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 July 2009

July '09 eBuilder Front Page

Thanksgiving Day

by Governor Tom Ganse

Just because President Lincoln proclaimed the fourth Thursday in November as a National Day of Thanksgiving doesn't mean we have to wait until then to give thanks. Indeed, today seems like a fine day to express my gratitude, and so I will!

Most importantly, I offer my deepest gratitude and appreciation to all of you who shared your love, care, support and sympathy after my Mother's death last month. Many of you were aware of her critical condition over a year ago, and the miraculous recovery she made last summer. My family had a true bonus year with Mom, and when her time came, it came swiftly and mercifully. She passed with the same calmness and dignity she displayed in life, and I have no doubt she is finally at peace with my sister in Paradise.

Beyond the personal, the Capital District has accumulated a pretty impressive resume of Kiwanis accomplishments during the last nine months and I want to acknowledge several of the many go-getters behind these successes.

  • Thanks to our New Club Builders. We already have three new clubs this year, and numbers 4 and 5 will organize this month. We have three more clubs in the queue, with every expectation of organizing them before the year is out. It has been over a decade since this District organized more than five clubs in a year, or had a net gain in clubs. To have a high likelihood of doing so this year is phenomenal! Thanks so much to the "local contacts" that made it happen: PLG Bill Monroe, PLG Bill Black, LTG Scott Zimmerman, PLG Al Baker, LTG Judy Pantelides (times three!), PLG Tulane Patterson, LTG John Montgomery, Trustee David Heppner. Thanks also to the District Growth Team Support crew: PG John Tyner, PG Hugh Siggins, PLG Carla Morin, PLG Jackie Bledsoe. 
  • Thanks to SLP Administrators LTG Jeff Wolff (CKI), PLG Joe Stankus (Key Club) and Dru Bowman (Builder's Clubs). Because of their outstanding leadership and support, Capital District Kiwanis Clubs already exceeded this year's growth targets by sponsoring over 24 new SLP clubs in these groups. And we're not finished yet!
  • Thanks to Dr. Raga Elim and the International Understanding Committee for expanding our vision with international impact projects. Perhaps the most notable project is the Committee's Initiative For Africa, which is a partnership with KickStart International. This project supplies human-powered irrigation pumps that enable impoverished families to obtain water for farming, and in doing so, allow them not only to sustain themselves, but to generate the income necessary to lift themselves out of poverty permanently. The Committee is attempting to raise $30,000.00, which will be matched by KickStart, to lift hundreds of families out of poverty before our District Convention in August. We're half way there, so please consider supporting this incredible project, which also has the full attention of Kiwanis International!
  • Thanks to PLG Neil Behan, whose alter-ego "Guido" fearlessly guides us through the Kiwanis International Foundation's Annual Club Gift campaign. With three months to go, the Capital District leads the Silver Division and has the 5th highest per capita amount of all 51 Districts at just under $5.00. Let's help Neil get over the $5.00 mark so we can get all five matching Foundation scholarships for our Capital District youth! Please urge you club to participate if they have not already done so.
  • Thanks to Past District Trustee Jack White for ferreting out the host of Kiwanis talent showcased in his weekly Monday Morning Messages, and for pushing the District into the 21st century by implementing telecons, CD/DVD training, YouTube postings and more. Again, these products are finding their way well beyond our District borders to lands as far away as New Zealand.  
  • Thanks to On-To-Convention Chair Nancy Cressy and PG Bob Cressy who's never-ending spirit of fun resulted in a great turnout at the recent Kiwanis International Convention in Nashville. Thanks especially for working the details for our District Dinner at the Wildhorse Saloon! Now it's On to Dover!  
  • Thanks to District Convention Chair Charles Marks and his DELMARVA Region Committee for their work thus far on the upcoming District Convention. They have a fantastic weekend lined up, with a host of family-friendly activities available in and around the Dover area. Check out the convention page (http://capital.kiwanisone.org/public_district/pub_Content.aspx?Page=200) and preview show, and make plans today to take a vacation to the Eastern Shore, and "Stop Over in Dover!"

I could go one with so many more examples of District Kiwanians making a difference in Capital, but there simply isn't enough space. Suffice it to say that this is not an all-inclusive list, so - most importantly -  thanks to each and every one of you, not only for what you do for Kiwanis, but for making your communities better places to live!

To those of you who lead the way and continue to increase Kiwanis service in your communities, I offer my deepest thanks and appreciation. Please share your successes and strategies with your fellow Kiwanians who still may be struggling in the face of some difficult social and economic challenges. We solve the world's problems every day. Surely we can solve our own.

With a Kiwanis Servant's Heart
Tom Ganse

The Kiwanis Family
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