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    Dr. Wague Diango smiles after examining 9-month-old Hadrami, seen here with his mother Mnowma. “There is a lot of science behind our work here,” Dr. Diango says. “But behind the science there is something else – love.”

    In Mauritania, a long-anticipated result has arrived: The World Health Organization’s validation survey shows that the country has eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT). More newborns and mothers’ lives are now free from the anguish of tetanus.

    “We are changing the world. Thanks to the generosity of Kiwanians worldwide, UNICEF and its partners, yet another country has now officially declared victory over the pain and suffering of MNT,” says Campaign Chairman Randy DeLay. “Now more than ever I am honored and blessed to be a part of such an amazing project that is truly saving lives. I encourage you to spread this great news far and wide.”

    Since 1999, UNICEF and its partners have eliminated the disease in 36 countries, including Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Madagascar, Sierra Leone, Gabon, Cote d' Ivoire and Iraq. It is great progress—but 23 countries and millions of lives are still at risk.

    “Thank you, Kiwanis, for continuing your extraordinary commitment to the mothers, babies and families served by The Eliminate Project. These great strides wouldn’t be possible without the passion and commitment shown by each and every one of you,” says Caryl M. Stern, president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

    With The Eliminate Project, we are part of the final push to eliminate MNT from the face of the Earth. That will require US$110 million, along with the participation of every Kiwanis family member and the continuing work of UNICEF.

    “We are coming up on the last leg of the race. While there is work left to be done, with your continued support I know the day of an MNT-free world is on the horizon,” adds Stern. “So, let’s take action and keep fighting to eliminate MNT!”

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  • Help save babies today!

    In Sierra Leone, Maumie has already suffered through three of her children’s deaths. Her fourth baby, a boy named James, showed signs of tetanus at birth. Fortunately, he did not have the disease.

    Sierra Leone has become an example of what’s possible in countries with maternal and neonatal tetanus. Thanks to ongoing health care and education, Sierra Leone eliminated MNT.

    Maumie and James are precisely the kind of mother and newborn to whom The Eliminate Project gives hope. In some of the world’s poorest and most remote areas, families live without the knowledge and services that prevent painful and deadly diseases like tetanus.

    You can help them.

    Just US$1.80 provides vaccinations for women like Maumie and education on safe birthing practices to families and communities. In turn, those families will pass the knowledge on to a new generation, for future generations. Most people spend more than US$1.80 every day on a cup of coffee or a soft drink. What if you woke up each morning knowing you had helped save babies from this painful, deadly disease?

    Make your choice. Then make a difference. Every single day. Give now at

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  • Jazzercise helps The Eliminate Project

    By Phil Rovang, Kiwanis Club of Lindenhurst/The Lakes Area

    What does Jazzercise have to do with fundraising for The Eliminate Project? Plenty. At least for the Kiwanis Club of Lindenhurst/The Lakes Area in Illinois.

    The club worked in conjunction with the Lindenhurst Park District and the local Jazzercise franchise owner to raise more than US$1,600 in just two hours to help protect moms and babies.

    Several months before, the club sat down with the Lindenhurst Park District representative, who is a member of the Kiwanis club, and the owner of the franchise to explain the importance of The Eliminate Project. They discussed the possibility of creating a successful fundraiser with Jazzercise students and community members at the Park District gym. The plans were set within an hour.

    To promote the event, campaign brochures were displayed during the month leading up to the event. The owner and instructors also encouraged their students to attend and make a donation to the cause. People were asked to create gift baskets that would be raffled off during the special event.

    The morning of the event the stage was set up, the microphone and speakers were turned on and the special eight-foot-high banners were erected to make the event more festive. Even Key Club members got involved by selling fundraiser items.

    The club got great exposure, and we were pleased with the results. Below are some tips to help other clubs be successful:

    • Trust the Jazzercise management to know what will work with their students.

    • Decide an entry fee. Lindenhurst charged US$20 per entry.

    • Plan the event to be fun!

    • Organize a goodie bag to give to each attendee. Examples include a water bottle, energy bar, etc.

    • Encourage gift baskets that fit the interest of the Jazzercise students. They will buy more raffle tickets that way.

    • Collect donations and give guests an option to write checks to The Eliminate Project.

