Groups join forces to help UNICEF

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By Ada Ciuca

Kiwanis, a global volunteer organization — and Key Cub International, its younger counterpart — have joined forces with UNICEF to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus.
In an effort to help spread awareness and raise money for the vaccines, syringes, safe storage, transportation and time of skilled staff members, Los Alamos High School Key Club Secretary, Katelyn Littleton, has dedicated much of her senior year to this cause called, “Project Eliminate.”
The elimination of maternal and neonatal tetanus is being done through the administration of a vaccine that protects a mother and all her children from the deadly disease, which affects roughly 60,000 babies every year, due to unsanitary birthing practices.
The vaccine is inexpensive, composed of three parts, with a total cost of $1.80. In order to completely eliminate this disease, more than 100 million mothers must be immunized.
In an effort to raise money for the administration of the vaccines, Littleton came up with the idea to have a benefit concert.
The concert will be at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Duane Smith Auditorium and will feature performances by Los Alamos High School advanced woman’s choir Bel Canto, the Los Alamos High School Orchestra, Los Alamos High School Advanced Dance group, Drumline, Belisama Irish Dance and local band Deep Space Lions, whose cover of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Under the Bridge” was a hit at ’Topper Revue 2012.
 Littleton proposed the idea during the first Key Club meeting of the year and received support from the club.
The idea originated from the International Convention, which two of the district board members from LAHS attended and told her about.
With the success of “Shoes for Souls,” the main 2010-2011 Key Club project, organized by former district bulletin editor Anna Carroll, Littleton was inspired to help out and fully dedicate herself to a good cause.
“Anna really inspired me with her shoe drive and I really wanted to make a difference like she did. Also, Brian Williams who came to the high school to talk for the shoe drive was really influential in making me see how valuable my efforts in service could be.
“He really explained why community service is important in the world,” she said.
Putting together such an event has proven to require a lot of patience and good communications skills, but in the end, everything came together and many people were willing to perform and help out.
So far, the community seems to be receptive to the idea and Littleton hopes it will continue to do so.
“The community has been pretty responsive I think, but it is hard to tell. We will know more about that when we see how many people actually come (to the concert),” she said.
Tickets cost $5 and can be purchased from any Key Club member, as well as at the door. All proceeds will go toward fighting maternal and neonatal tetanus.