Message from the District Governor
Observations and Summary Notes
First, my year as Governor was actually the second of a comprehensive three-year Commitment to the Carolinas District of Kiwanis International. The overarching goal was, and is, to always to be developing and fostering conditions in every community so every child of the Carolinas can be happy, healthy, safe, loved and successful. It truly is all about the kids. Kids need Kiwanis!
Toward that end, in a typical week, we typically travelled three to five days, the entire extent of North and South Carolina visiting all of the 180 Kiwanis Clubs that invited us to visit. We added 50,000 driving miles to our Town and Country van, and 15,000 miles to our Pleasure Way travel van. We could write a book about our novel experiences camping out in Walmart Supercenter parking lots.
As we visited community after community we were celebrating local Kiwanis Club accomplishments and anniversaries, imploring expanded services for youth, and inaugurating activities for newly chartered clubs. We assisted with Hurricane Matthew relief efforts, food bank distributions, yard sales, raffles, barbeques, pancake breakfasts, installation ceremonies, award banquets and wooly worm races. A Hurricane Harvey relief fund and strategy is now underway as well.
We emphasized the critical prerequisite importance of setting aside all age, social, political, religious, educational and economic differences that often engender discord in order that Kiwanis may grow and continue to be an effective service organization of volunteers committed to serving all youth in all communities.
We designed and conducted numerous training sessions preparing the District’s leadership team to be of direct service and support to the officers and volunteers in their local clubs. Their empowerment was, and is, vital to achieving District goals.
We attended several service and leadership training weekends with our Key Club and Circle K Boards. We attended the District Aktion Club Convention in Denton, NC, as well as the Kiwanis international Family Conference in Black Mountain, NC.
During this year, Maternal Neonatal Tetanus (MNT) was eliminated from more nations, most recently Ethiopia and Haiti. Originally, when Kiwanis international undertook this humanitarian global outreach, there were 39 nations where MNT was rampant, that number is now below 16. We continued to urge increased donorship and completion of existing pledges toward the global MNT effort.
Also, thus far, we have added $30,000 to the Kiwanis Cottage Legacy Fund in support of the children residing in our Kiwanis Cottage at the Boys and Girls Home, Lake Waccamaw, NC. The Fund balance now stands at $70,000 of its $100,000 target. We prepared, approved and now have in place, an Agreement of Understanding with the Administration of the Boys and Girls Home as to the procedures to be followed with respect the appropriate use of the Legacy Fund.
We have put in writing, and practice, our own interpretation of Kiwanis International’s FORMULA whereby we have a plan with which to grow and measure our clubs’ and District’s impact, effectiveness and financial solvency.
For the first time, our District developed and implemented Club Coaching Days at five regional locations across the District. The CCD’s were an outreach effort to spread “best practices” to all clubs in the Carolinas. We sought to bring the District’s resources to every Kiwanian conveniently and economically. Additionally, the coaching events provided valuable insights to our presenters with respect to the seriousness of the District’s mission and support for local clubs and volunteers. Their experiences are an investment in our District’s succession planning.
We have built and opened four new clubs across the district so far. This is the largest number of annual club additions to the Carolinas in over a decade. A fifth new club is being developed in the Clemson, SC, area at this time. Additionally, we have another four clubs that have increased their local membership numbers by the equivalent of new club requirements.
We have successfully experimented with membership growth and club strengthening programs and contests rewarding complimentary conference and convention registrations to the highest performing clubs, groups, etc.
We have revamped and expanded our Mid-year and Convention formats to include an “Idea Fair” where topics of interest, and requested by grassroots volunteers, are researched, and presented by knowledgeable experienced Kiwanians. We took nothing out, but added in what our members said they wanted and needed.
We have expanded our interactive communications with periodic conference calls among more subgroups of our leadership team. Calls are designed to get information out, take information in and provide a frequent forum to every voice having accepted a leadership role in the District. Ie. Executive Board, Trustees, Lieutenant Governors, Committee Chairs, etc. As a result, we have empowered our Lt. Governors to assist and provide special incentives to struggling clubs.
As a representative of our club and District, I traveled to Indianapolis in January to report and discuss progress on our administrative goals for the year. In the same capacity, I traveled to Paris, France, in July and participated in all delegate assemblies and a variety of informational forums. It has been a rewarding journey!