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  • Thank you to our newest donors

    Thank you to our newest donors (4/3/15-4/17/15) who will help save lives and eliminate MNT forever. 

    Model Clubs

    Bellingham / Cal-Nev-Ha district
    Burbank / Cal-Nev-Ha district
    Chino / Cal-Nev-Ha district
    Dearborn, Outer Drive / Michigan district
    Denison / Nebraska-Iowa district
    Fredericksburg / Texas-Oklahoma district
    Goodland / Kansas district
    Hacienda Heights / Cal-Nev-Ha district
    Mitchelleville / Capital district
    Napa / Cal-Nev-Ha district
    North Lakeland / Florida district
    Plano / Texas-Oklahoma district
    Reims d'Erlon / France Monaco district
    Roland / Nebraska-Iowa district
    Venice / Florida district
    Williamsburg / Nebraska-Iowa district
    Wilmington / Capital district
    Woodbridge / Capital district
    Zanesville / Ohio district

    View our complete list of donors and learn more about our recognition opportunities.

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  • “Fill-a-Truck” campaign supports The Eliminate Project

    By Cynthia Faust, Kiwanis Club of Burbank Noon, California-Nevada-Hawaii District

    The Burbank Noon Kiwanis club in California had a mission: Fill a big truck with clothes in exchange for donations to The Eliminate Project. 

    In the beginning, no one could imagine the size of the truck that that would be filled — one large trash bag at a time. Thanks to the encouragement and the hard work of Hazel Schrefel, The Eliminate Project club chairwoman, the club accepted the challenge.

    Hope of the Valley, a local rescue mission, agreed to give a portion of the funds from the clothing donations. When told it would take 200 large bags to fill the truck, members of the community began contributing bag after bag. Hazel set up a tent in her backyard to hold all of the donations. They eventually spilled onto her patio. So much for summer parties in the backyard. 

    Hope of the Valley sent a huge truck to Hazel’s home, and several Kiwanis members helped load the goods into the truck. The first “Fill-a-Truck” campaign raised US$800. 

    In addition to this campaign, Burbank Noon club members collected funds from garage sales, recycled cans and bottles as well as other fundraising opportunities. Combined, the club raised nearly US$25,000 for The Eliminate Project, which will help save or protect more than 13,800 women and their future babies from maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT). 

    Raising money for MNT fills our hearts. The Eliminate Project energizes Kiwanians to find new and profitable ways to help. La Providencia Guild of Children’s Hospital has since teamed with the Burbank Noon club to donate the unused clothes from their thrift shop to our program. And Forest Lawn of Glendale created a special occasion for members to visit their museum and learn about The Eliminate Project. Through their generosity, US$5,000 was raised.

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  • Donor spotlight: Nebraska-Iowa District Foundation

    By Jack Schinstock, Nebraska-Iowa District Foundation president

    Early involvement

    When the Nebraska-Iowa District originally formed The Eliminate Project committee, more than a fifth of the members on the Nebraska-Iowa District Foundation (NIF) Board of Trustees were selected. Thus, they were already motivated to get the NIF involved with The Eliminate Project. 

    Their motivation paid off. Today the Nebraska-Iowa District Foundation is a Premier Major Gift donor, committing to raise US$50,000 to help protect women and babies from maternal and neonatal tetanus. 

    As president of the NIF, I visited with many Kiwanians in the Nebraska-Iowa District over a period of 18 months. My goal was to determine the best procedure and policy for the NIF contribution. Following two years of discussions regarding the amount, policies and procedures, and with the help of two anonymous contributions, I prepared a resolution that would partially fund up to 56 Walter Zeller Fellowships. For every US$1,000 donated by a Nebraska-Iowa Kiwanis member, the NIF would give the remaining US$250. This initial Zeller matching opportunity was so successful that the board approved to make another 100 Walter Zeller Fellowship matches available.

    Inspiring generosity

    The most surprising part of NIF’s involvement in The Eliminate Project is how quickly Kiwanians who were not already Walter Zeller Fellows decided to participate. In two months, 56 first-time Zeller Fellows came on board in a comparatively small district. As of now, the second Zeller match has resulted in approximately 85 additional first-time donors. A second surprise was increased recognition of NIF within the Nebraska-Iowa District. It is anticipated that this enhanced awareness by individuals and Kiwanis clubs should result in increased contributions to the Foundation once The Eliminate Project is completed.

