Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Final Stats

Lets look at the stats:
During my journey I had hoped to inspire other Rotarians to become involved with Polio Plus.  But as I visited the clubs, it was I that was inspired by the great works being completed by Rotarians around the globe.  I am truly humbled by the work of my fellow Rotarians who give their time, money and efforts to the humanitarian needs of others.  Service Above Self is not just  motto, it truly is a way of life.

I want to thank all of the clubs who welcomed me into their clubs, service projects and fund raisers, it was an amazing adventure.  Looking at the lighter side of the adventure I have rated some of my favorites and given statistical information, for those thinking about visiting 200 clubs in 200 Days. I only had two days during the quest, that I could not make a scheduled visit due to weather or other force.  I hope you enjoy the recap.

200 Club visits and/or events
Breakfasts: 60
Lunches: 71
Dinners:  24
Fundraisers: 8
Community service events: 8
Rotary events/meeting (non club) 29
District Conferences 3 different districts

What modes of transportation have I used to get to meetings:

Club banners  (additional $5 for each club which gave me a banner)
Morehead City-Noon, North Stafford, Bailey's Crossroads, Dulles, Leesburg Evening, Purcellville, South Boston, Beaufort-Olde Town, Smithfield, Oyster Point, Elizabeth City, Newport, Bath, La Jolla, Emporia, Hampton Roads, Cape Charles, Lake Ridge, Warwick, West Raleigh, Cary-Kildaire, Goldsboro-Three Eagles, Warrenton, Front Royal, KIWS, Calcutta Central, Calcutta-Victoria, Jaipur-Round Town, Brisbane, Jaipur-Capital, Fredericksburg, Arlington, Innsbrook, Reston and Bon Air.
Speaker gifts that I have received:
Mug/glass : 7  
pens: 23
Book donations: 3
ARC Donation: 1
Polio Plus donation: 2
Note pad: 1    
Candle holder: 1
calendar: 2
4-Way Test Coin: 2

Most Energetic Clubs
Virginia  Peninsula
Leesburg Daybreak
Western Henrico County

Most Laid Back
Alexandria South
Fluvanna County
Lunenberg County
Lake Country

Most Formal

Best View (keep in mind if there was fog or the club met off site it was not included, as I did not see the view)
Norfolk- Sunrise
Cape Charles
Leesburg- Evening
Nash-Rocky Mount
Rossyln-Fort Myers

Best meeting room, without a view
Hugeunot Trail (Belle Vie)
Short Pump (Magiano's)
Tyson's Corner (Tower Club)
Blue Ridge Mountains (Farmington Country Club)

Best Singing
West Richmond 

Worst Signing (but most heart)
Morehead City-Noon

Best Music
West Richmond

Best Shoutouts

Favorite Fundraisers
San Francisco: World Polio Day: "End Polio Now" Walk
Chesapeake: Wine Festival
Farmville (VA): Pancake Breakfast
Matthews: Rock Fish Tournament

Favorite Community Service Events
Murshidabad: Sub National Immunization Day
Calcutta Central: Jaipur Limb Camp
Cape Henry: Foodbank Norfolk
South Delhi: Poster Contest
Caroline County:  Senior Gala
Midlothian: Stop Hunger Now
West Point: Healthy Kids Kick Off
7610 District Conference: Wounded Warrior Packs

Favorite Breakfast
Colonial Heights
Bon Air
Prince George
West Point

Favorite Lunch
West Richmond
Morehead CityNoon (NC)
West Raleigh
Princess Anne (NC)

Favorite Dinner
Jaipur (india)

Number of times I had chicken and green beans
I think over 75 meals offered chicken and green beans, which I do like, just not every other day.  I even had chicken with breakfast on two occasions.

Biggest Donation Collected for Polio Plus in honor of my visit at the time of my visit.
Central Calcutta $2000
Blackstone $622
Fredericksburg $212 (when told that Harrisonburg had passed their giving they threw in another $10)
Harrisonburg $204

Number of page views on the blog: 2,432 views

Most viewed pages:
# 124 The Story of the Polio Survivor and the Polio Victim
# 8 Powhatan
# 87 West Point Board Meeting (very surprising, as it is not exciting)
The First 100 Days was a popular page as well and fun to write up.

