February 23rd is the 105th birthday of Rotary. Rotary founder, Paul Harris, started the first Rotary club meeting with his business associates on 23 February 1905 in Chicago and discussed his general plans for their Rotary club meetings. To celebrate, Rotarians around the world are lighting up historic landmarks, such as the Egyptian Pyramid of Khafre, the Obelisk of Buenos Aires in Argentina, and Chicago’s Wrigley Building, with the End Polio Now logo today.
To spread the joy, there are 105 ways to celebrate a Rotary International birthday.
This year Rotary International anniversary celebrations include:
- After the lighting of the Chicago’s Wrigley Building, the Chicago club will hold an International Buffet Dinner, with all proceeds going to The Rotary Foundation in support of polio eradication.
- Other illuminated displays are the Taipei Arena, Taiwan; the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain; the Old Port Captain’s Office on the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa, with world-famous Table Mountain as the backdrop; the Lake Marathon Dam overlooking the historic Marathon Memorial Battlefield in Greece; the Royal Palace of Caserta in Italy;
- Rotarians are launching in Africa a Kick Polio Out of Africa awareness campaign today with the symbolic kicking of a soccer ball in Cape Town, South Africa. The soccer ball will travel through 22 polio-affected countries on the continent and then to the 2010 Rotary International Convention in Montréal, Québec, Canada.
- In South Carolina, USA, the week of Feb. 21 has been declared Rotary Polio Awareness Week.
As a worldwide, humanitarian service club of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders, Rotary’s motto is Service Above Self. Presently, there are 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. The Rotary Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. The Rotary Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Rotary Foundation who share its vision of a better world. Rotary International also encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world through the improvement of health, support of education, and alleviation of poverty.
Congratulations Rotary International!