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In the Illinois-Eastern Iowa district the Kiwanis Club of Alpine-Rockford gave The Eliminate Project early support with its Model Club commitment. But the vote to become a Model Club was not easy.  According to 2011-12 Club President Bruce Dearborn, his club spent many weeks debating before making the commitment.  And he made sure all voices were heard.  

As president, he felt the club needed to participate in global campaigns, especially after its great success with IDD.

“But most of all, The Eliminate Project spoke to my heart,” Dearborn says. He knew becoming a Model Club was the right thing for his club.

Dearborn explained that there were a few very vocal club members that really pushed for the move to become a Model Club. After all, their club was the biggest and most active in the area, and they thought that they should be leading the way, a “model” for their community.  And following a vote of more than 75 percent in favor, the commitment form was signed.

Once they became a Model Club, a committee was formed and new fundraisers were introduced. Their signature event for The Eliminate Project is the Zumbathon.  Zumba is an easy-to-follow, Latin-inspired, calorie-burning dance fitness-party. They partnered with those in their local community to put on Zumba for charity, with all the proceeds going to The Eliminate Project. On November 30, hundreds attended the event, and members sold tickets (for $10 each), T-shirts, tank tops, wristbands, raffle tickets and, of course, they accepted donations. That day they raised more than US$5,000 and awareness of The Eliminate Project in the process. They danced their way to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus.  

Club members quickly realized that with their events, and their individual giving and community involvement, they were well on their way to fulfilling their Model Club commitment. And they knew that being a 100K Club was within reach. The support for The Eliminate Project has grown within the Alpine-Rockford Kiwanis Club and what has surprised Dearborn the most was how many people stepped up and became Walter Zeller Fellows.

He believes one of the most important steps to making such club goals a reality is putting the pen to paper. “Set a goal and write it down,” Dearborn says. “A plan not written down is only a wish, and the act of writing it down changes things—it becomes real.” 

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