Rotarians celebrate Rotary's 106th anniversary
Representatives of Rotary International and Sanofi Pasteur, a leading provider of polio vaccine, helped ring the opening bell in Brussels.
R otarians around the world are celebrating Rotary's 106th anniversary with a variety of activities drawing attention to the progress that has been made to eradicate polio and the need to finish the job.
Representatives of Rotary International and Sanofi Pasteur, a leading provider of polio vaccine, helped ring the opening bell in four European financial markets, in Lisbon, Portugal; Amsterdam; Brussels; and Paris.
Video of the events can be viewed at www.euronext.com .
A closing-bell ceremony at the New York Stock Exchange is scheduled for 15:40 Eastern Time with remarks by RI President Ray Klinginsmith and Michael Watson, Sanofi Pasteur's vice president of global immunization policy, followed by a countdown to the final bell at 16:00. Watch the event at www.nyse.com .
In the evening, the exterior of the stock exchange building will be illuminated with Rotary's End Polio Now message, joining other global landmarks in a dramatic visual public awareness campaign to build support for polio eradication.
In Rome, hundreds of Rotarians and guests will gather for the lighting of the iconic Trevi Fountain and a reception for a special exhibit of artwork from “Amazing Stories of Polio!” and “The Remarkable Mr. Harris,” two illustrated works that appeared in The Rotarian . Organizers will sell a commemorative poster drawn by the artist, Steve Buccellato, to raise money for polio eradication.
During the event, attendees will premier a new "This Close" testimonial, featuring actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta. Cucinotta, who is scheduled to attend the event, is best known for her role in the Oscar-nominated film Il Postino and as a Bond girl.
Rotary’s This Close polio awareness campaign features a growing roster of public figures and celebrities raising their thumbs and forefingers in the "this close" gesture. These print, outdoor, and broadcast public service announcements are in support of a polio free world. See and share a video on the new campaign and progress made toward ending polio.
The city of Montalban, Italy, is among other landmark lighting events, including 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. View a photo gallery of the illuminated landmarks at www.rotary.org beginning 24 February.
Rotary clubs and districts also organized a variety of celebrations in honor of the 106th anniversary. Rotarians in Great Britain and Ireland planned ahead, selling and planting 4.6 million crocus bulbs across the region in October so their purple blooms would flower in late February. The color purple is meant to evoke the purple dye used to mark the fingers of children who have received the oral polio vaccine during National Immunization Days. The Rotary Club of Hitchin Tilehouse, Hertfordshire, England, earned a citation in Guinness World Records for the most people (636) simultaneously planting flower bulbs, during an event at a Hitchin park.
Did your club or district celebrate Rotary's anniversary? Let us know in the comments section below.