Volume III - February/March
2020-2021 Governor Mary-Lynn Desjarlais

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

One of my favorite hymns begins with “Be not afraid...” Now is the time to reach out to your club members. Clubs should assign a Kiwanis buddy to every member to reach out and connect at least once a week. We are becoming more isolated because of Covid. Call a friend today and warm their hearts.

Keep moving forward. Many clubs are having hybrid meetings with Zoom and in person. Keep it up! Reach out to a club member who has not joined in, they may just need to be walked through using Zoom. Try a one-on-one Zoom meeting to teach them. Use your Key Club members to help with technology (remember the rule of 3). Also, check out these great tips for delivering virtual presentations: https://www.prdaily.com/how-to-deliver-your-virtual-presentation-during-covid-19/

The Kiwanis Governors met January 15-18 with the Kiwanis International President, Art Riley and our KI District Liaisons. The in-person meeting in Dallas was cancelled and we met by Zoom. Thank goodness I purchased a better home office chair when all of the Zoom meetings started! The over 10 hours of training and meetings were well thought out and I learned more about our Kiwanis friends all over the US and abroad.

KI is rolling out a “Club Coach” certification for Kiwanis members. Mary Jo Brubaker, is our Area 2 Coordinator/Trainer. Mary Jo came to Sarasota/Punta Gorda three years ago to help the District of Florida form 3 new Kiwanis clubs. All of our LTGs have the information on this training. This is a two hour zoom meeting with great information on coaching existing clubs who need a boost with more new members and on coaching new clubs. I am proud that we had 19 Florida Kiwanis members at the first training opportunity. Your LTG has all of the information. The other training session is open to ALL interested Kiwanians. February 1, 2021 is the last opportunity to obtain your certification.

Here is the Zoom information Topic: Become a Certified Coach,
Time: Feb 1, 2021 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 836 0781 9905
Passcode: 624137
One tap mobile +16465588656,,83607819905#,,,,*624137# US (New York)

Kiwanis International is delaying the final decision on our International Convention pending the Covid situation in Utah. KI is looking at possible other venues or another virtual ICON. It might be as late as May when a final decision is made. Right now none of the club members outside of the US can travel to an ICON. The registration cost should remain the same at $399 which includes all lunches and the opening night party.

The Florida District Convention is still on! Many people are asking about our convention. It is hoped that most of Florida will be vaccinated by August 5, 2021 and we can celebrate together once again. Sharon Moody is working hard on raising funds for the Caring Corner and Harvey White is busy with his virtual Governor training, planning the DCON seminars and appointing his Chair positions

We have published the KIWANIAN early to remind all members to fill out the contest application for the SIGNATURE PROJECT CONTEST - read Samantha’s article below on this contest or go to the KI website: https://www.kiwanis.org/clubs/member-resources/service-projects/signature-projects/contestDeadline is January 30th.

At the Governor’s conference there was discussion about forming special interest Kiwanis Clubs. For example an eClub for former Key Club members, a KYDS club (Kiwanis Youth Development & Support) dedicated solely to the support of youth leadership programs, a philanthropy club, a LGBTQ club and more. Discuss with your LTG or the District membership team about forming new clubs in your area. The eClub or Satellite club of adult former Key Clubbers has a lot of interest in Florida.

Registration for AMPLFY opens February 15th. This is a Kiwanis International leadership program (think Dale Carnegie) for our Kiwanis leaders. The program is called AMPLIFY. For the low, low price of $200 you can identify and sponsor an up and coming leader in your club or division. The AMPLIFY program meets virtually weekly (beginning April 19) and finishes June 7, 2021 at the Kiwanis International Convention. They have an impressive list of speakers. We are in the business of shaping new leaders in our clubs and SLPs. Think about which of your new members who could benefit from the leadership training and think about how your club would benefit from their leadership. KI will have a different program for our CKI and Key Club members. Go ahead and google the price of leadership training (think +$1,500). This is a bargain and a real benefit. Take advantage of this opportunity. https://www.kiwanis.org/clubs/member-resources/training/kiwanis-amplify/kiwanis-amplify-faq

I got so many ideas from the Governor’s conference. It boosted my enthusiasm and gave me many, many great ideas. One compelling fact is that April 1, 2021 is the midpoint of our Kiwanis year. Now is the time to contact your friends in Kiwanis, help your schools, fund-raise, crawl out of your hibernation, zoom, email, make telephone calls, join committees, find new members, start new projects...

