October 2008 Edition
      David Maloney, Editor        
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Kiwanis International is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time.

The "K-Family Weekend" Brings Together the Key Club & CKI Boards with Kiwanis Leadership Team
a Photo Essay by Immediate Past Governor Bob Cressy

Have you ever been on a "K-Family Weekend"? You'd never forget it, I'll tell you. Just what is a K-Family weekend anyway? Well, its definition is really the Kiwanis Family Weekend. Its purpose is to gather the current Key Club Board, the CKI Board and the new Kiwanis leadership team, especially all of the 2008-2009 Lieutenant Governors, SLP advisors and K-Family Governors. They assemble for most of three days to work and play together, to share ideas, plans and to get to know one another while coordinating their goals. more or view event photo album

A Year in the Making – First K-Kids Club in Capital District, Division 19: E. Wilson Morrison Elementary School K-Kids Club
by Michael Laing

It started in May 2007. Michael Laing, then President of Front Royal Kiwanis Club, sought permission to start a K-Kids Club at the school where he teaches, E. Wilson Morrison Elementary School. Principal Margaret Holmes agreed to have the club with the stipulation that only the top three grades be eligible for membership. more

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Gorham, ME Club Seeks Support For Military Families
Marc Badeau, Chairman Operation Holiday Cheer, President Kiwanis Club of Gorham, Maine

In July 2007, the Kiwanis Club of Gorham, Maine launched Operation Holiday Cheer (OHC) - a program to provide a holiday gift to each child of Maine's military families. I am delighted to report that the program, joined by a large number of Kiwanis Clubs throughout Maine, resulted in the distribution of over 8,000 gifts to over 140 cities and towns throughout Maine! No child that requested a gift was refused and the media attention that the Program generated in the state was unsurpassed in the history of Kiwanis. OHC was promoted by over 50 public service announcements aired on CBS during prime times throughout the day, over a dozen radio stations, FOX News and over 30 newspapers in the state including an editorial by the award-winning journalist Bill Nemitz in the Portland Press Herald.

As a testament to the importance of this program, OHC has received a Joint Resolution from the Senate and the House commending them for the program and the recognition of this group of children as true patriots in this conflict. These are the unsung heroes that are finally being recognized for their bravery and courage during these difficult times. OHC also received a Citation from the Department of Defense acknowledging them for the difference and positive impact that the Program has made in the lives of these children.

In 2008, the Kiwanis Club of Gorham has decided to expand OHC throughout New England, New York and New Jersey. I, as Governor of the New England District, strongly support the expansion of this program and would like to encourage all Kiwanis Clubs throughout New England to participate in order to help ensure that no child of a military family that requests a holiday gift be refused due to lack of funding. Arrangements are under way to enlist the support of key radio stations and CBS affiliates throughout the target areas in order to effectively promote OHC and the Kiwanis. The benefits of this program, not only to the children of military families, but to Kiwanis, are significant.

As a challenge, the Key Club of Gorham Maine (Gorham High School) has committed to raise $50,000 for OHC by contacting their fellow officers in New England, New York and New Jersey to ask for their assistance. If each of these clubs raises $135, they will meet their goal. Surely, we, the Kiwanis, can do better! As an incentive, any Kiwanis Club that contributes $100 or more to OHC before October 1, 2008 will receive a specially-commissioned banner patch. Also, any club or corporation that contributes $100 or more will be featured on the Operation Holiday Cheer website. There are also a number of corporate incentives available for corporations looking to help sponsor OHC.

The American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Military Deployment Services for Youth, Families and Service Members examined a number of studies and surveys of military personnel completed over the last four years to determine the effect of military deployments on service members and their families (spouses, children and significant others). The report, entitled "Psychological Needs Of Military Personnel And Their Families Are Increasing" issued on February 26, 2007, noted, "At present, 700,000 children in America have at least one parent deployed. Having a primary caretaker deployed to a war zone for an indeterminate period is among the more stressful events a child can experience. Adults in the midst of their own distress are often anxious and uncertain about how to respond to their children's emotional needs. The strain of separation can weigh heavily on both the deployed parent and the caretakers left behind. The report further states "Spouses who function most effectively during this time (deployment) are those who receive community support."

The overall goal of Operation Holiday Cheer is to acknowledge and reward the sacrifices being made by the children of military families by providing them with a holiday gift during one of the most stressful times of duty - the holidays - to show the children that they are not alone and that the country stands proudly besides them. As a District, we have achieved incredible goals and I am sure that, together, we can make a tremendous difference in the lives of over 50,000 military children. Any amount is important for this worthwhile cause.

For more information about this program, or to make a contribution, please contact:

Marc Badeau
Chairman Operation Holiday Cheer
President Kiwanis Club of Gorham, Maine
PO Box 699
Gorham, ME 04038
(207) 221-0296

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