Carbonear Kiwanis initiative a success, says members
In malls, food banks and shelters across the province, the generosity of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians was demonstrated through donations in copious amounts of food, clothing and gifts this Christmas season.
Thousands of dollars worth of items went to locals in need, but the Kiwanis Club of Carbonear arranged something a little less conventional, and on the international scale.
The 30-plus members of the Carbonear chapter have committed countless hours to raising funds to the Eliminate Project, a joint fundraising effort between Kiwanis International and UNICEF. The project — costing some $110 million — will help eradicate a fatal disease in third world countries.
The Carbonear club has agreed to contribute to the effort as part of the $1 million pledge from Canada and the Caribbean.
Maternal/neonatal tetanus is a disease that kills a newborn in third world countries every nine minutes, according to the Kiwanis International website. It could kill mothers who contract the disease as well.
This form of tetanus is found in unhygienic environments where there is poor sterilization and little healthcare available.
Some 60,000 babies per year lose their lives because of toxins released into the body from the bacterial disease.
The public health agency of Canada says tetanus travels through the muscles of the body, which can be “extremely painful ,” ( see http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/iycvve/faq-dis-mal/tetanus-tetanoseng.php). It can also cause respiratory problems and can lead to seizures.
This disease is preventable. And that is why Kiwanis took up the fiveyear elimination cause, with the hope to raise the money by the organization’s 100th anniversary in 2015.
It costs less than $2 to vaccinate a person for the infection.
The club has been known for its music festival and radio auction, but is becoming more known for the work i t has done w i th o ther fundraisers. This most recent one is the most unique and personal one yet — the Christmas gift box.
Each member of the club was given an envelope, and asked to submit an anonymous amount of money towards Eliminate. They did not have to give, but they could give as much as they wanted.
During the same time, eight businesses and individuals — known as friends of Kiwanis — offered to match the donations up to a certain amount.
On Dec. 5 the group met for their annual Christmas dinner at Fong’s Restaurant and Motel , and the amount was revealed on how much was raised between the group and the donors.
An exciting $650 was raised by the group through personal donations, but it was the generosity of the friends that really made an impact.
A total of $3,000 was revealed to be t he amount of donations received towards the cause, with the help of Noel Motors group of companies, Carbonear Physiotherapy, Al Webster (Canadian Tire dealer, Carbonear), Peter’s and Sons Ltd., Aubrey Drover from AMD Holdings, KIXX Country, Dr. Aiden and Ann Drover and one donor who wished to remain anonymous.
Club president Danny Button and finance committee member Milton Peach revealed a sign that read, “$3,000 means 1,500 mothers and their future babies immunized against Tetanus.”
To date, the group has raised $8,400 for the cause.
Although the big reveal was the highlight of the evening, the crowd was honoured with a special performance from the Crescent Collegiate vocal ensemble and the school’s jazz band. Both were directed by Robert Colbourne, the music teacher at the school.
Beautiful harmonies and music were heard for the first half of the event, followed by a Cornish hen dinner.
The group took time to reflect on the past year and give greetings to members and their families.
The next big event planned for 2014 is the annual music festival this February, which is expected to be as entertaining as previous years.
The finance committee for the Carbonear Kiwanis Club began the “gift box” fundraiser to raise money for the eliminate project. The members are, from left, club president Danny Button, Ted Strickland, Dave Gill, Dr. Aiden Drover and Milton Peach.
The gift box fundraiser raised $3,000 for vaccinations against newborn/neonatal tetanus because of donors like those listed on the club’s display board. 1,500 mothers will get vaccinated because of this donation.