Volume II - December/January
2020-2021 Governor Mary-Lynn Desjarlais

“You Don’t Have to Be Great to Start, but You Have to START to Be Great.” 
Zig Ziglar

Happy Holidays! I hope that you and your family had a lovely time - although differently than in the past, we all found ways to share the time with our families. Covid made us all stall out a bit, but now is the time for action.

Now is the time to start your service projects. There are so many children in need in our community. Sponsor a family a holiday dinner ($75 gift certificate), help your Key Club with their service projects, brighten the day of a person in a nursing home. There is so much we can do to help.....You just have to start! 

Almost all Kiwanis clubs are now meeting by Zoom, in person or by hybrid meetings. If you have not started meeting, now is the time to start! Contact the school administration where you sponsor a SLP (Service Leadership Programs). They really need our help this year. Principals and teachers are so thankful for any help we can give them. Covid has been so tough on them. Now is the time for us to step up and help.

In my second month as Governor, I have met with many clubs and attended many DCM (Division Council Meetings) by Zoom and in person. I am so happy that our Kiwanis clubs are actively involved with service. Our Lt. Governors are reporting back on the numerous new BUG (Bring Up Grades) programs in our elementary schools. I understand that our fundraising efforts have to change this year, but remember we are a SERVICE organization, not a fundraising organization. Ask your members what projects they want to help with, and ask your schools what help they need. Brainstorm! We are problem solvers of the first degree.

The holiday Brookville parade is back on this year. The District officers attend and throw out lots and lots of candy. Our face masks will help us stay warm this year. Kiwanis officers are the guests of honor attending and watching the wonderful small town parade. Think about sponsoring a small neighborhood parade with the children riding their bikes, walking their dogs, holding the Kiwanis banner. So much has been cancelled for our children. Perhaps small socially distanced events can make the holidays brighter for the little ones. Brainstorm with your club on how to help the children.

The Kiwanis Governors are meeting in January in Dallas, Texas with the Kiwanis International President, Art Riley. I will report back to everyone on the later information from KI. In April, KI is rolling out a 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 weekly and finishes in June 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. What about an impressive CKI member? Key Club member? 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!

We have much to be thankful for this season - our friends in Kiwanis, our family near and far, and the warmth and love we have by helping the children of the world.

Happy Holidays from my family to your family and Go Kiwanis!

Go Kiwanis!

Mary-Lynn Desjarlais
Governor - Florida District of Kiwanis International 
#KidsNeedKiwanis #HelpKiwanisHelpChildren
News From Your District Chairs
Club Reporting
Kiwanis-CKI Mentorship Program is Off to a Great Start!

In November, the 2020-21 class of Florida Kiwanis and CKI members began the Mentorship Program! This is the second year of the program in which Kiwanians are paired with Circle K International (CKI) collegiate members with the goal of building a meaningful professional relationship. A total of 30 Kiwanis and CKI members are participating in the program this year.

Monthly discussion topics are provided to mentors and mentees to help guide conversations. To further encourage discussion, interactive virtual sessions are being held via Zoom on a regular basis with all participants. The topic during November’s virtual session was goal setting. Stress management, time management, and business etiquette are examples of additional topics that will be part of the program.

Kiwanians that are interested in being mentors can sign up at http://bit.ly/KiwanisMentor. Note that there is a waiting list as more Kiwanis mentors are currently registered than CKI mentees. The program will run through May 2021.
Public Relations
  • Know the media you're targeting.  Get copies of the local newspapers and magazines and watch the local TV stations (and go to their websites) to see which reporters focus on community-service type stories. Many media outlets assign specific reporters to these type of events
  • Know the deadlines. All media outlets have different deadlines. Monthly magazines need to receive stories (accompanied by a high-resolution photograph) 4 months in advance of the event. Weekly papers need the information 2-3 weeks before the project. Daily newspapers should get the information--either press release or fact sheet--a week before the event. TV stations should be approached--with a fact sheet sent to the assignment editor--three DAYS before the event.
  • Scheduling is important.  The earlier in the day you schedule an event, the better chance you have of media--particularly TV--coverage. 10:30 or 11 a.m. are the best times. The later in the day, the more likely other events, such as crimes, will get the attention of the media.
  • Subject line is king.  When approaching the media outlets, particularly TV stations, remember that hundreds of emails seeking coverage are sent DAILY to the stations. You MUST make the subject line interesting so the assignment desk OPENS your email. Rather than "Kiwanis club holds gala," the media would respond better to "Club to celebrate 100 years of helping kids."
  • Follow up.  Knowing who to call and WHEN to call--as well as what to say--can help gain media coverage, particularly with the TV stations. The morning of your event, before 9 a.m., send the fact sheet again to the TV assignment desk. Then, call the assignment desk. Don't say 'are you going to cover us?' Say, 'have we made your planner?" By using the term 'planner' the assignment people will know they're dealing with a 'professional' and you'll increase your chances of coverage.
News from Your Clubs
Kiwanis Club of Lakeland
Kiwanian Donates $600,000 for Youth Sports Complex
For more than a century, Kiwanians have donated their time and energy to improving
the lives of children in their community. But Mike McGee, a member of the Kiwanis Club of Lakeland (Florida) has taken community involvement a step further.

McGee, a Kiwanian since 2008, and his wife Kathy, recently donated $600,000 to the
City of Lakeland to help construct phase two of the Cypress Youth Sports Complex, a 33-acre facility which will serve kids of all ages. The funds will be used to add a car-themed playground, walking path and two additional multi-use, lighted athletic fields. The facility will be renamed John McGee Park in honor of Mike’s late father.

“We felt having a park named after my dad is appropriate, “McGee said. “We wanted to
leave a legacy in his name because he has done a lot of things that contributed to many
people’s success.”

In June 1974, John McGee purchased a tire store from a retired Lakeland mayor,
renamed it McGee Auto Service & Tires and was opening his fourth location when he retired in 1991. Mike took over and—along with his siblings and key associates—grew the business into one of Lakeland’s most successful operations with 30 locations, before it was sold in 2016.

“This is the type of person Mike McGee is,” said Lakeland Kiwanis Club President Jackye
Maxey. “He gives of himself to help kids in any way he can. We are proud to have him as a member of our club.”
Division 14
Three New Clubs form in Division 14!
Division 14 has not let the pandemic slow it down. Clubs have adjusted and meetings are
happening in person and via Zoom and service projects and fundraising continue. The Kiwanis Club of Plant City raised over $6000 in their online fundraiser that chose the “Coolest Dog.” The Southshore Kiwanis Club made nearly $3000 with their online gift basket raffle and Fall concert. With face book marketing, for their auction, Southshore even garnered their first new member of the new year!

Three new Kiwanis clubs also have been formed in Division 14. The Kiwanis Club of Carrollwood sponsored the new Kiwanis Club of Wesley Chapel which has already taken on 4 new K Kids programs and 3 new Key Clubs. The Kiwanis Club of Greater Westchase and the Kiwanis Club of Greater Ybor City have also hit the ground running with their own service projects and Key Club sponsorships.

Serving others continues as Division 14 clubs now focus on families in need at the holiday time. Clubs will be delivering holiday food baskets, volunteering at food pantries, coordinating the 32 year-old Christmas for an Angel program, holding toy drives and Christmas parties for migrant children and so much more.
Want to share this email on social media or your website?
Use this URL: View on the Web