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Charitable cars drive intercontinental change

Weinfelden Kiwanians at the Charity Classic

The passion two Swiss Kiwanians share for classic cars has been harnessed to fundraise thousands of dollars for children in the African nation of Zimbabwe.

The members’ leadership allowed the Kiwanis Club of Weinfelden, Switzerland, to create and host one of the largest car shows in eastern Switzerland. Hosted first in 2009, then 2011, the second biennial Charity Classic showcased more than 60 vehicles on a parade through the canton of Thurgau.

Motivated by a presentation to the club about the work that Dr. Christian Seelhofer and his wife were doing in a bush hospital in the African nation of Zimbabwe, the Kiwanians went to work. Well received by the community, the first two car shows raised a combined total of 50,000 CHF. The initial funds allowed for the completion of an orphanage for abandoned children, which opened in 2009. The second half of this total has been dedicated to the children’s education through the establishment and renovation of three schools. As a token of gratitude, plaques proudly displaying the Kiwanis club’s name have been displayed in the buildings.

“Mr. and Mrs. Seelhofer initiated the projects and organized and coordinated the implementation on site,” explains club member Christoph Lanter. “Therefore it was possible to maximize the effect of the available resources.”

Recent reports from Zimbabwe indicate that the projects—most of which are low cost and have been implemented through involving the community—are anticipated to be long-lasting. Keen to continue their partnership, the Kiwanis club has already slated the 2013 car show‘s profits toward the construction of a preschool with a playground in the Charamba/Simbabwe area. There should be enough monies left to purchase medical aids, such as prostheses, glasses and hearing aids for children with disabilities who are patients at the Seelhofer’s clinic in Silveira. –Courtney Meyer

Additional information and pictures associated with the event are available at

A school in Zimbabwe that the Kiwanis funded

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Has your club ever fundraised for a project being undertaken in another country? Tell us about your experience in the comment section below.

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