Rotary’s Ride a train or ferry in Auckland tomorrow

ACT Leader David Seymour on board with End Polio Rotary Train Tag on Tag off event (Photo Supplied)

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Auckland, October 22, 2020

Watch out for a sea of red at the Half Moon Bay Ferry tomorrow, Friday, October 23 at 815am.

After last year’s success of `Ride a train to enable others to walk’ event, it will touch new waters. 

The ferry challenge is to visit all 12 destinations on the Auckland ferry network, starting from the Auckland ferry terminal at 6am and Kennedy Point (Waiheke) at 7am. 

Eradicating Wild Poliovirus

Just when the world is fighting a deadly battle against Coronavirus, the Rotary initiative of eradicating Wild Poliovirus from Africa recently made international headlines.  

Immunising more than 2.4 billion children in 122 countries since the last 30 years is an unimaginable feat, though sadly, the Wild Poliovirus still paralyses children in Afghanistan and Pakistan. As long as polio exists anywhere, it remains a threat everywhere. 

It is the reason why Rotary in New Zealand has been going hard, to wipe out the virus from the face of this earth. 

Starting from Britomart Station, the ‘Tag You on Tag Polio Off’ Rotary fundraiser will have Mayor Phil Goff boarding the train along with ACT MP David Seymour who has been personally impacted by the virus.

“My mother was one of the last people in the western world to contract polio,” he said.

Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown and Botany MP Christopher Luxon (both National) and  local Councillor Paul Young (all Rotarians) will be on board as well, hopping on and off the train along with other politicians and celebs covering some of the 40 stations on the Auckland rail network. 

Pakuranga MP (National) with fellow Rotarians at Sylvia Park Railway Station (Picture Supplied)

Rotary Initiative

The event, initiated by District 9920 Rotary Foundation Chair Jennie Herring, End Polio Advocacy District Chair Ron Seeto and Past District Governor Gary Langford, will have Rotarians dressed in red `End Polio’ T-shirts and masks. 

A logistical nightmare, the train tag-on-tag-off idea originated from Rotarian Mark Anderson from the Rotary Club of Beecroft, Sydney who along with his autistic son Dave took on the phenomenal challenge of covering 187 stations in one day.

They were joined by other Rotarians and managed to collect a whopping amount of $240,000 in donations. A 2:1 match from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation meant the final amount donated was $720,000.  

That makes the $76,000 raised by Rotarians and Clubs last year in Auckland even more remarkable as the Gates multiplier makes the donation $218,000. 

In the Rotary Calendar, October 24 is World Polio Day.

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