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  • Key Club sells clay flowers to support The Eliminate Project

    By Bow (Sopicha) Vongvanij, Buchholz High School Key Club President, Florida District

    In celebration of Eliminate Week, the Buchholz High School Key Club in Florida hosted a booth at Haile’s Arts and Crafts Festival. The booth sold hand-made clay flowers sponsored by Unya’s Clayflower to fundraise for The Eliminate Project.

    In addition the club set out donation boxes and candy for attendees. The day raised US$500 for The Eliminate Project, which will help save or protect nearly 280 women and their future babies from maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT).

    Following Eliminate Week, Buchholz High School Key Club officers participated in a Kiwanis conference dinner where they presented the funds to Florida district governor and district coordinator for the campaign, Chuck Gugliuzza.

    During the dinner, the club sold an additional US$125 worth of clay flowers. 

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  • What to share: A special message from Kenya

    The Kiwanis family is making history through The Eliminate Project. Thanks to the efforts of districts, clubs and members, we are helping UNICEF provide vaccines and education to women around the world—ultimately protecting families from the deadly effects of tetanus.

    Watch as Charlet Long Little, a member of the San Antonio Army Residence Golden K Kiwanis Club, recalls the gratitude expressed by teachers, doctors and healthcare workers in Kenya for Kiwanis and The Eliminate Project. Then share her inspiring video message with club members, family and friends so they can see how UNICEF and Kiwanis are, again, making a difference in the lives of countless families around the world.

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  • Club spotlight: Kiwanis Club of Barrie

    By Douglas Court, Barrie Kiwanis Club president, Eastern Canada and the Caribbean District

    Photo caption: The Kiwanis Club of Barrie presents a check to Kiwanis International President Dr. John Button. From left to right: Barrie Club Vice President Robert Johnson, Dr. John Button, Barrie Club President Douglas Court.

    The Kiwanis Club of Barrie in Ontario, Canada has been on board to help save women and babies since the beginning of The Eliminate Project fundraising campaign. When the campaign kicked off at the Kiwanis International convention in Las Vegas, representatives from the Barrie club were in attendance, learning all that they could from the presentations and seminars.

    “We had an excellent understanding of the horrors of maternal and neonatal tetanus and the success of the vaccine to eliminate this dreadful disease,” says Douglas Court, current president of the Barrie Kiwanis Club.

    The enthusiasm from Las Vegas was brought back to the club members and has carried on ever since. Among the dedicated Barrie club members is Canada and the Caribbean Region Coordinator Chuck McIlravey.

    The club recently upgraded its commitment, now pledging to raise US$100,000 to help eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT). Douglas shares more about the club’s passion to serve the children of the world through Kiwanis International and The Eliminate Project.

    1. Why did your club decide to upgrade to a 100K Club?
    Our membership fully supports the work being done to eliminate this disease. Although most of our efforts focus on our local community, we recognize that we are part of a global organization, and we have responsibility for children everywhere. Wherever there is a need, we are able to assist them. To this end, we committed to do as much as possible to contribute to Kiwanis’ Global Campaign for Children.

    2. How has participation in The Eliminate Project affected member participation and new member recruitment?
    Our members have fully supported The Eliminate Project since its beginning. When people show an interest in joining our club, it is usually focused on helping children and youth in our own community. We highlight The Eliminate Project as one of the success stories that demonstrates our commitment to children globally. The sense of belonging to an international organization gives new – and longtime – members a sense of pride in the work of Kiwanis International. We are caring for children everywhere.

    3. What has been the most rewarding experience associated with The Eliminate Project?
    Success breeds success. Hearing about the success of the campaign encourages us to continue our fundraising efforts. The most rewarding aspect of the project is seeing individuals recognize the importance of The Eliminate Project. Members and friends of our members have contributed to support mothers and children in developing countries.

    4. What do you wish other people knew about The Eliminate Project?
    I wish more people, recognizing the work of Kiwanis clubs, could see how The Eliminate Project shows that men and women in our community can successfully help children around the globe.

    5. What is a fun fact that you would like people to know about your club?
    Through our summer fundraising activities and through all the work, sweat, sore backs and long hours, we are always laughing. We enjoy fellowship with members and volunteers.

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  • Thank you to our newest donors

    Thank you to our newest donors (4/18/15-5/15/15) who will help save lives and eliminate MNT forever. 

