September 2020 Edition
2019-2020 Governor Allen Yergovich

Kiwanis Family,

September is always a time for frantically tying up some loose ends, getting back to school (however that may look where you are), and planning & budgeting & transitioning for the new Kiwanis year. I have had a few club Presidents tell me that, as they were reviewing the year, and despite the challenges we all faced, they were pleasantly surprised at how much their club accomplished during the year. I hope you all feel that way. I know I do. 

Now is the time to get enthusiastic about the upcoming Kiwanis year, the plans your club’s new officers and board have made, and the goals your new Governor Mary-Lynn Desjarlais and her team have been working hard to develop. 

September is also always a time for saying Thank You. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your Governor this year. Thank you for that opportunity. I am wary to thank individuals because there is bound to be someone who gets omitted, and for that I’ll apologize in advance. However, since we didn’t have a lot of opportunity for formal recognition this year, I must send out enormous thanks to the Melanie and the District office, the Executive Committee, the 19-20 class of Lt Governors, the District Chairs and all the other leaders (including our student leaders!) who made this year the best it could be - every Governor thinks their Team is the best, and I am no exception! Thank you to every single person who contributed to making the world better for the children of the Florida District and beyond.

In August, we presented our first ever Virtual District Convention. Just like this Kiwanis year, there were a few challenges, but overall it was a great success. You can see the Keynote and Governors' addresses on the District home page here, and the video workshop presentations are available to watch at your convenience and/or use at your clubs' meetings here.

There were many awards presented during the virtual convention and district board meeting. A recap of those awards - Including a brand new award announcement! - and pictures submitted from the clubs’ projects are below.

There are several other loose ends...projects that are ongoing or nearing completion. There are links to those below and I encourage everyone to contribute to their successful completion - important things we’ve been working on this year, such as our CKI mentorship program, the “No Small Matter” film, the Clear Mask project, promoting the Full Count Census, a fully inclusive discussion about Re-Division in our District, awards for your service this year, the KI Covid resource page, and an amazing Key Club in Quarantine Guide, which is very relevant to Kiwanis clubs as well.

Please also remember our important ongoing concerns: Service Leadership Programs, Membership, Kiwanis Visibility, and Young Children:Priority One!

If you have any questions about anything above, or anything from this year, please contact me directly here. I'd love to hear from you!

Be safe! Be kind! We love you! Keep Quackin!

Allen Yergovich
Governor - Florida District of Kiwanis International 
#KidsNeedKiwanis #FLKiwanis #GetQuacking
From Your District Leaders
2019-2020 District Board Awards
Mary-Lynn Desjarlais (2020-2021 Governor)
Right Now - the children and your community need you and your club.

I was asked: What do we do when someone in your club quits saying “I did not join just to be on Zoom”.

First: You are always going to get a Grumpy Gus. Another thought, if someone wants an excuse to quit, they will. HOWEVER...

Second: Listen to that person, feel if they are frustrated, lonely or tired. TALK to them about their issues. If it is a technology challenge have a friendly Kiwanis member go to their house and show them that it is a one click process, or get their grandchild or Key Clubber to help them. Let them feel wanted and needed.

ENGAGE meaning start club meetings! whether by zoom, Go To Meeting, Google Meet, phone tree, newsletters or emails. REMEMBER THAT CLUB MEETINGS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE FUN. Take advantage of the magic of Zoom for speakers that you would not normally be able to get. Try your Sheriff, the school superintendent, candidates for office - make sure that both candidates get to speak to your club, people who work at KI!

HELP the children. Start now by adopting a Title I Elementary School. Zoom meet with the principal or Vice Principal of the school (with 2-3 club members), talk about starting a BUGs program (Bring Up Grades). Right now teachers are having trouble keeping their student’s attention, there can be a technology divide, some children struggle with non in person learning. BUGs is a way to encourage the kiddos. Look up the Kiwanis branded program at

ASK the school what are your needs? What can we do to help in light of our numbers, resources, etc. Food bank at school? Gardens? The principal will know what they need.

We know that young children NEED to see facial expressions for socialization and brain development, talk to Dr. Will Blechman, or our YCPO Chair. Ask about their program for child care mask that show your facial expressions. Faces are essential 

What about your community? Our adults in nursing homes and ALFs are basically on lock down, they are isolated, physically impaired, may not feel well, suffering from loneliness. Have your club set up a project with a CEO of a nursing home (who was your speaker at a meeting) to write letters, send balloons,, etc. to lift their spirits.

Most importantly ask your Grumpy Gus what they would like to do to help. 

