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WMS Builders Club donates to The Eliminate Project

Left to right: Darlene Baxter, Columbia Kiwanis President; Trent Ogilvie, Kiwanian and Whitthorne Builders Club Sponsor, his daughter and Whitthorne Middle School student Treyana Ogilvie, Whitthorne student Tori Beard and Deanna Hall, Whitthorne science teacher and club sponsor. Both students have served as officers in the WMS Builders Club and are in the homeroom that raised the most money for The Eliminate Project.

Students in the Kiwanis-sponsored Builders Club at Whitthorne Middle School (WMS) were stunned to learn that a baby dies every nine minutes from tetanus in developing countries across the globe. After attending the Builders Club Leadership Conference earlier this year, club officers shared information about The Eliminate Project, a partnership between Kiwanis International and UNICEF to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus. Equally stunning to the students was how little it takes to prevent this disease with immunizations. Three doses of the tetanus vaccine costs only US$1.80. Children in the US receive this as part of their DPT shot and boosters before starting school. Immunizations in developing countries require vaccines, syringes, safe storage, transportation and thousands of skilled staff – all of which adds up to an expensive undertaking. The Eliminate Project hopes to raise US$110 million by 2015.

WMS Builders Club members wanted to help, but finding the appropriate time to ask for money was hard to determine; there are many other school fundraisers and worthy causes in the community with which the middle schoolers were involved. Members decided that all students needed to be given the opportunity to make a difference, even if it was a small donation. A one-day fundraiser was held and the response was overwhelming.

“I continue to be impressed with our students here at Whitthorne. They are so giving, often when they may not have abundance themselves,” said Whitthorne Principal Linda Lester. Builders Club members went room-to-room explaining what the money would accomplish and answered questions from other students. As a result, they collected nearly US$1,225. The Builders Club donated US$200 and Trent Ogilvie, Kiwanis sponsor, pitched in to make it an even $1,500.

“We were very proud to present the check to Columbia Kiwanis President, Darlene Baxter. Kiwanis has been and continues to be a very positive influence in our community. Inspiring young people to help others and make the world a better place cannot begin too early. I am very thankful to Mr. Alsup and Mr. Ogilvie for taking the time to rekindle the Builders Clubs in Maury County,” said Deanna Hall, Builders Club sponsor at WMS.

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