2019 Kiwanis year in review

Sarah Moreland Byrne | Dec 23, 2019

How much good can be done in a year?

Eliminating a preventable disease in two countries. Providing help to families ravaged by natural disasters. Awarding US$25,000 to a community for a new playground. Continuing to keep children safe, happy and healthy.  

Those are just a handful of ways hundreds of thousands of Kiwanis-family volunteers gave back to communities — local and global — in 2019. Take a look at some of what we did this year:


Through a US$5,000 Kiwanis Children’s Fund grant, Kiwanians distributed food and water to families in Hamburg, Iowa, after severe flooding destroyed communities across the Midwestern United States in March.

Democratic Republic of the Congo eliminates MNT!Chad and the Democratic Republic of the Congo eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus, a deadly yet preventable disease. With the support of Kiwanis International, UNICEF has increased access to lifesaving immunizations for some of the world’s most vulnerable mothers and babies.

key leader 15 Our Key Leader program turned 15! To date, more than 33,000 teenagers have discovered the true meaning of leadership and service at 660 Key Leader weekends in eight countries. 

Kids of all abilities will come together for play with safe and inclusive playgroundThe community of Barron, Wisconsin, won US$25,000 of playground equipment from Landscape Structures after rising to the top of 36 entries in the sixth-annual Legacy of Play Contest. Nearly 20% of children in Barron have special needs, and more than 50% of its students qualify for free or reduced lunch programs at school. 

New trustees elected in OrlandoAt the 104th Annual Kiwanis International Convention at Walt Disney Resort® in Orlando, Florida, delegates elected new leadership. Peter Mancuso was elected as the 2019-20 Kiwanis International vice president, and three new trustees were elected: Gary Cooper, David W. Hurrelbrink and Cathy Szymanski. Delegates also passed a “Safe Kids” resolution and overwhelmingly approved an amendment adding a nondiscrimination clause

2019 SigPro Contest finalistsTen amazing signature projects were recognized as finalists in the 2019 Signature Project Recognition Program and Contest, which celebrates the great work being done by Kiwanis clubs all around the world. The Kiwanis Club of Baton Rouge in the Louisiana-Mississippi-West Tennessee District was awarded the bronze award for its 69th Annual Pancake Breakfast. The Kiwanis Club of Bendigo in the Australia District won the silver award for its Children’s Book Box Libraries project. The judges awarded the gold prize to the Kiwanis Club of Montgomery in the Alabama District for its Alabama National Fair. (Want to enter the 2020 Signature Project Contest? Submissions are being accepted until Monday, January 27. Find more information at

434_new_clubs More volunteers means more children helped: 433 new clubs opened during the 2018-19 Kiwanis year — the second highest number of clubs opened in a year during our 104-year history.

2019 One Day From the beaches of the Caribbean to the cities of Southeast Asia, Kiwanis clubs around the world held service projects for Kiwanis One Day. The Kiwanis Club of Los Gatos in California won the 2019 Kiwanis One Day Contest for its environmental impact project.

Youth Protection Week Our annual Youth Protection Week continues to educate volunteers and provide year-round training and resources to ensure children are kept safe.

What's in store for Kiwanis in 2020? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to find out.


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