Can-do spirit brings Rotary's challenge near halfway mark
Interactors in Kolkata, India, paste End Polio Now stickers on cars in return for donations, raising $3,200 for Rotary's challenge. Photo courtesy of Rajani Mukerji
Creative Rotary club and district fundraisers, together with the generosity of individual Rotarians, have propelled Rotary's US$200 Million Challenge almost to the midpoint in funding. As of 21 October, $99 million has been raised for Rotary's challenge through efforts like these:
- The Concert to End Polio will take place 2 December, featuring world-renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman and the New York Philharmonic. Perlman is a polio survivor. Buy tickets now.
- An auction of more than 90 paintings in New Delhi raised $40,000 for the challenge. District 3010 and India PolioPlus Committee Chair Deepak Kapur organized the event in collaboration with the Swiss Embassy and Dhoomimal Gallery.
- A concert organized by District 5230 (California, USA) featured eclectic jazz trumpeter and Grammy Award-winner Chris Botti. The event raised $30,000 for Rotary's challenge, drawing about 1,400 Rotarians and others, including actor and director Clint Eastwood and his wife, Dina.
- Fourteen Major League Baseball teams provided support during the regular season, many donating portions of ticket sales. A game hosted by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim resulted in a $20,000 contribution, a Cincinnati Reds game $10,000, and a Kansas City Royals game $7,500.
- The Rotary Club of Ry, Denmark, offered a car as first prize in a community raffle that garnered about $8,000.
- District 3400 (Indonesia) organized a family fun day that featured a blood donation drive, aerobics workout, children's games, music, and a food and fashion bazaar, raising about $5,800.
- Put Polio on Ice, a fundraiser sponsored by the Ontario Reign professional hockey team and District 5300 (parts of California and Nevada, USA), netted more than $5,000.
- Posies to End Polio, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Saratoga Springs, New York, USA, garnered $4,050 through sales of red roses at $20 per dozen. The effort was preceded by a community forum featuring the Academy Award-nominated documentary The Final Inch ; a talk by Ann Lee Hussey, chair of the Rotarian Action Group for Polio Survivors and Associates; and a panel discussion involving local Rotarians who served during National Immunization Days in India and Nigeria, two polio survivors, and a health official.
- Members of the Rotary Club of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England, raised about $2,110 by parking cars for visitors attending a vintage railway exhibition that featured the Hogwarts Express steam locomotive of Harry Potter fame.
"In the face of difficult economic times, Rotarians are heartily commended for their steadfast commitment and resourcefulness in reaching this milestone of support for global polio eradication," says Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair Glenn E. Estess Sr. "Rotary's challenge ends 30 June 2012. Let's push confidently ahead to reach our goal and help ensure that all the children of the world will be forever safe from this devastating disease."
Learn more about Rotary's effort to eradicate polio: