Rotary news in brief from around the globe
The Rotary Club of Calgary's largest fundraiser, the Stampede Roundup, features artists from around the world.
More than 50 Interactors from District 9710 (Australia) gathered at Laurel Hill Forest Lodge in June for a weekend of learning and camaraderie at the district Interact conference.
The Interact Club of Tumbarumba, chartered in 2011, hosted the event. The Interactors, together with exchange students from Belgium, Brazil, and Canada, learned to build an outdoor survival shelter and discussed topics such as bullying. They also found out about local and international Interact club projects and used Skype to talk with exchange students in Sweden and Switzerland.
The Stampede Roundup is an outdoor music festival in Calgary, Alta., that features artists from around the world. It’s also the Rotary Club of Calgary’s largest fundraiser. The 17th annual festival was held on 11 July and attracted a record 17,500 people. The event, which netted more than C$250,000 this year, benefits terminally ill children at Alberta’s first pediatric hospice. Performers at this year’s Stampede Roundup included the Tragically Hip, Matthew Good, and 54-40.
In the depths of last winter, Terry Williams, of the Rotary Club of Swindon North, decided to pitch a ShelterBox tent in the town square and live in it for a week. Williams endured seven nights of below-freezing temperatures to raise funds for and publicize ShelterBox, a nonprofit started by British Rotarian Tom Henderson. Williams received visitors from local schools and his Rotary club, and nearby businesses provided warm meals. By the end of the week, Williams, who had aimed to raise £3,000 for ShelterBox, had brought in over £8,000. He donated a portion of that amount to the End Polio Now campaign.
In Mexico City, home to more than 8.5 million people, municipal water resources are often strained. Heart 2 Heart, a project of District 4170 (Mexico) and seven districts in Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, and Tennessee, USA, has installed clean water systems in over 50 schools there. Steel tanks holding 2,640 gallons of water are connected to a school’s internal plumbing system to provide clean water for drinking and hand washing. Local Rotarians organize the construction and delivery of the water tanks, which cost $3,500 each and should last up to 40 years. Area club members also assist with installation and plumbing, and train school officials in maintenance. The government fills the tanks weekly, at no cost to the schools or Rotarians. Heart 2 Heart plans to install tanks at an additional 50 to 60 schools.
People who send or read text messages while driving look away from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. At 55 miles per hour, that’s all the time it takes for a car to travel 100 yards, or the length of a football field. The Rotary Club of Dar-es-Salaam, in association with Tanzanian police and private companies, organized a monthlong public service campaign in March to warn motorists about the dangers of using phones while driving. The club printed pamphlets and bumper stickers with the slogan “Driving + Phone = Death” and worked with police and Home Affairs Ministry officials to distribute them. The slogan also appeared on a billboard, and local radio stations broadcast a jingle created for the campaign.
Run-down and plagued by gang violence, Closter Park in Salinas, Calif., will soon get a makeover with the help of local Rotary clubs, as well as clubs in India and Mexico. The Rotary Club of Salinas is leading the project, which aims to make the park a safe haven for families. Rotarians installed benches, picnic areas, and a gazebo and are organizing youth activities and cultural events. The clubs have raised about $450,000 in cash and in-kind donations.
Rotarians in the city of Barquisimeto, concerned about a growing incidence of HIV/AIDS, worked with local physicians to develop a curriculum for high school students on the risk factors associated with sexually transmitted diseases. Basing their program on one started by the Rotary Club of Cortland, N.Y., USA, to prevent teen pregnancies, members of the Rotary Club of Barquisimeto-Nueva Segovia trained student leaders to teach and mentor their classmates. As part of the effort, all students are urged to be tested for HIV. The program has become a model for Rotary clubs in Colombia, Honduras, Belize, and Mexico, among other countries.
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