Mineola Kiwanians reach huge milestone

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“We did it,” was the cry at the Mineola Kiwanis Club meeting last week when announced it had met its model club goal.

The Mineola Kiwanis club, under the leadership of Eliminate Club Coordinator, Pam Palmer and Division 34 Coordinator, Joyce Curry has raised $52,500, saving more than 29,000 mothers and babies from tetanus. 

The club held garage sales, silent auctions and received gifts from individuals, as well as businesses, to reach the goal. This year’s golf tournament fundraiser in partnership with the Mineola Rotary Club and the leadership of Paul Thomasson and Roy Shockey, pushed the pledged amount over the goal.

The main focus of the Mineola Kiwanis Club is on kids of the community, but in 2010, Kiwanis International launched its partnership with UNICEF and the Eliminate Project. “We felt this was important to pursue,” says Curry. 

The goal is to rid the world of maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) by educating and having mass immunization drives. For $1.80 mothers receive immunity for their future children as well as birthing education. As of August 2019, Eliminate has raised $100 million. 

In developing nations, babies are often born on dirt floors, exposing them to bacteria found in soil, dust and manure, and entering their bodies through skin wounds. The infected babies develop muscle rigidity, painful convulsions and eventually death. 

Since 1999, UNICEF has immunized nearly 100 million women and eliminated tetanus in 46 countries. However, MNT remains deadly in 13 countries.

According to the CDC, since the vaccine was introduced in the U.S. in the 1930s and became nationally reportable in 1947, reported cases have declined more than 95%. Deaths from tetanus have declined more than 99% with only about 30 reported cases yearly.

Mineola Kiwanis is in a district of seven clubs.  As model clubs, all seven pledged to raise $750 per person. The Texas-Oklahoma district is the second division in the world to have 100% model club participation and is ranked second in total funds raised.

The Mineola Kiwanis thank all who supported this project. The club meets every Tuesday at noon at the Mineola Civic Center and sponsors youth service groups at Alba-Golden High School, Mineola High School, Mineola Middle School, Mineola Elementary and Mineola Primary School. If interested in working with youth, join the Mineola Kiwanis for lunch.

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