WARSAW — The Kiwanis Club of Warsaw raised $62,441.29 to help eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus from the face of the Earth. MNT steals the lives of 34,000 babies every year, and Kiwanis clubs are raising money to provide vaccinations for mothers and babies, all to prevent this deadly disease.
“It was important for our club to make this pledge and we raised over $750 per member to help eradicate this disease,” said Joni Truex, club president. The club raised the money through personal donations of club members for The Eliminate Project, a global campaign of the Kiwanis Children’s Fund and UNICEF to save or protect millions of mothers and newborns. “Today, we are celebrating this achievement and offering special recognition to the past and current officers, board members, and club members that have given so freely to meet this significant milestone,” said Joni Truex.
Tetanus is a painful and deadly disease that is caused by a lack of access to sanitary birthing conditions. When a newborn is infected, tetanus causes extreme sensitivity to light, sound and contact – even preventing the comfort of a mother’s touch. One newborn dies every 15 minutes from tetanus. However, it is highly preventable by giving women of childbearing age a series of three vaccine doses.
By fulfilling its pledge, Kiwanis Club of Warsaw is playing a key role in The Eliminate Project. Upon completion of all pledges, The Eliminate Project will have helped save or protect more than 55 million women and their future babies. It is also creating a path for other services, such as health education, clean water, nutrition and other vaccines.
Since teaming up with UNICEF in 2010, Kiwanis International has pledged or raised $110 million, and 24 countries have been validated as having eliminated MNT. But it remains a threat in 15 countries.
“Kiwanians like the Kiwanis Club of Warsaw have embraced the children of the world through this project. This club’s leadership in completing their Model Club commitment shows their heart for these mothers and babies whose lives are being saved through these gifts,” said Ann Updegraff Spleth, chief operating officer for Kiwanis Children’s Fund.
In addition to its commitment to The Eliminate Project, the Kiwanis Club of Warsaw hosts fundraisers, including the Pancake & Egg Breakfast (to support Riley’s Hospital for Children and K.C. Riley Kids Fund); rose sales and fruit basket sales to raise money to support projects that benefit children in Kosciusko County.
The Kiwanis Club of Warsaw welcomes community members who want to help kids here and around the globe. Information about becoming a member is available by email at [email protected] or by joining the weekly meeting at Connections, 1692 West Lake Street, Warsaw on Thursdays 11:45 am – 1:00 pm.