Why these donors want you to take on the MNT Challenge

Jun 29, 2018


Kiwanians accepted the challenge! More than US$170,000 was donated during the 103rd Kiwanis Convention to fight maternal and neonatal tetanus, far surpassing the goal of raising US$100,000 for the MNT Challenge.   

And there is more great news: We have unlocked an additional US$100,000 from our group of generous donors. 

We'll keep raising money for the MNT Challenge until we reach US$200,000. That means US$400,000 will go toward saving and protecting the lives thousands of babies who might otherwise perish from maternal and neonatal tetanus.
Are you ready to accept their challenge? Go to to give online or text MNTChallenge to 50155 to give by phone.


They are committed philanthropists and dedicated volunteers. But what unites them even more is their desire to see their good works go further.

This charitable group of donors is putting forth US$100,000 to challenge Kiwanis members to raise an additional US$100,000 during the Kiwanis International convention in Las Vegas. That means the money donated will have double the impact on saving and protecting lives from maternal and neonatal tetanus.

Most of the donors have a long history of giving to The Eliminate Project. But UNICEF USA supporters Mark and Ana Maria Gordon recently learned about the work Kiwanis is doing with UNICEF to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus.

Gordon's photoThe Gordons are well-known for dedicating their time and resources to improving the quality of children's lives. Along with the NBA, the United Nations and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Gordons are founding partners of Nothing But Nets, which promotes the purchase and distribution of malaria-preventing bed nets in Africa and Southeast Asia.

And for more than 15 years, they developed and funded SHAPE, a program that introduces high school students to philanthropy, career development and civic engagement and leadership opportunities.

After supporting UNICEF USA for several years, the Gordons told the organization they wanted to partner with people who are serious and passionate about saving children's lives.

"Without hesitation, they said, 'You have to learn more about our incredible, special and passionate friends at Kiwanis,'" Mark Gordon recounted.

The Gordons said they were so moved by Kiwanis' leadership that they asked to channel their financial support alongside Kiwanis in the hopes this will be the best year ever for raising money to eliminate MNT.


05_28_2015_8881For Jimmy McCorlew, The Eliminate Project has already had a profound effect.

As a past governor of the Georgia District, McCorlew traveled with five fellow Kiwanians to Namibia. Because MNT had already been eliminated in Namibia, he witnessed the work UNICEF is doing on sustainability and education.

"I believe every mother should have whatever means available to give birth to a healthy baby,” he said. “And every baby should have the opportunity to become a healthy child."

He is encouraging Kiwanis members to give during the convention so even more lives can be saved and protected.

"We all have had achievements we are proud of,” said McCorlew, a member of the Kiwanis Club of Columbus, Georgia. “Since my involvement in our Eliminate Project, it has become the greatest achievement in my life,"


Jan and Robert Maxwell, Topeka, KansasWhen asked why he and his wife, Jan, give to The Eliminate Project, Robert Maxwell responded, "Why wouldn't you give to it? Where else can your dollars impact thousands of people's lives? Why wouldn't you want to do that!"

Robert said he and Jan, who is Kansas District governor, are impressed by the sustainability and education work UNICEF is doing in the field. It's not just about this year or this generation, Maxwell said, but making sure future generations don't have to live in fear of babies dying of tetanus.

Several other Kiwanis members are playing a key role in the challenge. John T. Tyner II, James and Zelma Paschal and a couple who wish to remain anonymous are longtime supporters and champions of The Eliminate Project. They too hope to see their impact amplified during convention.

Are you ready to accept their challenge? Go to to give online or text MNTChallenge to 50155 to give by phone.


Facts about the MNT Challenge

  1. Funds contributed to The Eliminate Project Challenge may not be used toward an existing individual (personal) pledge, but funds may be used toward an existing club or district pledge.
  2. All funds will be credited to the donor’s respective district.
  3. The Kiwanis Children’s Fund will accept individual and club pledges as well as cash gifts (credit card or check) toward The Eliminate Project Challenge.
  4. The benefit of the challenge is that a donor’s gift will double the number of lives saved or protected.There is no “discount” on recognition items.Donors may request recognition according to the level in which they contribute.(i.e. Zellers will be awarded, when requested, for gifts of US$1,250 not US$625.)