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Park Avenue K-Kids donate to The Eliminate Project

K-Kids in Mt. Gilead, OH proudly display their thank you from Kiwanis for their successful father-daughter fundraiser. From left to right: faculty advisor Rhonda Dettra, club president Jayden Shipman, Claire Butcher, sergeant at arms Kenzie Everhart, club secretary Jordan Sayre, club treasurer Jesse Wooddell (kneeling), Adam Linder, and Kiwanis advisor Erin Kelty.

The Park Avenue K-Kids club is a Service Leadership Program sponsored by a Kiwanis Club. The club’s goal is to help children develop leadership skills and involvement in service projects that serve the school, community, state and beyond. In this special case, the club chose to donate the proceeds from their annual Valentine Dance to a very special international program to help mothers and babies in developing countries.

At their February 8, 2012 meeting, retired Park Avenue Elementary principal and Kiwanis member, Diana Keplinger, presented a program to the K-Kids about The Eliminate Project. Following the presentation the club voted to donate the proceeds from their Valentine Dance to help save mothers and babies.

On February 17, 2012 the Park Avenue K-Kids sponsored a Valentine Dance for all the fathers and daughters in the school. The cost to attend was US$2 per couple or any donation. A local DJ volunteered his services, along with a Mt. Gilead Kiwanis member who took pictures of fathers and daughters for an additional US$5 charge. Refreshments were donated by the Park Avenue Elementary School and McDonalds. Everyone in attendance enjoyed the evening of fun, music and refreshments. According to the club advisors Rhonda Dettra, fifth grade teacher at Park Avenue Elementary, and Erin Kelty, a Kiwanis member, the dance was an overwhelming success. The club raised US$800, which has been pledged to Kiwanis International as a donation to The Eliminate Project to help save or protect mothers and babies from MNT.

The club also had a special Mother/Son Prom at the school on May 11. The proceeds from the prom were donated to Flying Horse Farms to help kids with serious illnesses have a memorable week at camp this summer.

The K-Kids program at Park Avenue Elementary was chartered when Diana Keplinger was the principal. At the time, Diana served as the President of the Mount Gilead Kiwanis Club and was very active in the Ohio District of Kiwanis. Since that time the K-Kids have been very active in serving the local school, the community and projects outside of their geographic area. They have collected shoes for Soles for Souls, canned goods for the local pantry, donated Care Bears for children at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus and sent valentines to their cancer wing and collected needed products for the local humane society. Last year they donated the proceeds from their Father/Daughter Valentine Dance to buy a boat for Flying Horse Farms, a camp for children with serious illnesses located near Mount Gilead, Ohio. The kids received a special surprise when they visited Flying Horse Farms and saw that the boat had been painted with “Park Avenue K-Kids” on the stern. Every child who rides in the boat will know who donated it to Flying Horse Farms.

The Kiwanis motto is “Serve the Children of the World” and the Park Avenue K-Kids have done an amazing job of being socially conscious of the needs of children worldwide. The Mount Gilead Kiwanis Club and The Ohio District Kiwanis are so very proud of the K-Kids and their willingness to help babies and their mothers in remote villages of the world.

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