 “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Go Kiwanis!

Mary-Lynn Desjarlais
Governor - Florida District of Kiwanis International 
#KidsNeedKiwanis #HelpKiwanisHelpChildren
Special Announcement
Fkorida Kiwanis Foundation Launches Blechman Fund
Nearly $50,000 Raised So Far
Despite facing COVID-19 challenges, the Florida Kiwanis Foundation successfully launched its campaign for the Wil and Rachel Blechman Fund, raising nearly $50,000.

The fund is named after former Kiwanis International President Dr. Wil Blechman and his wife, Rachel, two early childhood visionaries.  

A Kiwanian since 1961, Dr. Wil, as he is known, helped develop a program—Young Children Priority One (YCPO)—focusing on children from the prenatal period to age 5. As Kiwanis International President, 1990-91, he introduced the program to Kiwanis clubs worldwide.

“We can think of no better way to honor the long-time work of Dr. Wil and Rachel—and the Blechman legacy that will be felt for generations to come—than establishing the Wil and Rachel Fund,” said FKF Executive Director Alison Lauer. “Dr. Wil’s drive to emphasize early childhood has positively impacted children around the world. Our initial direct mail campaign has been very successful, and we hope to significantly increase the amount we’ve raised so far from Kiwanians throughout the District.”

The FKF has several levels of giving opportunity for individuals, clubs and divisions to honor the Blechmans. Monies raised for the Blechman Fund will be awarded in the form of grants to Florida Kiwanis clubs for projects specifically benefitting children 0-5-years-old.

Dr. Wil is well-known for this service around the world, as well as for wearing bowties. Thus, everyone who donates receives an eye-catching pin featuring bowties. 

Anyone who donates $1,000 or more also receives a beautifully framed certificate featuring a different color bowtie and a matching bowtie lapel pin. Categories are Orange ($1,000), Silver ($2,500), Gold ($5,000), Ruby ($10,000) and Diamond ($25,000 or more).

“The Wil and Rachel Blechman Fund represents the continuation of Young Children Priority One here in Florida and should be supported by Kiwanians, clubs and divisions throughout the District,” said Florida District Governor Mary-Lynn Desjarlais. “Afterall, helping kids is our Kiwanis mission.”

To donate to the Wil and Rachel Blechman Fund, visit FloridaKiwanisFoundation.org/Blechman-lp or contact Florida Kiwanis Foundation Executive Director Alison Lauer at Alison@floridakiwanisfoundation.org or (904) 444-5734.

Former Kiwanis International President, Dr. Wil Blechman, left, and his wife Rachel, display the colorful framed certificate that donors—at the $1,000 level and above—receive when they contribute to the Florida Kiwanis Foundation’s Wil and Rachel Blechman Fund.
Pin me! Anyone who donates to the Florida Kiwanis Foundation’s Wil and Rachel Blechman Fund will receive an eye-catching pin, center, featuring Dr. Wil’s trademark bowties. 

In addition, donors who contribute $1,000 or more receive a framed certificate and a matching, colorful bowtie pin. 

Donation levels are Orange ($1,000), Silver ($2,500), Gold ($5,000), Ruby ($10,000) and Diamond ($25,000 or more).
News From Your District Chairs
Kids need Kiwanis now more than ever and luckily for us, our communities are still being very generous. The challenge comes with finding a way to conduct a fundraiser that is safe and successful in a COVID world. Some Kiwanis fundraisers have actually seen more success during this time because doing virtual fundraisers means reduced expenses and more profits. It’s given them the push they needed to try something new and experiment with new technology. 

It can be done, and I am confident that you can do it! How should you go about it? Well, it will depend on your situation. If your current event can pivot to a virtual fundraiser then it’s time to start exploring ways to make it happen. If your fundraiser cannot make the pivot, it might be an opportunity to try something new.

