Rotary news in brief from around the globe
District Governor Ernesto Benitez and club president José Clemente Álvarez Soto flew over Mexico's Pyramid of the Sun in a hot-air balloon to spread the word about polio eradication.
Craig Alford, a member of the Rotary Club of Armadale, Australia, rode more than 400 miles across Western Australia, from Perth to Kalgoorlie, on a Hustler Super Z lawnmower last spring, raising close to US$70,000 along the way.
Proceeds benefited Australian Rotary Health for Mental Illness Research and Wheels of Hope, a nonprofit provider of modified vehicles for families with disabilities in Western Australia. Alford rode for six days, arriving at the Kalgoorlie Golf Course in time for the District 9465 Conference.
Since 2004, the Rotary Club of Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, has vaccinated more than 50,000 children under age 10 in Côte d’Ivoire against meningitis B and C and typhoid fever. Twenty-five clubs have joined the effort and raised close to US$262,000 for immunizations in the West African nation. During a regional meningitis outbreak early last year, Côte d’Ivoire had the highest fatality rate among the affected countries.
The Rotary clubs of Clearwater Beach, Fla., USA, and Bitola Shirok Sokak, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, worked together to promote peace and express creativity in September for the United Nations International Day of Peace. The clubs worked with Rotary Youth Exchange participants and local high school students to paint messages of peace in their towns. In Clearwater Beach, students decorated storefront windows. In FYR Macedonia, the paintings went to a school for children with special needs, along with crayons, paints, and other art supplies.
Roll Out the Barrel is a charity that provides women and children in developing countries with rolling barrels that they can use to transport water. The rugged 30- and 50-liter barrels, which can be pushed or pulled, are manufactured in the United Kingdom and cost about US$50 each. Bill Leslie, of the Rotary Club of Ellesmere Port, Wirral, and Adrian Brewer, of the Rotary Club of Vectis Sunrise (Newport I.O.W.), run the organization with help from women’s and church groups, schools, and other Rotary clubs. The barrels are already helping families in Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, and Sierra Leone.
When it comes to spreading the word about polio eradication, District 4170 Rotarians aim high. To celebrate the start of the 2012-13 Rotary year, District Governor Ernesto Benitez and José Clemente Álvarez Soto, president of the Rotary Club of Teotihuacán, flew over the historic Pyramid of the Sun in a hot-air balloon emblazoned with the End Polio Now logo. The pyramid, one of the largest buildings in Mesoamerica, and surrounding archaeological sites are popular tourist destinations.
At the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City, impoverished children with cancer often stop receiving treatment when their families cannot afford to stay nearby. House of Hope, the signature project of the Rotary Club of Waling-Waling (Davao), provides accommodations for up to 25 pediatric cancer patients and two caregivers each. The program, housed on the medical center’s campus, has accommodated more than 1,800 patients since 2007.
As part of the Young Talent in the Open World project, the Rotary Club of Moscou-Pokrovka supports underprivileged child musicians through opportunities to tour and to receive high-level music education. Last year, the club partnered with Italian clubs to arrange events at prestigious venues in Padua, Cagliari, and Cremona for three musicians: a 22-year-old mezzo-soprano, a 15-year-old pianist, and an 11-year-old pianist, violinist, and composer. The concerts drew nearly 1,200 attendees. The Rotary Club of Cremona presented the Moscou-Pokrovka club with three Italian-made violins and a viola, which project organizers plan to use for continuing music education in Moscow.
In the northern regions of Sri Lanka, mothers and young children must travel long distances to reach one of the few government-run hospitals. With those mothers in mind, the Rotary Club of Colombo Regency has hosted more than 20 daylong health camps in the last decade to provide basic medicines and health information. At a recent event in Jaffna, five volunteer doctors and a pharmacist gave out US$3,000 worth of multivitamins, folic acid, iron tablets, and worm treatments, along with more than 200 pairs of reading glasses, to 500 patients.
For the sixth year, Rotary clubs in suburban Detroit competed in a Jeopardy!-style competition, hosted this time by the Rotary Club of Royal Oak. Five players on three teams, representing the Royal Oak club and the Rotary Clubs of Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills, duked it out over answers and questions pulled from recent issues of The Rotarian. The event raised $600 for PolioPlus. The winning Birmingham club will host the 2013 event.
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