    Kiwanis International did a great job preparing promotional materials for The Eliminate Project, and the Nebraska-Iowa district committee on The Eliminate Project utilized these materials to motivate district membership. Motivating the NIF to protect moms and babies from maternal and neonatal tetanus was accomplished.

    The Eliminate Project is a way for individual Kiwanians and Kiwanis clubs to demonstrate their commitment to global issues. They are able to make a significant difference in the global community. Both The Eliminate Project and IDD have been projects in which many Kiwanis members can take great pride. 

    Advice to other foundations and clubs includes using creative approaches to get members involved. Listen to as many individuals and groups as possible. Decide which policies and procedures will likely gain the greatest participation of members and take action.

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  • Celebrating progress throughout Europe

    In recent weeks, Europe has celebrated amazing successes for The Eliminate Project. Individuals, clubs and districts are showing their support to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT).

    In solidarity with the district, the Kiwanis Foundation Switzerland-Liechtenstein recently committed to raise CHF 100,000, approximately US$110,000. This Lead Gift will help save or protect more than 61,000 women and their future babies from MNT.

    More than 200 clubs with 7,200 Kiwanis members in the district have also rallied together, raising more than US$2 million to support this worthy cause.

    A short distance away in Germany, the Kiwanis Club Erbach/Odenwald recognized its founding member with a Centennial Award. Stefan Uhrig became the first Centennial Award recipient in the Germany District. The club also upgraded its goal from Silver Club to Model Club.

    Model Clubs commit to raise US$750 per member, each helping to save or protect more than 416 lives. The new club’s contribution will inspire others in the district and around Europe.

    In the France-Monaco District, four Kiwanis clubs marked the 100th anniversary of Kiwanis International with a balloon release to benefit The Eliminate Project. The clubs focused on The Eliminate Project to showcase Kiwanis’ mission to serve children around the world. Individuals could buy a balloon for 2€. The final result of the sales was 1812€, which will help save or protect more than 1,000 women and their babies from maternal and neonatal tetanus.

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  • Achieving new goals, together

    The Kiwanis family is giving hope to families around the world through The Eliminate Project. What we do in the coming months is critical to meet our US$110 million goal and fulfill our commitment to the world.

    Our volunteers rallied on April 15, 2015, for Worldwide Call to Action. Region teams participated in 45-minute calls with Chairman Randy DeLay. The result? Conversations centered on specific steps to increase fundraising in the weeks leading up to Kiwanis International convention and beyond. Teams identified potential growth areas and mapped out plans to achieve greater fundraising success.

    “Our district is few in numbers but made up of dedicated and hardworking Kiwanians,” says Ralph Liepold, district coordinator for Western Canada. “We have already surpassed our US$700,000 goal and hope to reach US$1 million with the matching grant from the Kiwanis Foundation of Canada and the Canadian government.”

    The Eliminate Project is quickly approaching US$80 million in cash and pledges. These funds will help save or protect more than 43 million women and their future babies from maternal and neonatal tetanus.

    “It is amazing what can be achieved when we work together. We reach new goals—and save even more lives!” says Chairman Randy DeLay.

    Supporters from around the world tuned in for Worldwide Call to Action. “We marked our progress and celebrated the hard work that has been accomplished toward the global elimination of maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT),” says Caryl M. Stern, president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. “Without your support, The Eliminate Project wouldn’t be the success it is now.”

    Our focus in the coming weeks is to secure additional gifts from individuals and encourage clubs to join the exclusive group of 66 Diamond and Platinum clubs.

    “We are coming up on the last leg of the race,” adds Stern. “While there is work left to be done, with your continued support, I know the day of an MNT-free world is on the horizon. So, let’s take action and keep fighting to eliminate MNT!”

    Visit The Eliminate Project blog to see more highlights from Worldwide Call to Action, including fundraising plans and words of wisdom from district teams.

