Bell ringing, landmark lighting to mark Rotary's 106th anniversary
End Polio Now is projected onto the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain in 2010. The week of 23 February, iconic landmarks around the world will again be illuminated with an End Polio Now message. Photo by Ignacio Santás
Rotary International will join Sanofi Pasteur, a leading provider of polio vaccine, in ringing the opening bell in four financial markets in Europe on 23 February, in honor of Rotary's 106th anniversary and in support of a polio-free world.
RI President Ray Klinginsmith will also ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange in New York City.
Representatives of the two organizations will take part in openings in Lisbon, Portugal; Amsterdam; Brussels, Belgium; and Paris. The stock exchange ceremonies represent the first time the bell will be rung for a single cause in all five markets.
As the largest company in the world devoted entirely to human vaccines, Sanofi Pasteur has played a major role in the effort to push polio to the brink of eradication.
Sanofi has contributed millions of doses of the oral polio vaccine to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, of which Rotary is a spearheading partner, along with the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and UNICEF. Since 1988, the company has donated 120 million doses of oral polio vaccine for the immunization of children in war-ravaged Angola, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, and Southern Sudan.
Landmarks lit up
Throughout the week of 23 February, Rotary clubs and districts will also be illuminating iconic landmarks around the world with the End Polio Now message to raise awareness of Rotary's pledge to rid the world of the crippling disease.
The landmarks include the Trevi Fountain in Rome; the parliament building in The Hague; the soccer stadium in Cape Town, South Africa; a gate at the Lantern Festival in Taiwan; Kanazawa Castle in Kanazawa, Japan; the government building in Karachi, Pakistan; the planetarium in Seoul, Korea; the Globe of the Mall of Asia in the Philippines; Byblos Castle in Byblos, Lebanon, and the Charminar in Hyderabad, India.
Rotarians in Great Britain and Ireland sold and planted 4.6 million crocus bulbs across the region in October so their purple blooms would flower around Rotary's birthday. The Rotary Club of Hitchin Tilehouse, Hertfordshire, England, earned a Guinness World Record for the most people (636) simultaneously planting flower bulbs during an event at Butt's Close Park in Hitchin.
Honor Rotary's anniversary by planning an event in your community. Check out the resources below to help your club or district celebrate: