Carolinas District Coordinator Tom Dimmock and the Kiwanis Club of Wake Forest lead by example. The Wake Forest club committed to be a Model Club in the first year of The Eliminate Project – the Year of Leadership – pledging to raise US$750 per member during the next five years.
For Tom, it was important to get the club on board early. Since making the commitment in 2011, the club has achieved its initial goal, saving or protecting more than 10,000 women and their future babies from maternal and neonatal tetanus. And the club has no plan of stopping there. The Wake Forest club recently increased their commitment by US$10,500.
“At our board meeting it came up that we achieved our goal,” says Tom. “I pointed out that our membership had grown, so the club should give the new members a chance to have an impact.”
Their new goal of US$33,000, which will save or protect at least 5,800 more lives from tetanus, accurately reflects their current membership. The club has grown by 14 members since the time of the initial pledge.
“The Eliminate Project is one of the things we promote when recruiting new members,” Tom adds. “We have a history of doing good stuff in our community, but this is an opportunity to help others around the world.”
The Wake Forest club achieved its initial benchmark through individual giving and club fundraising events. The club has a number of Walter Zeller Fellows and club members making individual gifts and pledges. The club also has ongoing fundraisers and dedicates the proceeds from one event a month to The Eliminate Project.
Tom’s advice to other campaign leaders and Kiwanis clubs: stress the urgency of The Eliminate Project.
“It is inconceivable that we go along with our lives, as infants are dying every nine minutes, and there is something we can do about this,” Tom says. “Sometimes you have to step back and prioritize: is it more important to buy new slides for the playground or save hundreds of lives?”
He adds that clubs should not see a Model Club commitment as an extra burden, but as an extra opportunity to promote the club.
The Wake Forest Kiwanis Club is an example for other clubs and leaders and shows the lifesaving impact of setting sights high.