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Clubs compete for top prizes in 2020 Signature Project Contest

| Mar 23, 2020

SigPro Collage 2020

Signature projects show the impact a Kiwanis club can have on a community. From playgrounds and parks to festivals and fundraisers, signature projects are the hallmarks of what Kiwanis clubs are known for in their communities.  

Every year, Kiwanis International recognizes the best signature projects from around the world. Each district selects its top signature project for judging. For the 2020 competition, two contest tiers were established. Clubs with 27 members or fewer were judged in Tier I while clubs with 28 members or more were judged in Tier II. The Service and Partnerships Committee of the Kiwanis International Board of Trustees reviewed 73 projects, selecting 10 finalists in each tier.  

The gold, silver and bronze winners for each tier will be announced at the 2020 Kiwanis International Convention.

Here are the finalists in alphabetical order:

TIER I FINALISTS (Clubs with 27 or fewer members)

Australia District, Kiwanis Club of the Adelaide Hills, Kiwanis Book Shop

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The Kiwanis Book Shop, run by the Kiwanis Club of Adelaide Hills, is the soul of the community. Money raised in the shop funds services for children and adults from underserved communities. The club gives AUS$5 vouchers to students in the Terrific Kids program to purchase books at the shop.

Florida District, Kiwanis Club of Ormond Beach, Kiwanis READS! Summer Reading Challenge

The Kiwanis Club of Ormond Beach is creating energetic and passionate readers by building home and classroom libraries. So far, the club has provided 2,319 books to students and teachers at a local elementary school. The club says the project engages students. The school finished third among all Florida schools in the number of minutes read in the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge.
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Georgia District, Kiwanis Club of Conyers, Helping Kids Read and Lead

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Every year, members of the Kiwanis Club of Conyers visit every school in their community to give a book to every child in kindergarten through third grade. The project gives young children, many of whom cannot afford to purchase books, the opportunity to share the joy of reading at home, while developing critical skills. In 2020, they’ll hand out nearly 5,200 books.

Iceland-Faroes District, Kiwanis Club of Dyngja Reykjavík, Weekend Retreat Center for Children

The 13 members of the Kiwanis Club of Dyngja Reykjavik wholeheartedly support Vinasetrið, a weekend retreat where children from disadvantaged homes can play, relax and be a kid. Every weekend, 22 children stay at the house. Members provide financial support along with doing chores and other projects. 
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Illinois-Eastern Iowa District, Kiwanis Club of Oak Lawn Area, Feed 6 Mega Event

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Along with the need for food assistance in greater Oak Lawn, Illinois, is an equal need to create a network of organizations working on hunger issues. The Kiwanis Club of Oak Lawn Area is working to fill those needs. The club co-chaired the Feed 6 Mega Event where 350 volunteers created 50,000 meals of enhanced macaroni and cheese for nearly 30 area food pantries.

Louisiana-Mississippi-West Tennessee District, Kiwanis Club of New Orleans, Painting with a Purpose-Ceiling Tiles for Children’s Hospital of New Orleans

Look up and see light-hearted, colorful whimsical characters scattered on the ceilings of Children's Hospital of New Orleans. Since 2012, members of the Kiwanis Club of New Orleans have painted more than 1,000 ceiling tiles for the hospital and satellite clinics throughout southeast Louisiana.
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New Zealand-South Pacific District, Kiwanis Club of Christchurch, The Women and Children's Emergency Housing Shelter

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Mothers and children escaping abusive and violent relationships can thank the Kiwanis Club of Christchurch for helping them find a place to live. The club supports a facility that provides safe accommodations and counseling. Most recently, the club renovated the shelter’s kitchen, installing new cabinets, rewiring the electrical outlets and building countertops. Updating a two-bedroom unit is next on their list.

Ohio District, Kiwanis Club of North Ridgeville, Trykes for Tikes

The Kiwanis Club of North Ridgeville knows it's making a difference in the community by the smiles club members see from kids riding an Amtryke. This therapeutic tricycle enables children with disabilities to discover greater independence and mobility, opening the door to increased socialization with friends and higher engagement in family activities. The club coordinated fundraising efforts and contributed money to equip two local schools with Amtrykes.

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Philippine Luzon District, Kiwanis Club of New Lucena Central, Eat and Learn

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Homeless children in New Lucena get a meal, haircut, bath and tutoring as the Kiwanis Club of New Lucena Central works to help children feel they accepted. The club, partnering with other local service agencies, teaches children academic principals along with lessons on physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. 

