By Kamryn Eller, Circle K International UNICEF Champion, Carolinas District governor, U.S.

It all started with a yearbook page from High Point University (HPU) in North Carolina, U.S.

Sophomore year, I was looking through a 1973 High Point College yearbook for a class project when I turned to a page about Circle K International. I thumbed through a few more pages and came across a story on the recently crowned 1973 Miss High Point College.

I immediately went back to my club board in mid-September and threw out an absurd idea: to plan and host the first-ever Miss High Point University charity pageant in support of Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF.

Only a few weeks later, we had our campus theater booked, contestants selected and our website up and running.

Our initial fundraising goal was ambitious, sitting at a hopeful US$2,000. As I watched the amount increase in just two weeks to over $11,000, I was absolutely blown away at the support this pageant received in such a short amount of time.

This year, we set another ambitious goal of $20,000. Before our event had even begun, we had surpassed our goal — and ultimately raised over $30,000 this year alone for Brick x Brick, CKI’s initiative to support UNICEF’s work in Côte d’Ivoire.

“To put it into perspective, it costs US$48,000 to build an entire classroom in Côte d’Ivoire using recycled plastic, and in two years this one event has almost done that,” says Emma Jones, Carolinas District Conference and Convention Committee chair and HPU CKI event director.

When we started this event, our goal was not only to raise money for UNICEF USA or to promote CKI but to truly unite the campus. The event went on to become the first time that student government organizations, student clubs and Greek life organizations all came together for a shared cause.

“I loved having so many different types of clubs, teams and Greek organizations participate, because it made our pageant so representative of our campus,” says Maddie Litvan, Carolinas District lieutenant governor and past HPU CKI vice president.

“The collective efforts and support across the campus were overwhelming, encouraging and full of love,” says Carolinas District Lieutenant Governor and HPU CKI President Genna Manger.

This year, we had the privilege of welcoming the Carolinas District Board, Circle K International Board members and even more Kiwanis supporters to this event and truly could not be more grateful for the continuous support they have shown to us since the very beginning.

We have come such a long way in two short years, and we can’t wait to share how our club will continue to support UNICEF USA in the future!


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