For John Peter Curielli, the past has built trust in Kiwanis’ future

Oct 13, 2016

Inspired by experience

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Time and experience have a way of making a person appreciate stability. For instance, John Peter Curielli first joined a Kiwanis club in Chicago in 1975, and he has served the organization in several capacities since then.
For all the change he’s seen in more than 35 years as a Kiwanian, the stability he has seen in our foundation has led to him becoming a loyal donor and to extending our foundation his trust.
“One reason I like the Kiwanis International Foundation is that they’re good shepherds of the money they have,” he says.
Now a member of the Kiwanis Club of Barrington, Illinois, Curielli has a personal involvement that extends beyond his own donations. In fact, he has been a trustee for the Kiwanis International Foundation. He is also a member of the Heritage Society, which includes people who make planned gifts of US$10,000 or more.
“What always impressed me about Kiwanis is there are a lot of ways to give,” Curielli says. “For instance, the chance to put the organization in my will—it’s not just a matter of getting out a checkbook.”

Personal perspective

During his two years as Heritage Society chairman, Curielli found that other people felt the same way. In fact, the position provided “a little more personal view of people who give,” he says. “I met people who weren’t high rollers but who reached inside. I thought, ‘Gee, this is wonderful—that they consider Kiwanis so important.’”
In the past, Curielli himself was moved to give even when his finances were limited. He was inspired by his father, who grew up during the Depression.
“My dad had to be the dad of his family,” Curielli says. “And I’ve gone through some tough times myself. But when all is said and done, the Lord has watched out for me and my family. Even when I didn’t have the money to give, I gave through service. I think of it as an ‘attitude of gratitude.’”
With the past as a guide and inspiration, Curielli sees good things for Kiwanis in the future. The Kiwanis International Foundation is an integral part of his optimism. “Of all the foundations I’ve been involved with, this one touches the most lives all over the world,” he says. “Younger people seem to turn onto the international aspect. It’s become a good vehicle for recruiting potential new members to Kiwanis.”