Rotary International and the Olympics share a common ethos - to build a more peaceful and healthy world. This philosophy is in full display in London at the 30th Olympic Games.
One of the ways the Rotary is building a healthier world is through its efforts to eradicate polio worldwide. In fact, the Snowmass Rotary is responsible for inoculating more than 500 people per year in countries where polio is still prevalent.
At the summer games, Olympic athletes are helping to spread the word about Rotary's campaign to rid the world of polio. Rotarians in Plymouth, Devon, England, worked with British Olympic divers Tom Daley and Tonia Couch to create "This Close" (to eradicating polio) posters, which have been displayed around Plymouth and at the training facility used by Ghana's national team. To broaden the campaign, Rotary District 1290 received a public-relations grant to use Couch's image on bus advertisements around Devon and Cornwall to further promote Rotary's polio efforts.
Additionally, more than a dozen members of India's Olympic team, including boxers, weightlifters and wrestlers, are participating in the effort. In 1988, 500 children were affected by polio each day. Through public outreach and campaigns such as this, India is moving steadily toward eradication.
Rotary's Olympic effort does not stop with the "This Close" campaign. Currently 300 volunteers are working as cleaners in the athletic village to raise money for various Rotary projects. One effort includes members
of the Rotary clubs of Hatfield and Stevenge, Hertfordshire, England, whose work will benefit several children's hospices.
Speaking of raising money, the annual Snowmass Wine Festival is almost upon us. Taking place on Sept. 14 and 15, the money raised at this event goes to the Snowmass Rotary's effort to eradicate polio, create scholarships for local students, global clean-water projects and much more. We urge you to come out to have a great time and
support a great cause. To buy tickets
or for more information, visit www.snowmasswinefestival.com.
Fred Brodsky is the group sales director for Snowmass Tourism and is a first-year Rotarian.