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  • What to share this month: The Eliminate Project events in Indianapolis

    Kiwanians from around the world will celebrate our 100th anniversary in Indianapolis this June. Besides honoring the centennial year and connecting with Kiwanis friends at the convention, we will also celebrate the Kiwanis-family’s efforts to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus through The Eliminate Project.

    You can be part of the excitement. Don’t miss these convention events that support Kiwanis’ gift to the world.

    • Kick off the festivities at the Kiwanis World Showcase, formerly the Exhibit Hall. Doors open at noon on Wednesday, June 24. Stop by The Eliminate Project booth throughout the week.

    • Thursday, June 25 is a day you don’t want to miss. The fun starts at 11 a.m. with the Monumental Pancake Lunch on Monument Circle. Kiwanis members, friends and the downtown community are invited to eat free pancakes on the circle. Don’t forget to make a donation to benefit The Eliminate Project.

    • Immediately following the Opening Celebration, supporters of the campaign are invited to The Eliminate Project celebration event co-hosted with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Come ready to party. Kiwanis members have devoted countless hours and resources to help save women and babies during the last five years. This is an opportunity to honor that generosity. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be available, and the Endless Summer Band will perform throughout the event. A formal invitation will be sent in May.

    • Also happening on Thursday are 30-minute education sessions. The Eliminate Project will host a variety of talks. Stay tuned for more details.

    Visit the Kiwanis International convention website for more details and a complete schedule of events.

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  • A word from the president

    Maria Palazzolo, KCI President

    The 2014-15 Key Club president, Maria Palazzolo, tells us a little bit more about what made her want to get involved, her thoughts on the alumni program, as well as what the future holds for her after High School! Take advantage of this opportunity to get to know Maria! 

    Q: Why did you want to be involved with Key Club at the international level?   

    A: It just kind of happened for me. I attended my first International Convention in Orlando as a lieutenant governor and just kind of fell in love with international aspect as a whole. After serving on the local level, I wanted to serve a broader base, and the international level was the best way to go about doing that while continuing to serve my club and district as well.     

    Q: Do you have any suggestions/thoughts/ideas about KCI alumni? Is there anything that you’d suggest to alumni in regards to staying engaged with Key Club?   

    A: I think that Key Club alumni want to stay involved, especially right after they graduate. A committee has been created by Kiwanis International to solve that exact problem, and we are trying to make a stable alumni network so that past Key Clubbers can continue to support the organization that they love! I would tell Key Club alumni that even if they don’t want to join Circle K or Kiwanis right away they should still remember the Kiwanis Family for later on in life.   

    Q: Favorite thing to do outside of school and KCI?    

    A: My current obsession is Netflix, House of Cards and Parks and Recreation are my current favorites. The best thing to do is watch Netflix with your friends, so I tend to do that when I find the time (which isn’t that often).     

    Q: What is it that you know now that you wish you knew last year when you were in office?   

    A: I would like to think that I was pretty prepared coming in after working with the past international board, but I guess that no one can really prepare you mentally for the stress and workload. It’s just something to deal with as it comes. I’ve learned to cope pretty well with everything, but with school and DCON season, it can be a tad difficult sometimes! I love Key Club, though, so it’s nothing I can’t handle!     

    Q: What High School do you attend? When are you graduating? 

    A: I attend Sacred Heart – Griffin High School in Springfield, Illinois. I will be graduating this May!     

    Q: Any plans after High School?   

    A: I plan to attend the University of Notre Dame as a Hesburgh – Yusko Scholar and take classses in the Mendoza School of Business.   

    Q: How long have you been a part of the Kiwanis family?   

    A: I’ve been a part of the Kiwanis Family since 5th grade when my grade school first got a K-Kids. I then joined Builders Club and was the Builders Club President in 8th grade. I've always been a part of the Kiwanis Family, however, because both of my parents were highly involved. I’ve attended all but two Kiwanis International Conventions during my lifetime, and I absolutely love Kiwanians. You could say Kiwanis is in my blood!     

    Q: What do you think your future with Kiwanis will hold?   

    A: Notre Dame has a very strong Circle K, and I have no doubt that I will continue my passion for service in that club! I’m not sure if I’ll run for any district or international offices in Kiwanis or Circle K, though. Only time will tell, I suppose!

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Circle K International - Kiwanis Service Leadership Programs