    Lead Gift

    Ted and Lynn Coons

    Major Gift

    Barbara and Charlie Thompson
    Brian and Kristen Bowers
    Bruce and Joy Hammatt
    Chang-Chien Lo
    Leroy and Robin Tapia
    Steel Family Foundation
    Van and Betty Olmstead Jr.

    Model Clubs

    Aberdeen / Cal-Nev-Ha district
    Bay City / Texas-Oklahoma district
    Calgary Chinook, Alberta / Western Canada district
    Cambrian Park / Cal-Nev-Ha district
    Cumming / Georgia district
    Cy-Fair, Houston / Texas-Oklahoma district
    Downey / Cal-Nev-Ha district
    Ellsworth / Kansas district
    Geneva / Illinois-Eastern Iowa district
    Greater Kennesaw / Georgia district
    Hays / Kansas district
    Henry County / Georgia district
    La Marque / Texas-Oklahoma district
    Lincoln Golden K / Nebraska-Iowa district
    Lipizzanerheimat / Austria district
    Lorrach / Germany district
    LSU, Baton Rouge / La-Miss-W.Tn district
    Rapid City / Minnesota-Dakotas district
    Roanoke / Capital district
    Seward Helping Hands / Nebraska-Iowa district
    Tustin / Cal-Nev-Ha district
    Warsaw / Indiana district
    Will County 321 / Illinois-Eastern Iowa district

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

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  • Building excitement for the Centennial Celebration

    The 2015 Kiwanis International Convention in Indianapolis is quickly approaching, and The Eliminate Project campaign office is excited to celebrate our accomplishments with the entire Kiwanis family.

    To help build enthusiasm, we reached out to Kiwanis members around the world to find out what excites them most about Kiwanis’ centennial convention. They also shared insights on the importance of The Eliminate Project.

    “The 2015 convention will remind us of Kiwanis’ rich history of 100 years of service,” says Dennis Oliver, Louisiana-Mississippi-West Tennessee district coordinator. “We will rally and prepare for the exciting years ahead.”

    Bev Burnap, division coordinator in the Wisconsin-Upper Michigan district, says, “It is important to attend the Kiwanis International convention so we can learn to grow as members and find out how Kiwanis works to serve the children of the world.”

    “The Eliminate Project education sessions are an opportunity to learn more about this lifesaving campaign, and we can share our experience with leaders from all over the world,” adds Kiwanis International Foundation Treasurer Chia Sing Hwang.

    Jody Melcher, Nebraska-Iowa district governor elect and division coordinator, agrees that the sessions are beneficial. “We hear from people who have participated in field visits and get to ask questions,” she explains. “New videos are shown and the most up-to-date information is shared. We leave energized with new ideas to continue our work with clubs.”

    Together, we can make 2015 the year we reach our fundraising goal—and help eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus. But it will take the entire Kiwanis family.

    With this in mind, participation in the weeks leading up to the convention is critical. Now more than ever we are committed to saving and protecting the lives of millions of mothers and babies from MNT.

    Dennis adds, “This convention is a celebration of The Eliminate Project, where we are and how we will complete our march to victory – a world without tetanus.”

    As the Kiwanis family celebrates our 100th birthday, let’s give a gift that changes the world.

    We would like to hear from you – a passionate Kiwanian and dedicated campaign supporter. Tell us what excites you most about the 2015 Kiwanis International Convention on Facebook or Twitter.

    You can find more ways to get involved with The Eliminate Project at the convention.

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  • Preparing for Namibia

    A delegation from Kiwanis International and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF is set to travel to Namibia next week. From May 25-29, the delegation will meet local volunteers, medical experts and mothers, as well as observe UNICEF activities related to health care.

    Namibia is one of 36 countries that have successfully eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT). While these women no longer live in fear of the deadly disease, there is an important focus on sustainability efforts and continued education.

    We had the chance to speak with two of the delegates before they take off for the trip of a lifetime. Kris Bowers, Indiana District, and Bill Harrigan, Kentucky-Tennessee District, share insights on the upcoming trip to Namibia.

    What excites you most about the trip to Namibia?

    Kris: I am most excited about seeing our partner organization, UNICEF, in action. We talk about UNICEF as the organization delivering immunizations and educational programming for The Eliminate Project, but most Kiwanis members don’t get to meet UNICEF staff members and see them in the field. It will be energizing and instructive.

    Bill: I am excited to meet and interact with the UNICEF staff doing the work that we tell people about. I am excited to meet those who have been touched by UNICEF’s good work and to see the beautiful country and its people. More than anything, I believe I am most excited to see how this effort can be continued in perpetuity.

