Event to aid tetanus project

FAIRMONT – Each year, Early Risers Kiwanis of Fairmont selects a local non-profit group to support with funds raised at the annual pancake feed.

This year, the club has selected the local Heaven’s Table food shelf. It also is donating to the global Eliminate Project for maternal and neonatal tetanus.

“Tetanus is not seen often in this country, but it’s everywhere, in all the soil,” said Jan Wolfgram of Kiwanis. “The difference is we’re vaccinated. In other countries, it can be contracted with unsanitary birthing processes. It’s estimated that every nine minutes, a baby in this world dies from tetanus, and it is an excruciating painful death.”

The goal of the Eliminate Project is to have less than one infant death per every 1,000 births. According to information from the Project, $1.80 buys the three doses of tetanus vaccine, which will provide a mother and her future children protection from tetanus.

“So far, maternal and neonatal tetanus has been eliminated in 28 countries,” Wolfgram said.

The goal of the Eliminate Project is to raise $110 million by 2015 to protect 61 million women and children in the 25 counties where tetanus is still a threat. The project has raised $55 million so far.

Along with the Eliminate Project, funds are being raised to help Heaven’s Table, the local food shelf.

“Children certainly are a big role in what we do,” said Greta Lintelman, a board member for Heaven’s Table.

In only its second year of existence, Heaven’s Table has continued to grow and see demand.

“It really struck me,” Lintelman said of when she began volunteering for Heaven’s Table. “I was really surprised to see how many people need help. You look at Martin County as a wealthier county in many aspects, so it was a real surprise … On paper, we have money, but you can’t eat dirt.”

In 2013, Heaven’s Table distributed 132,000 pounds of food.

“We expect the same or an increase this year,” Lintelman said. “Almost every time we’re open, we’re taking new clients.”

This year’s pancake feed will be 4-7 p.m. May 5 at Five Lakes Centre in Fairmont. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3.50 for children in advance and $7 and $4, respectively, on the day of event. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Hy-Vee, Heaven’s Table or from any Kiwanis member.