Funding a million polio vaccines through social media

World's Greatest Meal event.

World’s Greatest Meal event.

By Susanne Rea, past president of the Rotary Club of Cairns Sunrise, Queensland, Australia 

I was day dreaming on the couch one day after taking a new position as polio chair for my Rotary District, 9550 (Australia), when an idea hit me.

What if we held a social media driven event similar to the Rotary Global Swimarathon, only made it about meals and eating! The World’s Greatest Meal. I had worked with Paul Wilson on his excellent Facebook promotion of the swimming event, and was very impressed with what he and supporting Rotary members were able to accomplish for polio eradication. Continue reading

Polio bears take the plunge

140210_nobleBy Harriet “Pepi” Noble, a member of the Rotary Club of Mechanicville, New York, USA

Winters are pretty cold here in the Great Northeast and making a conscious decision to jump into a freezing cold lake on the first of January takes more than courage. It takes a reason so strong and so compelling that people who normally act quite sane are happy to take part in this annual event. Continue reading

Running through Thailand to raise money for polio eradication

Neo LothongKum trains for his charity run.

Neo LothongKum trains for his charity run.

By Neo LothongKum, a member of the Rotary E-Club of the Carolinas

On 17 February, I will be starting a 999 kilometer (620 mile) run from the very top of Thailand down to the east coast of Pattaya to raise funds for polio eradication and support water projects here in Thailand.

Since coming to Thailand, I have had a desire to help people. In Phuket, I worked with the local police department to assist visitors and local Thai residents work out agreements when there were issues of insurance. I moved to Bangkok just before the 2004 tsunami, but volunteered my translation skills in helping search for missing people. Continue reading

How your gift to The Rotary Foundation changes lives

Construction on a new school in Masaya, Nicaragua. Photo courtesy Leonor Fraser

Construction on a new school in Masaya, Nicaragua. Photo courtesy Leonor Fraser

By Rotary staff

Leonor Fraser and other members of her Rotary club arrived in Masaya, Nicaragua, ready to deliver shoes to the elementary schoolchildren and play with them.

It immediately became apparent that the school, located near a diesel plant, had bigger problems. The plant emitted pollutants into the air, which made the children and teachers lethargic, and the cracked building had no sanitation facilities. Fraser had difficulty breathing during her visit. Continue reading

Father, sons summit Kilimanjaro to aid typhoon survivors

David Johnson (right) and his sons on Uhuru Peak of Mount Kilimanjaro.

David Johnson (right) and his son, Tom (left) with their sherpa on Uhuru Peak of Mount Kilimanjaro.

By John Hiscock, past president of the Rotary Club of Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, England

The exciting thing about Rotary is being able to get to know and serve alongside some fantastic individuals, who help inspire us all to greater things. David Johnson, a member of my club, is one such person, who has captured the imagination of our local community, and inspired members of Rotary throughout our district with his fundraising dedication. Continue reading

Purple crocuses raise money for End Polio Now

The purple fabric crocuses raise money for polio eradication.

The purple fabric crocuses raise money for polio eradication.

By Lynn Mitchell, past governor of District 1120 (England), and Rotary Crocus campaign coordinator

Like all of you, I desperately want to see polio removed from the face of the world. Like many of you I love crocuses and my favorite color is purple. These may seem unrelated, but they’re not!

My vision was to create a beautiful fabric crocus buttonhole that could serve to publicize Rotary on Rotary Day, and at the same time, highlight the End Polio Now campaign. Continue reading

Running the good race

Sam Bwaya and other Rotarians at the start of the walk.

By Sam Bwaya, a member of the Rotary Club of Kampala, Uganda

If you had told me a couple of months ago that I would be taking part in an international marathon, I would have had a hearty laugh and said, “not in my lifetime.” At 49, my running experience had been limited to a few laps around a sports field in college three decades earlier.

But there I was on 13 October, boarding Air Uganda with 11 other Rotarians to take part in a charity marathon and walk sponsored by Tanzanian Rotary clubs in Dar es Salaam. Continue reading