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(Mark Pinnell, President 2013-2014)
Throughout India and around the world, Rotary clubs are celebrating a major milestone: India has gone three years without a new case of polio. The last reported case was a two-year-old girl in West Bengal on 13 January 2011.
To mark this historic triumph -- reached after a decades-long battle against polio -- Rotary clubs illuminated landmarks and iconic structures throughout the country with four simple but powerful words, "India is polio free."
The three-year achievement sets the stage for polio-free certification of the entire Southeast Asia region by the World Health Organization. The Indian government also plans to convene a polio summit in February to commemorate this victory in the global effort to eradicate polio.
India is polio free" (written in Hindi) illuminates Jodhpur Sojati Gate in Rajasthan, India.
During the last two meetings our Youth Exchange students Alessia and Shauni entertained us with presentations pertinent to their year-long exchanges. Alessia gave us background on her home and family; Shauni outlined the highlights of her year in Cranbrook.
Alessia Cipollini lives in Rome in the neighbourhood of Casal Palocco on the Via Parmenides. She talked of the Italian custom of the family always eating dinner together to talk about the day and to enjoy great food including Pizza Napoletana - the best pizza there is! Near her home is a beach where she hangs out with friends at the pier. During her presentation she showed images of a few of the many tourist attractions for which her home city is famous - the Colosseum, the Vatican which gets the most tourists of any attraction in Rome and Trevi Fountain, the biggest fountain in Rome. As we have all seen in the movies, this is the fountain where flipping a coin backwards into the fountain will make a wish come true!
Shauni, who arrived last January, talked of the highlights of her year which began with ice-fishing on a frigid January day shortly after flying here from the warm summer weather of an Australian summer. Among the highlights she mentioned were a Metis Cultural camp, a Western Adventure bus trip with 74 other exchange students, summer visits to lakes and camping and, of course, skiing and skating. Shauni expressed her heartfelt thanks to her hosts who made her year so memorable. In recognition of her participation in club activities and her performance as an exchange student, Sunrise Rotary presented her with a Paul Harris Fellowship.
ShelterBox is aiming to help up to 4,000 families following Typhoon Haiyan and has launched an Emergency Appeal. With 504 tents en route now from Dubai to Manila, our ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) members are already on the ground in the Philippines carrying out assessments. We are working around the clock to ensure that we do all we can to help the families who have been affected. Read more here - http://shelterbox.org/news_global.php?id=1201
For Canadian Clubs, the Federal Government is matching $1 for $1 your contributions to a recognized charity and Shelterbox Canada is one. Please encourage members to help.
What are the connections between our club and a picture on P.10 of the February issue of The Rotarian. I issued this challenge on Feb. 25 of this year.
I don't believe there was a single correct answer: There is a picture of Scott Niedermayer and it was made possible by efforts of a club member. It (and one of Rob) are part of the "WORLD'S BIGGEST COMMERCIAL" for END POLIO NOW.
Check it out at http://www.endpolio.org
Rotary Values and Ethics program is a wrap for another semester at Mt. Baker High School.
Thanks to the Sunrise Rotarians and the Cranbrook Rotarians who volunteered to either do presentations or facilitate during this program. There were 8 students from the College of The Rockies Human Services program that also were part of the program as facilitators. Their help was invaluable, as without them the program would have been canceled.