Dr. Button, Kiwanis International Vice President, and his wife Debbie will go anywhere to talk about Maternal Neonatal Tetanus, which kills 59000 babies and 25,000 new mothers per year in what he describes as an excruciatingly painful and lonely death (one of the most painful deaths known to mankind. The babies also experiences prolonged seizures that are so violent that they tear muscles and even cause bones to break.
The toxins generated attack each baby’s nervous system, making the baby hypersensitive to light, touch and sound which means that treatment requires leaving the baby alone, in the dark with no loving motherly presence.
When Dr. Button began his talk the tone of the meeting was positive, after he had uttered only a few sentences, the room had turned deadly quiet. His message was hitting home. Babies and their mothers, guilty of nothing more than living in the wrong geographical areas of the world in cultures that place a lower value on women, suffer terribly simply because of where they were born.
The vaccines needed to protect mothers and their babies has been available since 1924. All that is needed is$1.80 to fund the vaccines for each mother. Kiwanis International is committed to raising $110,000,000.00 needed to eliminate this terrible killer.
To date, Maternal Neonatal Tetanus has been eradicated in 9 countries. Since ELIMINATE was launched 15 years ago, we have raised 30,000,000.00 and saved nearly 18,000,000 babies.
Dr. Button told us in closing that in the time that we had been listening to him, 12 babies had died and 6 families had each lost a mother.
Jenn Tran, Co-President of Nepean Key Club outlined how their Key Club has raised $600.00 to date and counting for ELIMINATE
Lt Governor Phil Rossy presented the Walter Zellar Fellowship Award to one of our all time favourite Kiwanians, ShirleyTomblin. Shirley’s service to Kiwanis spans 40 years to date and is continuing.
Another Walter Zellar Fellowship Award was presented to Hope Markes, Governor –Elect for the Eastern Canada and Caribbean District, who had travelled from Jamaica to be with us.
Each of these two Walter Zellar Fellowship Awards is accompanied by a donation that will be sufficient to save 695 babies from Maternal Neonatal Tetanus.
Kiwanis International President Tom DeJulio and his wife Dr. Rosemary Dejulio brought greetings from Kiwanis International. Tom sees our Club as a role model for other clubs for the fun generated in our meetings through a plethora of guests, lots of music and humour.
He also brought back what once was a tradition of toasting the strong friendship and mutual respect of neighbouring Canadian and American Kiwanians and offered a toast to that long-standing friendship.
Lastly, Tom presented President Alison with a banner highlighting the 6 Objects of Kiwanis International.
EC&C District Governor Peter Tudisco gave us a short talk, telling us that change is inevitable but is not always positive. We have the opportunity to contribute to change to insure that change leads to improvement in the lives of others. Success will depend on our degree of enthusiasm and perseverance. We will be remembered for our kindness and deeds and not for our words. Enthusiasm is infectious. When we have it, we should flaunt it.
Mark Max and our Music Committee played a big part in our meeting, making guest feel welcome, giving our Circle K and Key Club guests opportunities to break into song and even bringing us a song to outline the ELIMINATE program.