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Walking to Eliminate MNT

By Jessy Spencer, Poquoson High School Key Club, Division 23, Capital district

On an abnormally warm Virginia Saturday in February, more than 50 Kiwanis-family members joined together to raise money for The Eliminate Project. The event was a “Walk to Eliminate,” hosted by Poquoson High School Key Club in Poquoson, Va.

Months of planning went into this event, including approval by school administration, applying for a Youth Opportunities Fund grant and drumming up support in the community: announcements were made, posters hung and signs placed around the town of Poquoson.

Starting at 11 a.m. on February 22, participants walked around the high school track, where they were invited to play mini-games and purchase food at booths. There were five booths: Poquoson’s Model United Nations, Leo Club and Student Council Association, as well as Hampton Roads Academy’s and York River Academy’s Key Clubs. The Model United Nations booth raised the most money out of the five by selling desserts, the most popular being cupcakes decorated with nation’s flags. They raised a total of US$72, which will save or protect 40 women and their future babies from maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT).

As everyone enjoyed the booths, enthusiastic volunteers assembled a paper chain. This chain was used to show the impact of our efforts; instead of showing numbers, one link represented one woman vaccinated against MNT. Needless to say, we ran out of paper.

The event continued with two baby-themed events: the best dressed baby and a crawling contest. The winners each received a blue ribbon.

After these events were completed, it was time to total the funds raised and announce our success to everyone. I added, and then re-added to double check, and could not believe my eyes; we had raised US$2,142 for The Eliminate Project. The event goal was US$1,000, but we had smashed that. This three-hour walk saved or protected more than 1,190 women and their future babies. I was ecstatic.

Thank you everyone, especially the administration and staff at Poquoson High School, for helping and supporting this project. We have such an amazing community.

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