    What do you hope to bring back?

    Bill: My hope is to bring back a message of success and sustainability to our Kiwanis members who have donated and dedicated years of effort to The Eliminate Project — the message that elimination can and will be achieved.

    What do you expect to encounter?

    Kris: As this is a sustainability review visit, I expect to see healthy mothers and babies. I also expect to see immunization programs in place and education on safe birthing practices. It would also be gratifying to see how local and national government leaders and agencies support the on-going efforts to combat MNT. Bottom line, I expect to see a glimpse of what the world will look like when Kiwanis completes the mission of eliminating MNT.

    Why are you motivated to protect moms and babies from MNT?

    Kris: I’ve had the privilege of visiting Zambia twice to work with local programs that support children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. I’ve learned from that experience that the future of communities and nations lies with the health and education of children. Healthy children, with access to education, grow into world-changing adults. To know that I can, in some small way, play a role in changing the future of a community thousands of miles away from me is tremendously gratifying.

    Bill: When I graduated from medical school I didn’t know that maternal and neonatal tetanus continued to be a worldwide problem. Decades later, The Eliminate Project opened my eyes to the devastation that has resulted from this preventable disease. There aren’t many things I do on any given day that are more meaningful or more important.

    What is the potential of The Eliminate Project?

    Bill: I believe the real potential is difficult for most of us to comprehend. When UNICEF organizes clinics to reach communities in remote areas of the world to eliminate this disease, one can imagine all sorts of by-product benefits to these communities. It provides access to other health initiatives and the empowerment of women and children. And those who we help save through this campaign can achieve and succeed at who-knows-what in their own communities and beyond. How do you measure that?

    What does The Eliminate Project mean to Kiwanis?

    Kris: We are dedicated to improving the world, one child at a time. That’s the very definition of The Eliminate Project. As volunteers, I believe we all want to know that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. When we come together as Kiwanians, we strengthen the altruistic and humanitarian ties that bind us, and we, quite literally, change the world one child at a time. We fulfill our mission.

    Other members of the delegation include Jimmy McCorlew, Georgia District; Brian Bowers, Indiana District; Kellye McElroy Smith, Missouri-Arkansas District; and The Eliminate Project Area Director Caitlin Johns.

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  • Capital District members are committed to the cause

    The Capital District has been a strong supporter of The Eliminate Project since the campaign kicked off.

    “Members and clubs in the Capital District recognize and take great pride in being part of an international organization,” said Capital District Governor-Elect David Heppner. “We also recognize The Eliminate Project is a unique opportunity to fulfill our mission and make a big impact for a small donation—the cost of a cup of coffee can save a life. We want to do our part.”

    During the 97th Annual Capital District Kiwanis Convention in Roanoke, Va., the district reaffirmed its commitment to save lives before the Kiwanis world. The House of Delegates overwhelmingly passed a resolution to fulfill its US$3 million goal for The Eliminate Project.

    It seems like a daunting figure. But, Capital District Coordinator John Tyner says the point is to emphasize district members are committed to raise their fair share based on membership, which amounts to US$474 per member.

    To achieve the goal of US$110 million, The Eliminate Project must secure a global per-member average of at least US$474.

    “It is important for districts to have a goal,” says Jeffrey Wolff, The Eliminate Project vice chairman, SLP. “Districts need to have something internally to strive for. We will reach our fair share.”

    Not only will this commitment inspire clubs in Capital, it is motivating other Kiwanis districts. Since their convention in April, at least eight districts have expressed interest in making a similar commitment.

    “It’s incredible to see like-minded people come together and make a difference for others. And what bigger impact can you have than to save someone’s life?” adds David. “Reaching our district and international goal is a challenge, but we are part of a worldwide team. We invite others to join us so we can knock this out together.”

    The Capital District has already raised nearly US$1.8 million for The Eliminate Project. When you add the US$250,000 pledge approved by the Capital District Key Club during the March convention, the amount remaining to achieve their fair share is roughly US$1 million.

    Capital District Kiwanis clubs and individual members will continue sending in donations over the next five years until their commitment is achieved. At that time, the district will have helped save or protect more than 1.7 million women and their future babies from tetanus. That would fill every seat in the Carolina Panthers’ Bank of America Stadium nearly 23 times!

    The district has two Lead Gift donors, three Major Gift donors and several Walter Zeller Fellows and Centennial Award recipients. Capital is one of five 100 percent participation districts where all clubs have contributed to The Eliminate Project.

