Posted by Frank Adamson, Governor


Fall is here.  The leaves have been brilliant and are dropping.  Our neighbours across the River are or have voted and COVID is still with us.  And Rotary remains strong and relevant due to your commitment to be a person of action and to do good in the world.
Despite COVID-19 we had a very successful fundraising event to raise significant funds in our battle with Polio.  Approximately 50 cyclists were out on a cold and blustery World Polio Day last Saturday on both sides of the Niagara River from the Rainbow Bridge to Queenston Heights and Lewiston.  A big shout out to the cyclists and donors in this ride to celebrate the life of Dr. Ron Mergl, a staunch supporter of Rotary and his fight to end Polio.  Kudos to the Lewiston-Niagara-on-the-Lake and the NOTL Clubs for their support and to Greg Stevens and Lisa Vitello from the Niagara River Greenway for their logistical support.  The Welland and Fonthill Clubs baked cookies and scones and NOTL provided coffee and hot cider.  Lewiston-NOTL provided refreshments on their side.
The Mayor of Niagara Falls, Canada, the Lord Mayor of NOTL and Deputy Mayor of Lewiston all attended, brought forth greetings and Proclamations of World Polio Day.  IPDG Bob Artis represented me in Lewiston, for which I am thankful.
Some clubs walked in their own area, others rode bikes with fellow club members.  The Mergl family raised $10,000 in honour of a husband, a father and a son.  This event alone raised over $180,000. 
As well, Thie Convery stepped up to the plate by challenging clubs in the District to donate $40,000 CDN with matching dollars from her.  Thie is an Honourary member of the Dundas Valley Sunrise club and another passionate supporter of our efforts to stamp out Polio.  And the District made a $25,000 contribution, which when matched by TRF and Bill and Melinda Gates grew to $150,000. All in I believe that we will have raised $500,000 USD, which is a wonderful and significant amount.
The Public Image team were outstanding in promoting the event before and after with local print media and through various social media platforms.
Many of the participants have inquired if we will make this an annual event.  Stay tuned.  After all, if we could pull this off in the shadow of COVID-19, I expect it could be bigger and better next year.  Stay tuned.
Next on my list of District-wide events is to designate a Blood Donor month and to encourage Rotarians to either volunteer at a clinic or better yet to donate a pint for a good cause maybe followed by a pint with fellow Rotary members.  I am happy to see a number of clubs rising to the challenge already. Hamburg and Stoney Creek have been donors before my suggestion and clubs in Jamestown, Falconer, St. Catharines and others have jumped in already.  The motto of the Canadian Blood Services is “It’s in Us to Give”.  One hour of your time, a nice service project and NO monetary cost.
My thanks are extended to the District Leadership Team for their dedication and hard work on your behalf and to our Executive Secretary, Pene Hutton for keeping me on the straight and narrow.
Stay safe, take care and continue to Open Opportunites.
Governor Frank