Number of Countries viewing the blog: 
32 countries have log onto this blog.  Top countries in order:
USA, Czech Republic, France, Netherlands, Slovenia, India, Latvia, Malaysia, Russia and Australia.

Please note that many other clubs offered up Happy Dollars and other personal donations which are all recorded on a ledger and are all equally appreciated.  It is also noted on each blog visit what the meal cost (my donation) and any other donation offered at that time or commitment made at the time of my visit.

Again thank you to all the clubs who have welcomed me.


1. How is the quest financed?
   I financed the entire quest; that includes air and land travel as well as hotels and paying for certain events/fundraisers.  I also stayed with several friends along the way, which was great bonus.

2. How many miles have I driven?
   I have logged over 21,000 miles during this quest, thankfully I drive a Hybrid.

3. What will you do for your next adventure?
   To visit a club in each of the contiguous states, in one trip, I am planning to do this with another Rotarian and we plan to stay with Rotarians along the way.  We will be raising funds again for Polio.

4. What has been your most memorable experience?
   Aside from my window being shot out, while driving on the interstate, there are almost too many to put in one answer.  Although being able to speak with Polio survivors and vaccinating children have been highlights of the mission.  Getting a snapshot of all the clubs has been an eye opening experience, the generosity and the uniqueness of the clubs is fabulous.  It was truly a pleasure to visit all of the clubs and events.  I hope to visit many of the clubs again.

5. Why is Rotary still funding Polio?
   Until we finish the job we started we will continue to strive toward the eradication of Polio, it is within our reach, if we do not eradicate Polio now it will come back stronger than ever.

6. What kind of job do you have to be able to make this commitment?
   I am retired from Solvay Pharmaceuticals (which has since been purchased by Abbott)

7. Why is your finger purple?
   When a child is vaccinated, the left pinkie is marked with a purple pen. This allows those administering the vaccination to tell if the child has or has not been vaccinated.  I plan to keep my pinkie purple until we eradicate Polio.

8. How many states have you been visited during the quest?
   Surprisingly only four; New York, Virginia, California and North Carolina, I also traveled to India.

9. How much money do you hope to raise?
  My goal was to bring awareness for the final push of the $200 Million Polio Plus Challenge put forth by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and to encourage clubs to hold fund raising events directly for Polio Plus.  While I don't know the exact totals from the club's independent events, between my donations and donations from Happy Dollars, members and other club donations given to me during my visits, over $8,100 is being submitted to Polio Plus in on behalf of the 200 Clubs in 200 Days Challenge.

10.  Why not just write a check rather than spending the money on travel, wouldn't that help Polio Plus more?
   Yes, I spent more than what I am donating, but by visiting 200 clubs and events, the message was heard by so many more and hopefully it will inspire others to join in the eradication efforts and hopefully all the clubs will rise to the challenge of reaching their goal for Polio Plus.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

#200 Dulles International Airport !!!!!!!!!!200!!!!!!!!!!

President Tony was thrilled to have Dulles be club # 200!
I can not believe today I  made my official 200th Rotary visit in 189 days, the official date of the challenge ends on April 19th, but my 200th official Rotary club is today.  I have had some unofficial events and club visits in there as well, namely I stopped counting my own club and club board meetings as well as the visit to the World's Largest Rotary Wheel.

President Tony and the club were absolutely thrilled to be number 200.  I was happy to see several familiar faces and meet some new people.  Member Tom is from a neighboring town and was happy to chat about crab cakes and our festivals.  This lively club shared that they have more visitors than any other club, serving the Dulles International Airport brings in lots of visiting Rotarians.

And while this may be 200, I still have the balance of the day and weekend devoted to Rotary with my district conference in Gettysburg.  So there is more to come, look for the Frequently Asked Questions, Just the Stats and my final commentaries on this journey which will all be posted shortly.

