Key Club Fundraises to Eradicate Tetanus

Eliza Llewellyn, Staff Writer

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The Key Club has begun fundraising for the “Eliminate Project,” an initiative to globally eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus, a disease that causes convulsions and death in newborns in developing countries. This is a goal shared by Key Clubs around the world, in partnership with UNICEF and Kiwanis International, a group that advocates for child welfare.

“We do not plan on stopping [fundraising] until tetanus has been eradicated,” club president Nina Lochoff ‘12 said.

The quest to eliminate tetanus aligns with the community service club’s goal to better individual communities and the world. “The Key Club is great because it brings together kids in the community who all want to help and give back to the less fortunate,” Kirby said.

The “Eliminate Project” aims to raise $110 million collectively to immunize the 129 million and counting who are affected by tetanus. “We are hoping to do as much as we can to help UNICEF and Kiwanis reach their goal,” said Nina Lochoff ‘12, the president of the Key Club.

Since 1994, the Key Club, UNICEF, and Kiwanis have joined forces to end Iodine Deficiency Disorders and are now looking to eliminate another preventable disease. “Basically three doses of this 60 cent vaccine can protect mothers and their babies,” said Khaliq Sanda ‘14, treasurer of the club. The vaccinations are given to women near childbearing age and prevent tetanus in both mother and child.

So far, the Key Club has arranged a bake sale for the cause, bringing in more than $130, a record high for the club, according to Sanda. The club plans to continue doing bake sales to raise money. “Knowing you’re helping someone that really needs your help makes taking the time out to raise money worth it,” said Michelle Gurevich ‘14, who participated in the bake sale.

In addition to the bake sale, each member of the Key Club willingly donated $20 at the beginning of the year, money that will go towards tetanus vaccines. “Everyone was happy to pay their dues and did so in a timely manner,” said Mikaela Kirby ‘12.

The club is seeking other ways to fundraise. According to Kelly Harris ‘13, vice president, the club hopes to start a can collection. Even small funds garnered from bottle deposits would purchase the inexpensive vaccines and make a difference.

Harris acknowledged the challenge of brainstorming fresh ideas to raise money. “The primary goal is to share information about [tetanus] so people can learn how easy it is to help,” Harris said.

Anyone interested in participating in the club can attend a meeting after school on Thursdays in room 1054. To donate, students should email the club at stapleskeyclub.com, or visit the website. Harris encourages all donations. “For only $1.80 you can protect a mother and her child from dying from maternal and neonatal tetanus.”

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