Florida Kiwanis Official Heather Locke Visits Madison Kiwanis

By Lynette Norris Greene Publishing, Inc. Heather Locke, Lt. Governor for District Three of Florida Kiwanis, visited the Kiwanis Club of Madison with a message of making a difference for the future. Part of her message was an update from Florida Kiwanis District Three Gov. Matthew Cantrall, outlining his “Five Steps to Excellence” plan for the 14 clubs in this district, and the other part contained kudos for what the Madison club was already accomplishing. For Step One, stop declining membership, Locke praised the club for having already taken several positive steps in this direction, including the recent Valentine’s Day Ball at the Senior Center. Club members and the general public gathered for what was part membership drive and part fun and festive way to get the Kiwanis name out in the community, meet new people and introduce them to what Kiwanis is all about. Step Two was to get rid of old projects that were no longer working, no longer raising the funds they used to, or no longer serving their original purpose, and replace them with new ones. Step Three was to not let the Service Leadership Programs become inactive, another thing Locke said the Madison Club already had a great handle on with its Key Clubs in local schools. Step Four, alleviating hunger in the community, also garnered words of praise from Locke. The Madison club’s months-long peanut butter and jelly drive has already delivered several hundreds of jars of PB&J to Consolidated Christian Ministries and other food pantries. The club has some other ongoing projects as well, that, while not directly related to hunger, nevertheless go toward meeting needs of low-income families in the community, such as the diaper drive. For several months, club members have been collecting packages of disposable diapers, and making deliveries to the Madison County Health Department, A Woman’s Pregnancy Center of Madison, and Healthy Start of Greenville. Step Five concerns the worldwide Project Eliminate, a global inoculation program of Kiwanis International that seeks to rid the world of maternal neonatal tetanus (MNT). MNT kills one baby every nine minutes, causing painful convulsions and extreme sensitivity to light and touch. Survival for both mother and baby is unlikely. Project Eliminate has eradicated the disease in 33 countries so far, but there are still 25 to go. Locke also had some definite goals in mind for all 14 clubs in District Three as a whole. Aside from building their membership, she hoped District Three would be able to reach a goal of 100,000 diapers collected and delivered by April 12. The district has already met one third of this goal, with a lot of help from the Madison Club. She also hopes for increased donations to Project Eliminate, to bring Kiwanis International that much closer to global eradication of MNT. Much of her message focused on service, and understanding how individuals can make a difference by learning to see the world differently. Something as seemingly small as changing one’s viewpoint from “time to go to work” to “time to make a difference” was a great way to start. “Change your words, change your world,” she said. “Be the difference-makers.”

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