South Dade News Leader


  Date: Thursday, January 9, 2014
By: Dennise Sleeper

Children are priority number one to the Kiwanis Club and this is no different for Charles, and Emilia Gugliuzza. Next year Kiwanis International will celebrate 100 years and The Eliminate Project intends to reach its goal of $110 million raised to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus.

Kiwanis International doesn’t want another mother to face the death of her baby due to poor birthing facilities or the inability to buy the tetanus vaccine. At the cost of only $1.80 for all three required doses, tetanus can be eliminated in the 25 countries where it’s still prevalent. This is why, Kiwanians around the world joined with UNICEF to raise the needed funds through the Eliminate Project.

Charles and Emilia Gugliuzza honored for dedication to Kiwanis International

“We have given our time, talent and treasures to the Eliminate Project,” Charles said.
They have done this with a team of about 40 members and have helped raise almost $2 million of Kiwanis Florida District Club’s $5 million goal. This has placed the Florida District Club in the Model Club for Kiwanis International. The Model Club is a status and recognition for Kiwanis clubs who give an average of US $ 750 per member to the Eliminate Project.

As of December 16, 2013, the Eliminate Project has raised almost $44 million of the $110 million goal.

Each year, for the past 10 years, Charles and Emilia have served the community as Mr. and Mrs. Claus. This year their last stop was Christmas Day in Tampa, where they met their 6,000th child.

The following Friday, they left for Pasadena, California. They were chosen to be 2 of the 16 to ride on the Kiwanis International Float in the Tournament of Roses Parade. The float, titled ‘A Child’s Magic Carpet Ride!,’ sported palm trees, flowers and Aladdin’s lamp on a magic carpet. Nearly 7,000 volunteers worked on the float that won Tournament Volunteers Trophy—Best Floral Design of Parade Theme for Floats under 35 feet.

“We don’t know why we were chosen, but we are humbled and thankful for the opportunity,” Charles Gugliuzza said.

Charles may not know why he and his wife were chosen, but the Kiwanians who selected them do. Kiwanis is all about community and children. He and Emilia have supported their community and Kiwanis programs since 2001. Emilia joined five years ago, but has been supporting her husband since the beginning.

“We are very committed to the City of Homestead and surrounding area,” Charles said.

He was elected President of the Homestead-South Dade Kiwanis Club, 2004 – 2005. Charles and Emilia have served as chairs in the Florida District including, Community Service Membership and, since 2010, they are Co-coordinators of the Eliminate Project.

They have worked with many Kiwanis Clubs including— South Dade, Pinecrest-Palmetto, The Upper Keys, Key Largo, Tampa and Las Mercedes, Bogota, Colombia.

Charles was elected Lieutenant Governor for the Kiwanis Club - Florida District 2005 – 2006, treasurer 2012 – 2013, Governor-elect 2013 – 2014 and will be the Governor for 2014 – 2015. A Kiwanis year begins in October and ends the following September. The Florida District includes the entire state of Florida and the Cayman Islands.

Though Charles owns and manages a local business, Alton Madison Property Management, 381 N. Krome Ave, Suite 205, he and Emilia find time to work with and support their community and the Kiwanis Club programs and projects. These include their present involvements and adding Circle K International (CKI).

Circle K clubs meet on college or university campuses and involve college students around the world to make an impact in their communities and, thus, worldwide.

For more information about Kiwanis and their many programs, contact your local club, South Dade by visiting their website or to find a local club go to and click on the FIND A CLUB button found on the right.

With less than a year to reach the Eliminate Project’s goal, Charles says you can contact your local Kiwanis Club, check out or go to and click on the “give” button found on the right and make your donation today.

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