Kiwanis International

Wisconsin-Upper Michigan

Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time.




Kiwanis International is a global organization of members of every age who are dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time. 

The Wisconsin - Upper Michigan District was established in 1918.  Now over 90 years later, the Wisconsin - Upper Michigan remains active with 11 divisions and 165 clubs. 

Members in every corner of the district are committed to developing future generations of leaders through guidance and example.  They are ordinary people performing extraordinary work in your community every day.  From revitalizing neighborhoods to organizing youth sports programs, from tutoring to building playgrounds, Kiwanis willingly perform countless projects to help children.

Message from the Governor

Here we are, halfway through the Kiwanis year. Circle K and Key Club have just finished their District Conventions (DCONs). Hats off to the two Boards as well as administrators Janet DeGroot and Kathy Gillis and their assistants for another successful year. At their DCONs, both groups elected their new boards who will begin April 1st working with Kiwanis Governor-elect John Collins. It was truly an honor and privilege to have worked with both boards for the past year. Their enthusiasm, friendship, leadership skills and service performed are inspiring.

Key Club and Circle K, along with Key Leader, K-Kids, Builders Club and Aktion Club are among the greatest things with which a Kiwanis Club can be associated. These Service Leadership Programs (SLPs) give Kiwanians the opportunity to improve their local community through structured, Kiwanis International supported programs. If your club does not sponsor any of the SLPs, you should look into doing so. It will be rewarding for you as well as them and benefit your local community.

We are in the midst of Midyear conferences. We held one in West Bend on February 27th and one in Escanaba on March 19th. The final one in Richland Center will be held on April 9th. This is a great opportunity for officer training and education on the financial condition of the WI-UM District. We are also presenting the Kiwanis International strategic plan as we begin our next 100 years. Midyear is also the time to elect your new Lt. Governor. We are in need of a candidate for Division 4. If you are in Division 4 (old Div. 14, 15 and 16), consider attending and stepping up to a District position.

We have a District goal to end the year with a net gain in membership. We have averaged a net loss of 200 members per year over the past 10 years. We have been adding about 150 new members a year but losing 350. We need to add 350 new members in anticipation of the normal attrition in September. Areas we can work on are: Retention of existing members and helping clubs below charter strength (15). We need more Club Counselors for this. We need to open new clubs. We need more Club Openers to assist Formula Chair, Dale Vannes, in this. Each club needs to have a net increase in membership. This is something we can all work on. It is one of those situations where Anyone can do it, but if Everyone thinks it is Someone else’s job, Nobody will end up doing it. Every club should work on increasing membership. May is typically the month for membership drives. has webinars to assist in conducting one.

May is the month when clubs need to hold elections for officers to take over October 1st. These elections need to be done in a timely manner so the Club Secretary can get the results reported to International and District. When reporting the officers, please include the Membership Chair for your club, so Dale Vannes has a contact point to discuss membership.

To date, the Governor’s Project for an extended golf cart to transport mobility challenged campers at Camp Wawbeek has raised just over $4,000 of the $12,000 needed. Please consider donating something for this project. Thanks again those who have already given.

As we gear up for the International Convention in Toronto in June and the WI-UM District Convention in Oconomowoc in August, let’s all work to make the second half of this year really great.

WI-UM Kiwanis District Governor Jim Burmeister can be reached at or 608-429-2905.

What if you could save a baby's life?

With The Eliminate Project, you can. Maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) kills one baby every nine minutes. But three doses of a 60-cent vaccine can protect mothers and babies. Kiwanis and UNICEF have joined forces to bring this vaccine to 38 countries, eliminating MNT from the face of the Earth. What can you do right now? Learn about MNT and advocate for the cause. Participate in our fundraisers. Over the next few years, the work we do will change the world. Find out more at