By Leticia Parra, a member of the Rotary Club of Bellavista-Atizapan
Rotarians in Mexico were proud to be part of a great effort to publicize Rotary’s work in eradicating polio. During the Panamerican Car Race 19-22 October, more than 100 cars were decorated with End Polio Now stickers as they raced 3,100 kilometers (about 1,900 miles) across Mexico.
Drivers took part in events each day where they discussed the importance of ridding the world of the disease.
Rotarians Fernando Flores from the Rotary Club of Queretaro International and Carlos Carreon Franco from the Rotary Club of Morelia Yuritzi, reached out to Eduardo Leon, the race director and president emeritus of La Carrera Panamericana, and convinced him to link the road race with our polio eradication message.
The publicity campaign included the help of Rotarians from several states in Mexico; the Rotary clubs of Queretaro, Santiago de Queretaro, Morelia, Morelia Yuritzi, Morelia Universidad, Celaya, San Luis Potosi , Tehuacan Puebla, Cholula, Veracruz, Oaxaca; and many district and past district governors.
The border-to-border sports car racing event has blazed across the open roads of Mexico since 1950. This is a prestigious event, and marketing and sponsorship is quite expensive. But thanks to the efforts of these Rotarians and Rotary clubs, we did not have to pay anything. We saved at least the equivalent of US$7,000.
“It was an incredible opportunity to celebrate race day with an End Polio Now message,” says Rotarian Mario Luis Llano Calderón, from the Rotary Club of Morelia Yuritzi.
We are all excited by this great opportunity, and hope to inspire many others to support Rotary’s number one priority, the complete eradication of polio.