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Build to Reach the Dream
...that every child is happy, healthy, safe and loved

Richard "Rick" Poulton
2016-17 Illinois-Eastern Iowa District Governor

Kiwanis Club of Elgin
Division 10
John Lorenzo 
2016-17 Governor Assistant North

Kiwanis Club of Westchester
Division 5
Ed Wiemers
2016-17 Governor Assistant South

Kiwanis Club of Glen Carbon
Division 31

As the Illinois-Eastern Iowa District enters its 100th year of service I continue to be amazed at the lives that we have touched and honored by being a part of this organization. An organization that exists in 100s of communities with each local Club working to develop leadership among our youth through K-Kids, Builders, Key and Circle K clubs. An organization  that provides opportunities for adults with disabilities to learn, lead and serve through Aktion Clubs while demonstrating to our communities that these adults are valuable contributors to the communities in which we live. An organization that provides hundreds of thousands of service hours and dollars to build, improve and strengthen our communities.

On an International level this District has been responsible in part for eliminating Iodine Deficiency Disorders throughout the world through Kiwanis International’s IDD project. The success of this project prevented millions of newborns from suffering mental impairment due to insufficient iodine in their mothers' diets. Today we are working to eliminate Maternal Neonatal Tetanus (MNT) through the Eliminate Project where so far our efforts have saved the lives of almost 1.5 MILLION mothers and newborns whose deaths have been prevented through our partnership with UNICEF.  This partnership has provided millions of mothers and newborns access to 3 tetanus shots costing a total of $1.80 and has eliminated MNT from 20 countries since we launched this project in 2011.

Then there is OUR District project, the Spastic Paralysis Research Foundation (SPRF) which, through our 65 years and almost $9M of support, have led to medical breakthroughs from preventing birth defects to working to identify causes and thereby preventing Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

We have accomplished all of this through members that have taken time out of their lives in an attempt to make a positive impact on their community while building new personal and professional relationships. We as members not only set an example for our friends and families but also, through our actions, encourage others to be a part of what many of us consider a life changing organization.  As many of us have discovered, Kiwanis has not only changed the lives of its members but also the lives that its members have “touched” through a peanut drive, a bowl-a-thon, a pancake breakfast, a service project or some benevolent contribution.   

While relishing all that our organization has accomplished over its first century we look toward the future. A future where we finish what we have stared with the Eliminate project where we are 70% of the way to achieving our goal. With 19 countries yet to eliminate MNT we can’t let up on our efforts when we have come this far. A future where our continued support of SPRF will lead to more medical discoveries to prevent or cure numerous physical defects and illnesses and in some cases help overcome the related challenges.  A future where we enable our youth continue to learn the importance of community service and how to be effective leaders.

Please join myself, and the members of the II District, in this Kiwanis year to continue to work to build a stronger Kiwanis organization which will enable us to build stronger communities, better leaders and Reach the Dream that every child is able to grow up happy, healthy, safe and loved.     

Richard "Rick" Poulton, 2016-2017 Governor
Illinois Eastern Iowa District of Kiwanis International