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Celebrating 50 years of Kiwanis in Europe and more than 1.9 million lives saved or protected

By Marie-Jeanne Boutroy, Kiwanis International European Federation President-Elect

The 2013 KI-EF convention was not just any convention. It was the anniversary of 50 years of Kiwanis in Europe—as well as a time to celebrate our amazing successes for The Eliminate Project. Just in the past year, we recruited a team of more than 1,300 volunteers, raised more than US$2.46 million for a total of US$3.46 million, and secured nearly 50 Model Clubs!

A workshop led by campaign leaders from all nine districts in Europe and moderated by Vice Chairman Europe for The Eliminate Project Filip Delanote set the stage for inspiring sessions, discussions and learning.

Kiwanis International Foundation Chief Operating Officer Ann Updegraff Spleth leading questions and answers in the workshop.

Kiwanians heard about how to approach clubs that have not yet participated, combining The Eliminate Project and growth. They also learned how to establish communication and a good structure, new approaches for individual gifts campaigns, extraordinary commitments and finding the right champions for the cause, as well as how to leverage the relationship with UNICEF and foundations within the districts. All in all, I was glad to see the participation from so many Kiwanians from all over Europe.

The gala dinner supporting The Eliminate Project was the highlight of the convention as the leading districts in Europe were honored for their great efforts! The France-Monaco District was recognized for having 19 Model Clubs. District Coordinator Eliane Ott-Scheffer was very excited to receive a signed certificate from Kiwanis International President Tom DeJulio.

The leading districts in Europe during the gala dinner.

The district of the Czech and Slovak Republic was verbally highlighted with the highest per-member average in Europe (US$ 191), and the Netherlands District was recognized on stage for their excellence in fundraising per-member (US$158). Region Coordinator Martin Poesen and Governor-Elect Hendrik Beuving received the honor and proudly shared it with all the Kiwanians of the Netherlands district.

And third, but definitively not last, the Switzerland-Liechtenstein District was celebrated for having the highest fundraising in Europe, raising more than US$778,053 and saving or protecting more than 432,000 lives. District Governor Robert Jenefsky and Governor-Elect Eugen Moosdorf accepted the honors on behalf of the district and thanked members for their dedication and motivation!

It was a great celebration of 50 years of Kiwanis in Europe, The Eliminate Project and the leading districts for the campaign, as well as all of our European Kiwanians who are working hard to save lives and make a difference. I know the work for The Eliminate Project in Europe will continue and prosper, with more funds raised, many new campaign leaders recruited and a reunion at the Kiwanis International convention in Vancouver! Europe is moving ahead—and we know much more will follow with the new district conventions this fall.

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