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Kiwanis to choose worldwide service project

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Indianapolis-based Kiwanis International soon will choose its next worldwide cause, for which the organization could raise tens of millions of dollars.

Representatives of three international organizations will be at Kiwanis offices on the north side Thursday to make their cases. New York-based Malaria No More, New York-based UNICEF and the Washington, D.C.-based Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases are hoping for support from Kiwanis' 600,000 members around the globe.

The three groups will make presentations on four topics: malaria, maternal and neonatal tetanus, tropical diseases, and education and literacy.

The Kiwanis International Board of Trustees will select finalists at a later date. The next Worldwide Service Project will be announced in June at the Kiwanis International Convention in Las Vegas.

Kiwanis' last Worldwide Service Project, chosen in 1994, was focused on eliminating iodine deficiency disorders. Working with UNICEF and USAID, the organization raised more than $100 million to expand the availability of iodized salt around the globe. Small amounts of dietary iodine can prevent birth defects.

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