Swim marathon, landmark lightings to mark Rotary's anniversary
Top: The Rotary Club of Grantham, Lincolnshire, England, will be attempting to set a world record with a global swimming event 25 February. Photo courtesy Rotary Club of Grantham
Bottom: A new "This Close" print advertising campaign will feature Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, Pakistan's ambassador for polio eradication and the president's daughter, seen here administering the polio vaccine. Photo courtesy Aziz Memon
Thousands of participants around the world plan to swim 100 meters or more on 25 February in an effort to set a new Guinness World Record and to raise money for Rotary's polio eradication campaign.
It's just one of many events being planned by Rotarians the week of 23 February to celebrate Rotary's 107th anniversary.
The global event is being organized by the Rotary Club of Grantham, Lincolnshire, England, which has held an annual swim fundraiser since 1990 to support local charities. Participants swim laps in a pool to raise pledges during the "swimarathons."
This year, in addition to their local event, the Grantham Rotarians decided to spearhead a worldwide swim the week of Rotary’s anniversary. In order to set a new one-hour swimming record, they need 2,355 swimmers to complete more than 100 meters between 12:00 and 13:00 GMT.
So far, 78 clubs have registered to participate by holding their own swimming fundraisers for polio.
"The idea of setting a world record started as a bit of a joke," says Roger Graves, event chair. "But now that the reality has set in, we hope to set a new world record, raise funds toward eliminating polio, increase awareness of Rotary, and encourage more people to swim and stay fit."
Among other events being planned around the world to mark Rotary’s anniversary, teams of Rotarians from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States will volunteer during National Immunization Days in India, 19-22 February, in advance of a polio summit 25-26 February in Delhi, India. In Pakistan, a new "This Close" print advertising campaign will be launched featuring Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, the president’s daughter and the country’s ambassador for polio eradication.
Also, throughout the week of 23 February, Rotary clubs and districts will be illuminating landmarks around the world with the End Polio Now message.
This year, the landmarks include the Water and Power Development Authority building in Lahore, Pakistan, and Frere Hall in Karachi; the Red Fort of Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India; the Roppongi Hills skyscraper in Tokyo; Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia; and City Hall in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Ways to celebrate
Honor Rotary's anniversary by planning an event in your community. Here are some resources to help your club or district join the celebration: