Using individual donations and proceeds from four Eliminate Benefit Concerts, the Kiwanis Club of Nevada raised $44,987 to help eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus. MNT steals the lives of 34,000 babies every year, and Kiwanis clubs are raising money to provide vaccinations for mothers and babies to prevent this deadly disease.

Initially our club set out to raise an average of $750 per member to be a Model Club,” said Jody Melcher, a member of the Eliminate Committee. When we passed that goal, we realized it would be very easy to attain the next level — Gold Club — with an average of $1,000 per member and saved the lives of 25,000 young women and all of their future children.” The club raised the money for The Eliminate Project, a global campaign of the Kiwanis Children’s Fund and UNICEF to save or protect millions of mothers and newborns.

Tetanus is a painful and deadly disease that is caused by a lack of 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, the Nevada club achieved Gold Club status and is playing a key role in The Eliminate Project. Upon competition of all pledges, The Eliminate Project will have helped save or protect millions of 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 Nevada, 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 club hosts fundraisers, including pancake feeds, can redemption sites and help at ISU Dining, and the Farm Progress Show, all to raise money to support projects that benefit children in Nevada and Story County.

The Nevada Club welcomes community members who want to help kids here and around the globe. Information about becoming a member is available at or by joining the weekly meeting at Windsor Manor on Tuesdays at 6:20 a.m.

If you would like more information about the Kiwanis Club of Nevada, please contact Secretary Joe Melcher at More information about The Eliminate Project is at