Members of the Kiwanis Club of La Canada visit with Dr. Francois Gasse, third from left, Unicefs senior health specialist for maternal and newborn tetanus, during the Kiwanis International Convention in New Orleans, which took place June 28-July 1. From left, the local Kiwanians are Daryal Gant, club President Mary Gant, Gasse, Jim Phillips, Bill Scherkey and Melinda Thompson. (Courtesy of Peggy Touchstone, Kiwanis Club of La Canada)

Six members of the Kiwanis Club of La Cañada attended the Kiwanis International Convention, which took place June 28 to July 1 in New Orleans. Those making the trip were Daryal and Mary Gant, Jim Phillips, Bill Scherkey, Melinda Thompson and Peggy Touchstone. Mary Gant is president of the La Cañada club.

While there, they joined forces with Kiwanis members around the globe in an effort to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus.

The disease is typically contracted through unhygienic childbirth practices. The goal of the Eliminate project is to eliminate this swift, painful and highly preventable disease in third-world countries by vaccinating women of childbearing age.

Kiwanis International has a fund-raising goal of $110 million by 2015 for the Eliminate project. The Kiwanis Club of La Cañada and the youth groups sponsored by the club (the Key clubs at La Cañada High School and Flintridge Prep, and the 7th and 8th grade Builder's Club at La Cañada High School) are all participating in the fundraising campaign. For more information about the Eliminate project, visit

-- Carol Cormaci, Times Community News