Texas-Oklahoma District, Kiwanis Club of Edinburg, Wish Upon a Cure

Every year, the Kiwanis Club of Edinburg celebrates a “Day of Hope” for kids undergoing cancer treatment at the local hospital. The club brings superheroes and books and stages a huge party for the children and their families. There’s face painting, candy and lots of smiles.
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TIER II FINALISTS (Clubs with 28 or more members)

Kentucky-Tennessee District, Kiwanis Club of Tellico Village, Loudon, Robotics/STEM in the School

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New technology can be expensive, but that’s not stopping the Kiwanis Club of Tellico Village, Loudon from helping kids learn how to use it. The club provides equipment and materials to help students build robots. Along with the fun and team building, the kids learn STEM skills. 

Louisiana-Mississippi-West Tennessee District, Kiwanis Club of Dawn Busters, Metairie, Rewards for Reading

The Rewards for Reading project is a simple concept: reward kids for reading. For 14 years, the Kiwanis Club of Dawn Busters, Metairie has handed out pizza coupons, certificates and incentives such as new bikes to more than 22,000 elementary students in Jefferson Parish. The project gets kids reading and developing important skills that will serve them for a lifetime. 
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Nebraska-Iowa District, Kiwanis Club of Ames-Town and Country, Teen Maze

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Choices have consequences — good and bad. It’s a lesson the Kiwanis Club of Ames-Town and Country are teaching through their signature project. Teen Maze, an interactive two-hour game, helps teens understand how to make intelligent, informed decisions.

Ohio District, Kiwanis Club of Mansfield, Friendly House

The Friendly House provides an affordable and safe afterschool program for families in Mansfield. To help kids get there, the Kiwanis Club of Mansfield celebrated its 100th anniversary by providing the center a bus, and it hopes to buy a second one. Since 1922, the club has donated US$3.3 million in funds and services to the program.
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Pacific Northwest District, Kiwanis Club of Gig Harbor, Kiwanis Cares for Kids

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Clothes, technology, hygiene items, field trips — the Kiwanis Club of Gig Harbor funds all kinds of requests. In 2019, club members helped more than 7,000 students get a well-rounded educational experience. The hundreds of thank you letters the club received mention how the recipients now “fit in” with their peers.

Philippine Luzon District, Kiwanis Club of Lucena Kalilayan, K-Jipney, Kalilayan's Partner in Service

The Kiwanis Jipney, a passenger bus, serves double duty for schoolchildren. While taking children on the mile and a half drive from the main road to the school, the Kiwanis Club of Lucena Kalilayan provides food, vision checks, dental care and other necessities to make sure the students can succeed.
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Philippine-South District, Kiwanis Club of Geo-Ormoc, Protect Children Rights

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The Kiwanis Club of Geo-Ormoc launched the Protect Children’s Rights campaign to raise awareness of child labor, human trafficking, sexual exploitation and child abuse. The club works with partners to broadcast the message on radio, in schools and around the community. So far, the club has reached more than 3,000 kids and nearly 2,000 adults in marginalized communities.

Southwest District, Kiwanis Club of Prescott, Live Annual Auction

Going once. Going twice. Gone! Every year, the Kiwanis Club of Prescott auctions thousands of items donated by local businesses. The auction is broadcast on the cable access channel and by live stream for three hours every weekday night for two weeks. The nearly $175,000 raised every year is used to fund many community programs. This signature project has been going on for so long that some current members remember their grandparents participating.
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Texas-Oklahoma District, Kiwanis Club of Paris, Paris Kiwanis Pancake Days 2019

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Kiwanis clubs love pancake breakfasts. The Kiwanis Club of Paris holds one of the biggest, bringing in more than US$100,000. In 2019, 11,125 people got a stack of flapjacks during the five-day event, which includes delivering pancakes to kids at the local schools. The money raised each year funds the club’s projects in addition to supporting local agencies such as the Boys & Girls Club and the Paris Soccer Association.

Wisconsin-Upper Michigan District, Kiwanis Club of Western Kenosha, Taste of Wisconsin

The Taste of Wisconsin is one of the most popular events in southeast Wisconsin and northeast Illinois every year. The Kiwanis Club of Western Kenosha brings together more than 40 food vendors and 80 musical acts for a weekend festival on the shore of Lake Michigan. Thousands attend, bringing in more than $175,000 for club projects.
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