    So how did the district reach this commitment?

    “It was a team effort,” says Jeff.

    The district reached out for club support before the vote. The proposed resolution was sent to all club presidents, secretaries and The Eliminate Project coordinators in the district as well as the lieutenant governors and trustees. District Governor Robert Brian Bell, District Governor-Elect David Heppner and Immediate Past Governor Scott Zimmerman joined Tyner and Wolff in rallying support from the Capital District leading up to the vote.

    This resolution followed the Capital District Key Club’s recent announcement for clubs to continue to support The Eliminate Project through Trick-or-Treat for UNCIEF until 2020. The district has raised an average of US$50,000 each year through Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, so leaders were on board for a US$250,000 pledge over the next five years.

    “It is incredibly motivating to see high school students making such an impact,” says Jeff. “Key Club International has raised US$3 million in cash. Now they are focusing on more money for the next five years.”

    David encourages Kiwanis members of all ages to get involved. “You can do a little something. Instead of buying that next cup of coffee or soft drink, give it up and donate the money to save a life. Do that once, twice and eventually it will become a habit. How can you not feel good knowing that you’re saving lives?”

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  • Happy Mother’s Day

    For many, today is the day we celebrate the mothers in our lives and the cherished bond between a mom and her child.

    To mothers around the world, we wish you a wonderful Mother’s Day.

    To those celebrating moms, we encourage you to show your love for the special woman in your life today – and every day. Flowers, candy and jewelry are nice. But what if you could make a difference with your gift this year? You can! It’s not too late to give a memorable Mother’s Day gift that will have a lasting impact.

    For just US$1.80—less than the cost of cards or candy—you can protect one woman and her future babies from the painful and deadly affects of tetanus.

    Between March 1 and June 15, a gift of US$1,250 will help save or protect more than 690 women and their future babies from maternal and neonatal tetanus. You will also receive a special-edition 2015 Mother’s Day Zeller brooch, a Zeller Fellowship Medallion and a personalized certificate.

    Honor a mother or any special woman in your life with a gift to The Eliminate Project. And make their love a force for change.

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  • Turn in your Eliminate Week funds

    Eliminate Week festivities may be over, but there’s still reason to celebrate. Your hard work brought in donations to protect women and their future babies from tetanus.

    There are two easy ways to send in your donations once they’re collected.

    1. By credit card: Call 1-800-KIWANIS, ext. 411

    2. By check: Send a check or money order (payable to the Kiwanis International Foundation) along with your completed gift form to:

    The Eliminate Project: Campaign Office
    Kiwanis International Foundation
    3636 Woodview Trace
    Indianapolis, IN 46268
    Attn: Eliminate Week

    Remember to write your club name or number on the check’s memo line to ensure your club receives proper recognition for its efforts. Clubs that participate are eligible for fundraising recognition and an Eliminate Week patch.

    After you turn in your funds, celebrate your success. Announce your accomplishment to the school. Hold a pizza or ice cream party to recognize your club’s contributions to eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus.

    Thanks for making this the best Eliminate Week yet and for making a difference for moms and babies.

    P.S. Tell us how you and your club were involved in Eliminate Week. Share your stories and photos on The Eliminate Project blog (email, Facebook and Twitter.

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  • Leadership that lasts a lifetime

    In Key Club, you pushed the limits—and pushed yourself beyond your comfort zone. Why stop now? The leadership skills you gained as a member will last a lifetime—in your career and everything else you do.

    Take a look at the qualities that leaders share, and how you can enhance each one: 

    • Honesty. Mean it when you preach it! Honesty is not just about the words you use. It’s about how well they align with what you do.  
    • Ability to delegate. You may be the one calling the shots, but you still need to trust in your team. Let all members of your team help advance toward the goal—play on everyone’s strengths. Remember, you’re not doing this alone. 
    • Communication. If you can’t convey your vision to your team, your team members won't all work toward the same goals. Clear communication is key to leading any group to success.
    • Sense of humor. Things don’t always go as planned! Things in KCI might have been a tad stressful at times—but they were ultimately fun and lighthearted. Encourage your team to laugh at the inevitable mistakes. Crying over them only slows things down.  
    • Commitment. Work hard, so you can show that hard work is being done on every level. If you want to be followed . . . lead by example!

    And don’t forget: every Kiwanis club needs members with strong leadership skills. If your club is lacking those qualities, step up! And if you're not currently a Kiwanian, find a club and join
    ! The Kiwanis family—and the communities we serve—can always use more leaders.

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