Remember there is work to be done, you are going to have fun, and You’re in Kiwanis Now! 
Harvey White (2020-2021 Governor-Elect)
As this Kiwanis year ends, The First Daughter and I would like to thank all the Kiwanians who helped to make the Caring Corner a huge success. There are too many people to name, but the two at the top of my list are Ali Cacella, Executive Director of Florida Kiwanis Foundation, who spent many hours helping make the Caring Corner happen and Dan Borba, Vice President of the Foundation, who kept track of all the funds that came in. As we all know it was an unexpected situation, but thanks to all your support we were still able to have an extremely rewarding event.
From Your District Chairs
Club Reporting
Please make sure your club secretary submits all monthly reports for the 2019-2020 year by September 30th!
Club of the Year
Applications for Club of the Year will be sent out to secretaries in November, and will be due February 15th.

Winner will be announced at
District Convention!
Support the Faces are Essential Campaign!

Help raise funds to purchase clear face masks for early childhood providers in preschools and early learning centers. 

The coronavirus pandemic has changed so much about how we interact. Wearing face masks that cover half of our faces means we can’t see each other’s facial expressions. Did you know that this can affect how babies grow and learn? Facial expressions help children interpret emotions and social cues. Young children learn through their relationships with caring adults. Not being able to see their faces means they are missing important connections.

As children head back to school and preschool, we know it is necessary and important for teachers to wear masks for health and safety reasons. But we know that this can harm the social and emotional development for children who spend lots of time, sometimes over 8 hours a day, in care every day.

We can help kids by donating clear face masks for teachers. Need more proof? Watch this video to learn why this is important!

Want to donate clear face masks as a club project? Every county has an Early Learning Coalition that can connect you to an early learning program in your area. Visit this website and scroll down to find your county: Florida Association of Early Learning Coalitions. Your local Early Learning Coalition will be listed next to the county. 

This initiative is led by the Florida Association of Infant Mental Health. Visit the Faces are Essential Campaign website to learn more.

Lastly, check out this local news story about the FAIMH Faces Are Essential project featuring Florida Kiwanis and US Rep. Donna Shalala! Click to Read
CKI Mentorship
Opportunity to Mentor a CKI Student This Fall 2020!

Did you know in the United States there are nearly 6 million youth, ages 16 to 24, who feel disconnected from both work and school? And one in three young people will reach the age of 19 without having an adult mentor of any kind. That’s where Kiwanians can play an important role in filling the mentoring gap with our CKI members. If you’re not familiar with CKI or Circle K International, it’s the branch of the Kiwanis family for college students. In fact, CKI has the highest per member service hour average of any Kiwanis family club.

The CKI Mentorship program is a new program in the Florida District so you have an opportunity to be a part of something new which will allow you to share your knowledge and experience, foster professional growth in a college student, and build a stronger relationship with another branch of the K-Family. This is also an excellent virtual opportunity, as the mentoring conversations can take place via phone or video call.

Once you sign up at, we will match you with a college student who is a member of CKI. We will try to match mentor and mentees based on career interests and geography when possible. Mentors and mentees will commit to at least one contact per month, but multiple contacts are encouraged. This contact can be via email, phone, online, or in person as determined by the mentor and mentee. A short orientation is available online with more information at

The program will begin in the fall and will run through May 2021. Once you sign up, you will be contacted by Committee Chair, Stacy Vu, who will match mentors with mentees. Questions about the program can be directed to Stacy Vu at or C. Todd Smith at
2020-2021 Vice Governor Candidate Announcement
I am so excited to announce that I, Prairy Riehl, will be running for Vice Governor at the 2021 Florida Kiwanis Convention.

My passion for kids and service through Kiwanis, along with my flexibility to meet the changing needs of our community during these challenging times, will be what we need to continue the powerful impact that the great Florida District of Kiwanis has on children in our community.

Club Headlines
Ft.Myers Metro McGregor
Bags For Babies 

The Fort Myers Metro McGregor Kiwanis Club recently completed a project with Healthy Start Coalition of SWFL. This agency is a community-based organization that assists pregnant women and babies up to age 3 who are at-risk for poor birth or developmental outcomes. During these different times, they were unable to host their traditional community baby shower for "moms to be", so the club stepped in to help make "mom bags" that will be part of the new drive thru format. The bags are filled with a number of items including diapers, wipes, a book, a blanket and reference materials. Well done Fort Myers Metro McGregor!
Biscayne Bay
School Supply Drive

Biscayne Bay held another hugely successful school supply drive.
Check out the new coverage of their project:

Northside Naples
Northside Naples proudly held a COVID supply drive to benefit their local partners. Thanks for all you do Northside Naples!