Bicyclists, donors and sponsors will unite in America and Canada on both sides of the mighty Niagara River on Saturday, Oct. 24 – known as World Polio Day.
The ride will begin during the morning hours near the Aquarium of Niagara and Discovery Center on the American side of the falls, and end with a grand cannon bang and socially distanced barbecue at Fort Niagara in Youngstown.
On the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, the cycling venture will begin at the Rainbow Bridge and culminate at Niagara on the Lake, where another resounding canon blast will be heard, and an outdoor picnic will also be held.
The “Best of Friends” district Rotarians and community members will pedal for polio eradication with the assistance of sponsorships and donations. Following COVID-19 guidelines, the cycling event will be limited to two members from each of the Rotary District 7090 clubs.
Rotary International, a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, has reduced polio cases by 99.9% since its first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979.
More than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries have been vaccinated due to the valiant efforts of local and worldwide Rotary Clubs. At the present time, Rotary has contributed more than $1.8 billion toward eradicating polio. Rotarians will continue to fight against this debilitating and paralyzing disease until there are no new cases diagnosed throughout the entire world.
Rotary District Gov. Frank Adamson has challenged each Rotarian in the district to donate $50 and seek one additional donation of $50 from a friend, business or family member. The significant goal to raise $200,000 at this time and through Oct. 24 will result in a dollar-for-dollar matching contribution, by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. When this goal is met, nearly one half of a million dollars will be invested into Rotary’s “End Polio Now” campaign.
The Niagara River Greenway association is partnering with Rotary District 7090 to make this unique fundraiser a success. Greenway’s mission is to create a world-class trail and greenspace network that communities can be proud of and cherish for generations to come.
For more information on how to become a sponsor, donate money, or the Pedal for Polio international bicycling event, call 716-484-8814, email [email protected], or visit https://rotary7090.org/Stories/pedal-for-polio.
Rotary Club Secretary Tom Gerbasi noted some changes.
“Rotary District Gov. Frank Adamson says that, ‘Over here NOTL venues are now completely closed for social gatherings. So, we are stating at the Rainbow Bridge and going to Queenston Heights Park adjacent to the Lewiston/Queenston Bridge where there is a pavilion and washrooms. Serving coffee, water, bananas and cookies and then cycle back.’
“He goes on to say that on the U.S. side of the border the ride would go from the Discovery Center to Academy Park, meet the mayor (or her representative) and have a light snack provided by the Lewiston/Niagara-on-the-Lake Rotary Club, and cycle back.”
The riders are anticipated to leave the Discovery Center at 10 a.m. and arrive in Lewiston sometime between 11 to 11:30 a.m.