Paying it forward through Rotaract

Georgi Kardzhaliyski at the Coney Island half marathon.

By Georgi Kardzhaliyski, a member of the Rotaract Club of Boston, Massachusetts, USA

My love affair with Rotary started when I was a junior in high school and was selected by the Bulgarian-American Fulbright Commission for their United States Achievers Program. One of the participants told me about Interact during the break of an SAT prep course and sparked my interest in getting involved. Feeling inspired, I went on to start my high school’s first ever Interact club, which I ran successfully with my co-president and about 10 members for a year until I graduated. Continue reading

What do beer, brats, and Rotary have in common?

The Rotary Club of Madison South is known throughout the community for its Brat Stand.

By Angela Lingle and Ginny Olson, Rotary Club of Madison South, Wisconsin, USA

More than four decades ago, our club was facing disappointing returns on its staple fundraising events, a turkey shoot and light bulb sale, when inspiration hit. This is a story about how knowing your community, perseverance, and a little bit of luck can turn around just about any fundraising fortune and help a Rotary club raise money for projects while building awareness of Rotary.

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Can you top these creative polio fundraisers?

 

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By Arnold R. Grahl

From riding the rails in Sydney, Australia, to crossing mountain paths on the way to the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu in Peru, members of Rotary have been coming up with creative ways to raise money and awareness for polio eradication leading up to World Polio Day 24 October.

Already, clubs and individuals have listed more than 1,600 events on Endpolio.org. Promote your event and mark your calendar to watch the livestream of Rotary’s World Polio Day event at 18:30 Philadelphia time (UTC-4) on 24 October.

Here are just a few of the events Rotarians have planned or held: Continue reading

How is your club celebrating Rotary’s anniversary?

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Rotary clubs worldwide marked the 111th anniversary of the first Rotary club meeting by holding an event, hosting a fundraiser, or lighting a notable building. Thanks to the more than 70 clubs that sent us photos of their events, some of which are shown above. We could not use them all, but clubs are also posting their photos on Facebook using #RI111.

Wildfires can’t stop this Rotary cycling event

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By Geraldine Nicol, Governor of District 9350 (Angola, Namibia, and South Africa)

Despite raging wildfires on its outskirts, which at times came within yards of the city, the City of Cape Town, South Africa, proudly carried on with its planned cycle race earlier this year. The Cape Town Cycle Tour is organized and managed by Rotary clubs in District 9350 in partnership with local riding clubs of the Pedal Power Association. About 37,000 cyclists from around the world registered for what is the world’s largest timed cycle race in its 38th year.

The cycle race had been in major jeopardy, as the mountains of the beautiful Cape Peninsula had suffered from devastating fires in the 10 days preceding the race. Although the wildfires forced the race to be reduced from 103 kilometers to 47 kilometers, and the route to be altered to keep roads open for fire engines, everyone got into the spirit of the event. Continue reading

Golf marathon raises money for polio eradication

Jerry Venters (left) and Rger Samuel, members of the Rotary Club of Kansas City Plaza, show the played 100 holes of golf, adding the "This Close" gesture.

Jerry Venters (left) and Roger Samuel, members of the Rotary Club of Kansas City Plaza, show they played 100 holes of golf, adding the “This Close” gesture.

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

Some golfers played 54 holes, some played 65 holes. Others played 100 holes, and one played 126 holes. All in a single day in September, in a drive to raise money to help eradicate polio. And, oh, how they succeeded!

In our district’s first-ever Pars v. Polio Golf Marathon, Rotary members in District 6040 (north Missouri) raised $42,530 in pledges and donations. When you figure in the Bill & Melinda Gates pledge to match 2-to-1 every dollar that Continue reading

The amazing role of Australians in eradicating polio

Susanne Rea and a friend during her visit to India.

Susanne Rea and a friend during her visit to India.

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

I was four-years-old when I contracted polio. I was fortunate to have made a complete recovery, but defeating polio has remained personal for me. I am also proud to be an Aussie. You can bet I was cheering loudly during the 2014 Rotary International Convention in Sydney when our Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, announced a pledge of $100 million over five years to help eradicate polio.

On Australia Day (26 January), I reflected on the significant contribution Australians have had on polio eradication. Past RI President Clem Renouf (1978-79) had the vision to involve Rotary in ridding the world of this crippling disease. Rotary member Jenny Horton has spent her life on the front lines, immunizing children against polio in endemic countries. Continue reading

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