Running 10 half marathons to help End Polio Now

Jenna Steiner at the Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon in Arizona, USA.

By Jenna Steiner, a major gifts officer for The Rotary Foundation

Rotary keeps me going when that little voice in my head says “Stop, stop! Please STOP!”

While attempting 10 half marathons in 2012 to promote Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign, I have focused on two things: People who have no choice but to struggle, day after day, because they were paralyzed by a virus; and the people who have fought, day after day, to eradicate polio so that no child would ever have to suffer from the disease again. Continue reading

Dolly’s Imagination Library and Rotary work together to promote literacy


Rotary International and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library have an ongoing partnership to put books into the hands of children in communities both large and small all across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Continue reading

Promoting world peace through air guitar

Justin Howard performs as Nordic Thunder during the Air Guitar World Championships in Finland.

By Justin Howard, a video editor for RI’s Broadcast Media Department

I’ve been competing in air guitar competitions for seven years now, and I have finally obtained the ultimate title —  2012 Air Guitar World Champion. 

Believe it or not, the purpose of competitive air guitar is to promote world peace. There is a saying that goes “You cannot hold a gun if you’re holding an air guitar.” As absurd as that sounds, it’s true. I have seen first hand the positive influence that air guitar has on people, and the joy it brings. I have traveled the world spreading this message of peace and love. Continue reading

Less meeting, more doing

Members meet at the Brooklyn Brewery for a social event. Photo courtesy Stephen To

By Stephen To, a member of the Rotary Club of Metro New York City, New York, USA

It’s a Wednesday night at Dopo Teatro Trattoria, as theater goers around Times Square dine at the restaurant before taking in a show. Amid the bustle of activity, a group of young professionals arrive for a totally different reason, to attend a meeting of the Rotary Club of Metro New York City. Continue reading

The curative power of music for veterans of war

A panel discussion after the screening of the movie with director Susan Rockefeller, second from left. Photo courtesy of Rotary Club of Wall Street New York

By Jesus Fernandez Munoz, Rotary Club of Wall Street New York, New York, USA

My club became aware of the special needs and care that U.S. soldiers require when they return home through our work with the Bob Woodruff Foundation. The latter was co-founded by award-winning television reporter Bob Woodruff and his family after he sustained serious injuries while covering the Iraq war in 2006. Continue reading

Climbing Mount Everest for polio

Past District Governor Joe Pratt on Mount Everest. Photo courtesy of Joe Pratt

By Joe Pratt, past governor of District 7870 (parts of New Hampshire and Vermont, USA)

In October of 2011, my wife and I along with another Rotarian couple traveled to Pakistan to participate in a National Immunization Day (NID). The trip came about because of a Pakistani Group Study Exchange team visit to my Rotary district and the subsequent invitation to visit their country.  

Despite the State Department’s warnings against travel to Pakistan as well as an outbreak of dengue fever, we decided that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. At this point I had been training for my climb on Mount Everest for eight months and it was the consensus of our group, in particular Steve Puderbaugh, that the climb be dedicated to raising funds to help eradicate polio.  Continue reading

Crossing the finish line together for Rotary

Grace and Christina Caruso cross the finish line of the New York marathon together. Photo courtesy of the Caruso family

By Grace and Christina Caruso, daughters of Rotary Club of New York, New York, USA, members Paul and Gail Caruso

It was our first marathon experience, and one we chose to take on together.

My sister Christina and I are not marathon runners, but fitness enthusiasts who believe you can do whatever you put your mind to do! This was our motto that led us to the finish line.

A couple months before the New York City Marathon, our parents Paul and Gail Caruso, members of the Rotary Club of New York, asked us if we would be interested in running the marathon for team NY Rotary. Continue reading

A soggy lobster bake shines with Rotary spirit

Marty Peak Helman with RI President Sakuji Tanaka during the Changeover ceremony in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, 1 July. Photo by Ann Lee Hussey

By Marty Peak Helman, governor of District 7780 (parts of Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, USA)

On his first day as RI President, Sakuji Tanaka joined Rotarians in my hometown of Boothbay Harbor, Maine, taking part in a Changeover ceremony for six district governors and 46 club presidents.

Rotarians came from Quebec, New York, New Jersey, and all over New England – some making a 10-hour drive — in order to shake hands with Tanaka-san, hear him speak, and be formally inducted by him into their new Rotary offices. It was a remarkable honor for all. Continue reading

Giving the gift of a kidney

Scott Dudley after kidney procedure

Rotarian Scott Dudley gives the thumbs up after surgery to donate a kidney to someone he had just met.

By Jane Helten, governor of District 5050 (part of Washington, USA, and British Columbia, Canada) 

A series of coincidences brought Rotarian Scott Dudley and Phil Rosario together. 

On 16 May, Scott, a member of the Rotary Club of North Whidbey Island Sunrise, Washington, USA, donated one of his kidney’s to Phil, who he had met only a week before.  Continue reading