Pushing the limits to help end polio

The Miles to End Polio team during a chilly training ride.

The Miles to End Polio team during a chilly training ride.

By Kristin Brown, Rotary staff

It’s been three months since I was appointed captain of the Rotary staff Miles to End Polio bike team and it’s been a great ride! Over the past 12 weeks, we’ve ridden hundreds of miles together, including weekly group rides of between 40 and 100 miles. More importantly, we’ve raised thousands of dollars for PolioPlus: as of this week, we met and passed the team goal of $15,000 well on our way to $20,000. Continue reading

Raising a new generation of Paul Harris Fellows

Lark, 5 pounds, 11 ounces at birth, is already a Paul Harris Fellow.

Lark, 5 pounds, 11 ounces at birth, is already a Paul Harris Fellow.

By Brent D. Rosenthal, Rotary Club of Westerville, Ohio

As a Major Donor to our Rotary Foundation and Paul Harris Society Member, I have accumulated a lot of recognition points over the years and have sought every opportunity to give them away. I have made my wife, three daughters, and son-in-law Paul Harris Fellows. I have also used my points to promote Foundation giving. But I still have a lot of points and have waited for grandchildren to come along to bring more Paul Harris Fellows to Rotary. Continue reading

Why your gift to The Foundation makes a difference

Brenda Cressey volunteering at a day care in Mexico.

Brenda Cressey volunteering at a day care in Mexico.

By Brenda Cressey, Rotary Club of Paso Robles, California

November gives us the chance to build greater ownership and pride in our Foundation. We have so much to celebrate. The new grant model, Rotary’s website, our publications, and our new branding effort all focus on building a strong message — the importance of contributing to and supporting our Rotary Foundation. Continue reading

Making grandpa proud and riding to end polio

Tom Woods is training for the El Tour de Tucson.

Tom Woods is training for the El Tour de Tucson.

By Tom Woods, Rotary staff

Prior to joining the staff at Rotary Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, my only exposure to Rotary was through my grandfather, Richard Stannard, who was a member and past president of the Rotary Club of Oak Park-River Forest, where I grew up.

Grandpa never really mentioned much about his membership with Rotary, but when I told him that I had been hired to work with the Secretariat in Evanston, he became really excited and invited me to come to his club’s lunch meeting. I had never seen him so proud when he announced to the club that I would be working for Rotary, and it became clear to me in that moment how much the organization meant to him. Continue reading

Lighting up China with hope and dreams

Tara Strunk, right, and Rotary President Gary C.K. Huang at the Shanghai conference.

Tara Strunk, right, and Rotary President Gary C.K. Huang at the Rotary China Conference.

By Tara Strunk, Rotary Club of Shanghai

We all become Rotarians for a reason. Each of us has different reasons, but we all have a reason.

Rotary President Gary C.K. Huang inspired more than 130 attendees at the Rotary China Conference held in Shanghai recently with his experiences, his passion for growing Rotary (especially in China), and his family’s commitment and involvement in Rotary.

During the two-day conference, President Gary shared with us his theme for 2014-15, Light Up Rotary. This theme is particularly meaningful to Rotarians in China as many of us studied Continue reading

Why not spice up your next installation dinner?

Participants pack sack lunches during the event at Harvesters, a Kansas City area food bank.

Participants pack sack lunches during the event at Harvesters, a Kansas City area food bank.

By Jerry Venters, a  member of the Rotary Club of Kansas City Plaza

I’ve been a member of Rotary since 1989, and I have never heard of or participated in a changing of the guard ceremony like the one held in District 6040, Missouri, USA, this year. It had more energy and enthusiasm, participation, and fun than any I’ve attended!

The district governor for 2014-15, Cassy Venters (full disclosure here: my wife) began thinking two years earlier about how she could make the event different and uphold the Rotary ideal of Service Above Self. She chose to make it a service project with our local food bank, Harvesters – The Community Food Network. Continue reading

Photos of World Polio Day events

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Rotary Voices staff

From the opening of a polio exhibit at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, to the illumination of the Mohatta Palace in Karachi, Pakistan, Rotary members celebrated World Polio Day, observed 24 October, in a variety of ways. Here is a gallery of photos from different events. Submit yours to blog@rotary.org

We all have a part to play in ending polio

Marc Prevost on a training ride.

Marc Prevot on a training ride.

By Marc Prevot, Rotary staff

As far back as I can remember, there were always bikes in my home. Since there is no better way to explore new neighborhoods or new cities, I’ve been on bicycles most of my life.

When the opportunity to be part of Rotary’s team for El Tour de Tucson came along, I jumped at it without a second thought. Being an avid cyclist, I already ride several times a week, but this gives me a far worthier motivation than adding miles to my bike. Continue reading

Catch Rotary’s World Polio Day event on Livestream

141024_wpdBy Rotary Voices staff

Join the fight to end polio this World Polio Day be tuning in to our global update on Livestream, beginning 24 October, 18:30 Chicago time (UTC-5). The event will feature Jeffery Kluger, a senior writer at TIME Magazine; Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Minda Dentler, a paraplegic athlete and polio survivor; Tessanne Chin, winner of the fifth season of NBC’s TV singing competition The Voice; and Jamaican musician Ziggy Marley. Continue reading

Honoring Salk and Sabin by finishing the job of ending polio

Dr. John L. Sever discusses the origins of PolioPlus in this video recorded last year.

The following is an excerpt of an address given by Dr. Sever, vice chair of Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee, to the Innovations in Healthcare Symposium 23 October in New York, held to honor Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin for World Polio Day and the 100th anniversary of Salk’s birth.

I had the pleasure of knowing both Dr. Salk and Dr. Sabin through our mutual participation at medical meetings, and when they would visit me at my offices and laboratories at the National Institutes of Health.

I remember in particular a medical meeting in Miami Beach, Florida, in the 1960s at which Dr. Sabin and I were both speakers. On the first morning of the meeting, my wife and I came down for breakfast. Dr. Sabin was sitting alone and invited us to join him. Continue reading