Meal $13
Banner $5

#199 Leesburg (Evening)

 President Tony congratulates the club's newest member Bill

President Tony thanks Tom for the banner which accompanied 
him on his trip also pictured Tom's traveling companions
Purcellville Rotarian Bob and Joe K caption

On every table Polio Plus donation box
Breathtaking views and amazing members will resound with this club.  Overlooking the Potomac River this club has a full house each week.  The Leesburg club holds a world record of most consecutive 100% attendance with 288 meetings, very impressive.
I was immediately welcomed when I arrived and introduced to many members.  A very busy evening for the club with a new member inducted, member Tom Horne speaking on his trip to Kilimanjaro and I  giving my brief talk.  I was pleased that several members had read about my quest in the district newsletter and were familiar with my goal of promoting Polio Plus.  The club uses cigar boxes every week to collect spare change for Polio Plus.  I am not certain where they stand in giving, but am very confident that they have contributed a substantial amount. I especially want to thank Phil and Melissa who invited me to join their table, the group made me want to join their club, albeit a little too far to travel to.  If my travels bring me back this way, I will certainly visit again.
Tom Horne's presentation on his climb up Kilimanjaro was fascinating and several expressed their desire to follow in his footsteps.  Tom also took a club banner to the top of the mountain which he gave to the club.  While I was wholly impressed by his and his traveling companions' stories, I have no desire to climb a mountain.
I wish to add my congratulations to President Tony and his family on their first grandchild.

Meal $25
Banner $5

Monday, April 11, 2011

#198 Purcellville

President Tom exchanges banner and certificate

Happy Dollars go into the coffin....
Now Purcellville is as far away from West Point that I can be and still be in the district. At 3 1/2 hours away I came up the night before.  Expecting to find a small club I was surprised by the full house close of 50 people in attendance at 7:00am. The members were full of laughter and great spirit.  And any club that serves a good sausage gravy and biscuits is good in my books so thank you for the breakfast.  While the club talked about the upcoming fundraisers I was most intrigued by the Happy Dollar container....a coffin......I had to ask about this as I have not seen another club use such a device.  Now the story is that when they needed a container for the money a member and funeral director pulled out a sample casket and cut a slit in the top and it has been used ever since.  Okay so it's not exciting but then not everything in Rotary has to be exciting.

Meal $15
Banner $5

#197 West Richmond- Speaker

This is actually my 2nd visit to this club, they were also club number 89, but today I was asked to speak to the club on my recent trip to India and what happens with matching grants in the other countrys.  I can not express the gratitude for the stewardship of the Rotarians in India for all they do.  Recanting the stories of this visit, I could see many were touched by what I had seen.  For this is how I too was touched, listening to the stories shared by Rotarian George Atwell.   Somewhere along our time in Rotary if we are fortunate, someone like George inspires us to go beyond our comfort zone to become true Rotarians in Service Above Self.   As I reflect on my four years as a Rotarian, I have been blessed to meet some amazing individuals who I look up to as mentors, in my district, zone and internationally, these people bring out the desire to do even more than you already have.

Now back to the club, this club has it going on in so many ways; food, music, service projects and President Doug who writes a poem for each speaker. Oh and did I mention the speaker gift is a donation to Polio Plus (but I said that back in #89).  I will add the poem once it is copied to me by President Doug.

Thank you for inviting back to share my story with the club.

Meal $15

Friday, April 8, 2011

# 196 Leesburg -Daybreak

NID participants, James, Gloria and Tom along with President Rich
Very happy about visiting this club as three of my fellow NID participants are members (Gloria, James and Tom).  As Leesburg is 3 hours away, I drove up the night prior to the meeting.  I met with James and Tom for dinner at a fabulous Northern Italian Restaurant.  That evening James and his his lovely wife Julie invited me to stay at their home.  Apparently a storm rolled in that created a lot of noise from the wind and hail, I barely noticed the rain, so a very comfy sleep for me.  Thank you again Julie and James.

As we walked to the meeting I could smell the muffins outside, an inviting aroma that could not be resisted. The guys and I were absolutely delighted to see that Gloria was in attendance as she floats between homes in Leesburg and Naples Florida, we thought she would be in Florida.  Upon telling the group that I rate energy among other topics, the crowd became very energized and made a very large welcome for me.  This was the first time James and Tom would see the presentation that we all would be giving at the district conference.  The group was extremely appreciative of what we accomplished in India and especially proud to have the most members from any club represented at the NID.

This gregarious group is involved in many projects both local and international and are very passionate to the eradication of Polio.

I truly enjoyed the carrot muffin as well as the sausage. 

Meal: $15