become an outstanding model of camaraderie and volunteerism in action.

Service is at the heart of our Kiwanis club. By working together, members achieve what one person cannot accomplish alone. 

Kiwanis members celebrating the 50th Anniversary of our charter

The Kiwanis Club donated Kiwanis Oval to the community in 1927 and it is still used today for various sports and recreation.

The Kiwanis Club, along with Rotary, has been bringing the Street Fair to the Caldwells for over thirty-one years!

The Kiwanis Club awards ten $2,500 scholarships to students in our community each year.

Our club sponsors “K-Kids” at local elementary schools in the area, including Saint Catherine of Siena School in Cedar Grove, Lincoln School in Caldwell, and Washington School in West Caldwell; three Builder’s Clubs (Middle School Age) at Grover Cleveland Middle School in Caldwell, West Essex Regional Middle School in North Caldwell, and Saint Catherine of Siena School in Cedar Grove.  The Club sponsors six Key Clubs (High School Age) at: James Caldwell High School in West Caldwell, West Essex Regional High School in North Caldwell, Mt. St. Dominic Academy in Caldwell, Verona High School in Verona, Cedar Grove Memorial High School in Cedar Grove and West Caldwell Tech in West Caldwell. We also sponsor a Circle K (College Age) at Caldwell University.

We have effectively raised and donated over $750,000 to the West Essex communities we serve in the last 20 years.  Every penny earned through fundraising is used for the designated project, and members underwrite the administrative expenses of the club. 

In July of 2023, the Kiwanis Club of Caldwell-West Essex sponsored the Kiwanis Club of Northwest Bergen. Pictured are Lew and Jess, who serve as club coaches, with the new members on their organization date.