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Bowling Green 4th Grader Sofia Passariello Receives International Award

Bowling Green K-Kids President Sofia Passariello, a 4th grader, was the recipient of the Presidential Walter Zeller Fellowship in recognition of her efforts to rid the world of maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) through the vaccination of mothers and babies in developing countries.

As Club President, Sofia has led the Bowling Green K-Kids efforts to support the Kiwanis International Foundation’s Eliminate Project, a partnership with UNICEF that seeks to eliminate MNT from the countries of the developing world through safe birth practices and vaccination of women of child bearing age.

The Bowling Green K-Kids have tirelessly supported the Eliminate Project since its inception. At the 2010 Kiwanis International Convention in Las Vegas, the K-Kids made the very first donation to the still unnamed global campaign for children. Later in the convention, Kiwanis International announced their new global campaign for children would be the Eliminate Project, a five year campaign to raise $110 million to end the needless deaths of mothers and babies due to the biblical “Seven Day Death.”

To date, the Bowling Green K-Kids have donated more money to the Eliminate Project than any other K-Kids in the world. The club has made donations totaling over $12,000 to the campaign supplying life-saving vaccinations to nearly 7,000 mothers. Bowling Green K-Kids have surpassed the Gold Level Global Service Society giving level twice and have even fulfilled a Bronze level model club commitment at the Kiwanis Level.

Under Sofia’s leadership, the club recently went trick-or-treating for the Eliminate Project/UNICEF and will once again dedicate the proceeds from its annual talent show in May to assist Kiwanis International to reach its $110 million goal by the summer of 2015.

The Bowling Green K-Kids is a student-led community service and leadership development organization for elementary school students sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of East Meadow. For more information about Kiwanis International’s Eliminate Project, please go to

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