From Gavel to Gavel
to top office with Indiana Kiwanis
takes over as governor,
an office his father once held
(November 2012) In some families, legacies run
deep. Ted Sullivan has taken his familys legacy of service to
Kiwanis International to familiar but rare heights.
Kiwanis serves more than 80 countries helping build communities. Sullivan,
his wife, Linda, his son, plus his brother and his brothers wife
all currently serve as Kiwanis volunteers. They carry on a three generation
tradition of service to Kiwanis.
Sullivan of Madison, Ind.,
poses with Kiwanis International
governor banners of his father and
himself at the recent ceremony.
On Aug. 5, Sullivan was elected governor to oversee the
operations of Kiwanis throughout Indiana. He began serving his one-year
term on Oct. 1. His election to this office is a rare achievement since
only two other men from southeastern Indiana have ever been chosen local
educator Conner Salm and Jack Sullivan, Teds father.
Sullivans election caps a long tenure with Kiwanis where Sullivan
has held a number of offices. In addition to serving as president and
secretary of the Madison Kiwanis, Sullivan served as Lt. Governor over
the Farmland District of Kiwanis for three years. Lt. Governors oversee
and coordinate the operations of the clubs within their districts. The
Farmland District comprises about 10 clubs, including those in Madison
and Vevay. As governor, Sullivan will work with the Lt. Governors of
the 24 divisions in Indiana.
Kiwanis had its start in Detroit in 1915 by Allen Browne and Joseph
Prance. The club soon found its mission training members
to develop skills in leadership and service. The Kiwanis motto for decades
was We Build to reflect the club members desire to
build into their communities. But in 2005, the motto was altered to
bring into sharper focus the target group Kiwanis had chosen to serve
over the preceding decades.
The current motto clearly states the ongoing mission, Serving
the Children of the World. Sullivan passionately embodies dedication
to that mission.
In speaking to Sullivan about his priorities for the upcoming year,
he immediately focuses on the work Kiwanis does with children, especially
Indianas support for Riley Hospital for Children.
Kiwanis began supporting Riley even before the doors opened,
Sullivan said. Kiwanis presented Riley with a check for $150,000
in 1922 to help fund the building of a surgical unit. Riley didnt
open until 1924.
Sullivan details his admiration for all Kiwanis has done to support
Riley and his dedication to helping that work move forward. I
love working with Kiwanis to support the children. Were currently
raising money for diabetes research at Riley as well as mobile intensive
care units. A prime focus for my next year will be coordinating efforts
throughout the Indiana clubs to ensure we meet these goals.
Susan Walker, executive director for the Indiana Division of Kiwanis,
says, Ted is the person to get this done. He has a good business
background, which will help greatly in the fundraising for Riley. We
committed to raising $1 million to fund diabetes research and, with
the economic issues, we are behind in the fund raising. Teds background
and enthusiasm will help greatly to bridge that gap and ensure we meet
Sullivans focus on children doesnt end with Riley. He also
passionately endorses Kiwanis clubs in the schools, which help foster
both leadership and service skills among students. Kiwanis offers clubs
at every level K-Kids (elementary schools), Builders Club
(middle school), Circle K (high school) and Key Club at the collegiate
level. As governor he will continue support efforts for existing clubs
and work to establish new clubs where none exist. He also touts the
Madison Kiwanis support for the cross country team at Hanover College.
They dont get the recognition of the more glamorous teams,
like basketball, he says. So we host a dinner for students
and their families to recognize their achievements. Its a great
night for the students who have put in so much time and effort.
Paul Myer, local Kiwanis club member and supporter of Sullivan, says,
Ted is the guy for the (governors) job. He brings all the
skills from his career and puts them to use for Kiwanis. You can always
depend on him. Ted and Linda love kids and work hard to support the
Kiwanis efforts for the kids. His ability with people to
meet them and work with them will get the fundraising done.
Hes a genuine individual.
Many agree that Sullivan wanted to walk in his fathers footsteps
of helping children. With his election to governor, that legacy lives
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