Break-out shot

Lori Roberts | Dec 11, 2017

A pool tournament in Louisiana helps efforts to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus worldwide.

When the Kiwanis Club of Saint Bernard-Arabi, Louisiana, looked for ways to rack up funds for The Eliminate Project, members took their cue from a popular pastime. A Shot for Shot pool tournament added US$2,200 to funds pledged toward the elimination of maternal and neonatal tetanus.

Amanda Hardesty, the club’s 2016–17 president, came up with the idea when she learned that a local pool hall hosted fundraisers. Hardesty, who is always looking for ways to tie activities to the group it benefits, liked the play on words.

“It occurred to me that you take a shot in a pool tournament to give a shot to help eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus,” she says.

Kristine Koepp served as the Shot for Shot tournament chair. The group opted to hold the tournament at Lucy’s Cue, one of Saint Bernard’s only nonsmoking and kid-friendly pool halls. Members decided on a best-two-of-three tournament setup, with winners moving on to the next round. They recruited players within the club, through local pools halls and via social media. Eighteen participants competed for cash prizes. The day’s activities also included a 50/50 drawing, gift-basket drawings, a disc jockey and a table stocked with sweets and food.

Koepp took the opportunity to spread the word about maternal and neonatal tetanus.

“I can promise you I spoke personally with close to 50 people about the cause,” she says.

This was Koepp’s first pool tournament fundraiser, but she expects it won’t be the last for the Saint Bernard-Arabi Kiwanians. Now that the club has made contacts and laid a foundation, the next Shot for Shot tournament may be even more successful, Koepp says.

These types of activities tie local Kiwanis clubs to the bigger effort of Kiwanis International and UNICEF to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus, Hardesty says. Local clubs often like to see their work benefit their hometowns and neighbors, but larger efforts can have a far-reaching impact around the world.

“Something like The Eliminate Project is not something a club can do by itself,” Hardesty says. “But Kiwanis International partnering with UNICEF gives clubs an avenue to be contributors. None of us can do this on our own.”