Whatever the case, there are two important elements that can help drive the success of your event – social media and online sales. Social media can help you get the word out about your event, and online sales will allow you to build a database of donors that you can build on for years to come. Best of all, social media and online sales are socially distant ways to promote your fundraiser. Don’t let the technology intimidate you, let’s work together to find a volunteer or sponsor to help organize these efforts.
Kiwanis Children's Fund
Kiwanis Children's Fund is Here to Help
Kiwanis Children's Fund can help clubs and Kiwanians in many ways:
  • Fundraising strategies
  • District/club foundation management
  • Grant seeking
  • Speaking and presentations

$365 Gift Request
Kiwanis Children’s Fund is asking all clubs to make a gift of $365 – the equivalent of $1 per day in 2021. For context, a gift of that size could:
  • Feed a hungry child breakfast and lunch for three months – 182 meals
  • Teach 18 kids to swim, with valuable safety skills
  • Protect 182 children from disease with masks and sanitizer
  • Provide prenatal care to 121 women and protect them and their future children from maternal and neonatal tetanus.  
We plan on celebrating your club’s commitment to kids in a really big way this spring. Please make your gift of $1 per day by March 31, 2021.

Club Grant Program
Children’s Fund Grant funding helps address an unmet need of children through a project that provides long-term benefits sustained by a club. If your club is interested in applying for a grant, please review the program material at www.kiwanis.org/childrensfund For the October 1st funding round, please submit a Letter of Intent to KCF prior to June 1st. If approved, a full application will be due by August 1st.

The Florida District finished the 2019-2020 year as the #2 District globally, based on total dollars donated to KCF – THANK YOU! As a result, the Florida District will once again receive a 15% District Grant and Scholarships from KCF.
The Fifth Annual Signature Project Recognition Program for 2021 is underway!
Information about the contest, including relevant due dates and requirements, was previously sent out to all club presidents, secretaries, and lieutenant governors. The Review Committee and myself are currently reviewing submissions and will be selecting entries to be sent to Kiwanis International for nomination at the international level. The Florida District selections will be chosen no later than Monday, February 15th and the top 20 finalists will be notified by Sunday, March 22nd. 

Clubs with 27 members or fewer will be judged in the Tier I category. Clubs with 28 members or more will be judged in Tier II category. Each tier will be judged separately and the top 10 finalists will be determined for each tier. The top three selections from each tier will be recognized as the gold, silver and bronze winners at the 2021 Kiwanis International Convention. 
For more information, please visit the KI website: www.kiwanis.org/signature-project-info

Additionally, one of my goals as Service Chair this year is to compile a database of club Signature Projects and SLP projects, not only to highlight all of your amazing work, but to also provide a resource for new clubs or clubs who are struggling with service ideas. Be on the lookout for an email from me including a link to a survey. Can’t wait to see all of the wonderful work your clubs have been doing recently and I look forward to working with you this year!
News from Your Clubs
Division 9
Kiwanis Clubs were busy for the holidays!
The Kiwanis Club of South Lake presented the South Lake Little League with $1,000 to purchase a mobile pitching mound. The club also took part in Christmas Across South Lake, where they collected hundreds of toys and gifts for children whose families were affected by COVID-19. The club is well-known for Santa, Mrs. Claus, and many happy elves bringing Christmas cheer to the less fortunate. They held a car show fundraiser, which raised over $2,600 for the newly created Officer Conrad Buckley Scholarship
Fund. Officer Buckley died in April due to COVID-19. This will be an annual scholarship that will continue for the next ten years for new police candidates entering the Lake Technical College Program for Law Enforcement.

The Kiwanis Club of Lady Lake sponsored Christmas with a Cop and donated $4,000 to the Lady Lake Police Department to purchase bicycles and other Christmas gifts for 50 of the area’s underprivileged elementary school students. They also took part in the Lady Lake Christmas parade. Back in October, and in honor of Kiwanis One Day, they joined forces with the Aktion Club and sponsored a drive-thru “Not So Scary Halloween” event for Lady Lake's children where they gave out 1,000 bags of candy!
Vice Governor Sharon Moody
Featured in FOCUS Magazine
Vice Governor Sharon Moody was featured in the latest edition of FOCUS Magazine, and was also recently honored with the Good Egg Award from the Plant City Chamber of Commerce. Please help us in congratulating the Vice Governor! Check out the Focus magazine article below.
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