Eliminate Project landing on city lawns

Tuesday, January 15, 2019
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Jennings High School Key Club is partnering with the Kiwanis Club to raise funds and awareness for a worthy cause.

The club is starting fundraising efforts to secure money needed for the Eliminate Project, in which clubs work to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus.

According to a press release, maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) is a painful disease that kills one baby every nine minutes or about 160 newborns each day and a significant number of women.

MNT is a deadly but preventable disease. The disease is usually contracted through unhygienic childbirth practices. Immunizations can help eliminate the possibility of contracting the disease.

It’s truly a sight to wake up and see your yard covered in roosting flamingos in the month of January.”
– Melody Bertrand

The Kiwanis Club of Jennings has pledged over $5,000. The Key Club has set a goal of $500 for this year’s event.

“This is a great fundraiser. The kids have fun doing it and I believe the community enjoys it as well,” said Key Club and Kiwanis Liaison Melody Bertrand.

Bertrand explained the activities of the fundraiser, which involves “decorating” local lawns.

“It is a month-long event,” said Bertrand. “Under the cover of darkness, students will ‘flock’ a resident’s yard with about 40 bright pink flamingos. Along with the flock, a ransom note will be included detailing what the resident needs to do next.”

Bertrand said the ransom note asks for a donation and also gives the resident a chance to nominate the next unsuspecting participant.

“The students will retrieve the flamingos and move them to the next yard,” said Bertrand. “It’s truly a sight to wake up and see your yard covered in roosting flamingos in the month of January.”

Bertrand said the kids have a great time similar to the tagging activities that come along with homecoming — but this event is legal.

“The police chief has been made aware of the upcoming activities so if they see a car full of kids with pink flamingos, they will know what’s going on,” said Bertrand.

She said whoever is “flocked” has a choice of making a donation of any amount, but the money is not required.

“We hope people just think it’s funny or exciting and appreciate our fundraising efforts,” said Bertrand.

According to the Kiwanis press release, funding supports UNICEF and its partners who have already eliminated MNT in more than 20 countries. The Eliminate Project will serve those who live in some of the most remote and underserved areas of developing countries where health care is limited.

For more information on the Eliminate Project, contact Bertrand at (337) 540-0930 or Key Club sponsor Ashante Simmons at (337) 824-0642.