Resources to help you celebrate Rotary's birthday
The Greenock Town Hall on the River Clyde in Scotland is illuminated with the End Polio Now logo last year on 23 February. Plans are underway to illuminate the Wrigley Building in Chicago and other landmarks this year. Photo by George Simpson
The Rotary Club of Chicago has big plans for celebrating Rotary's anniversary, 23 February, this year.
As the first club established by Rotary founder Paul Harris, the Chicago club will be marking its 105th anniversary at the same time Rotary marks 25 years of work to eradicate polio. The club, Rotary International, and districts 6440 and 6450 have joined forces to light up the Wrigley Building in downtown Chicago with the End Polio Now logo on 23 February to celebrate Rotary's polio eradication efforts.
Immediately after the lighting, the Chicago club will hold an International Buffet Dinner, with all proceeds going to The Rotary Foundation in support of polio eradication. The club will be honoring Ciro de Quadros, executive vice president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, for his contribution to the eradication of polio in the Americas.
Every club and district is encouraged to use the anniversary of the first Rotary club meeting, designated as World Understanding and Peace Day, to share the story of Rotary's local and global contributions.
Plans are in the works to project End Polio Now onto the sides of several other well-known landmarks on 23 February. Last year, the image illuminated a section of the House of Commons in London, the Colosseum in Rome, the Sydney Opera House in Australia, and a number of landmarks in Scotland.
In Africa, a Kick Polio Out of Africa awareness campaign will launch 23 February with the symbolic kicking of a soccer ball in Cape Town, South Africa. The soccer ball will travel through 22 polio-affected countries on the continent and then to the 2010 RI Convention in Montréal, Québec, Canada. The Reach Out to Africa Ad Hoc Executive Committee, the Public Image Resource Group, and national PolioPlus committee chairs will work with clubs and districts to host media events in their countries.
All 21 districts in Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland will be taking part in a Thanks for Life Week to raise funds for End Polio Now. As part of this effort, clubs in District 1240 (England) have planned a Purple Pinkie Week with a variety of activities including serving pints of purple beer at a local brewery, collecting money for polio on street corners and in supermarkets, and selling tickets to a special soccer match. The local team will wear purple jerseys with the End Polio Now logo on them, and club members will be selling purple wristbands to raise funds. Purple Pinkie Week gets its name from the purple dye applied to a child's little finger during National Immunization Days.
RI provides many resources to help your club or district celebrate. Here are some suggestions: