Posted by Charlie Wasser
The PolioPlus themed Christmas card program Since every $10 means another 16 children will be protected for life against the polio virus, the total donations will be protecting 11,456 children. THANK YOU ALL!!!!!! has ended for 2020. Rotarians in District 5840 and outside the district donated enough money to pay the $10 a card for 716 cards. That is $7,160 for the fight against polio.
The major take away from this is that a $10.00 donation is do-able by most people. Look at the $7,160 from selling a $10.00 item.
I trust you all have had a great holiday season albeit limited because of the pandemic. The pandemic is obviously a horrible worldwide event. As Rotarians, we can all be proud of the effort we have put in since 1979 with what is now known as PolioPlus. The infrastructure that has been developed for eradication of polio is being adapted to the current efforts to control covid and end the pandemic. The infrastructure has been used to control the Ebola outbreak in Africa a few years ago and the SARS epidemic.
Rotarians have been behind the efforts to hold successful immunization days worldwide. Children are lined up or located in off the beaten path villages. When Rotarains agree to be involved, members of the local communities also are involved to give the babies and older children the vaccine to stop the polio virus. While Rotarians pay their own way to be able to give
the vaccine, the vaccine and other aspects of the infrastructure still require money.
Bottom line, while the eradication is close to completed, we need to stay steadfast in our efforts to raise funds for the last leg of the eradication effort. One way we were looking at doing that was by having a district wide participation in supplying riders and raising funds for El Tour de Tucson. This 9,000 participant fundraiser was to be held in November. Because of the pandemic, it had been delayed until early April, 2021. Since the covid vaccines will probably not be used on the world population in sufficient numbers by then, we agreed to postpone participating and then later decide if 5840 as a district would participate in November 2021. However, any individual in the district is welcome to participate individually. Touch base with me and I will get you the contacts and sign up locations.
There are alternative ways to raise funds even with limited face to face events. In the bike riding realm, you could arrange a virtual ride where people ride for a certain number of minutes instead of the 100 miles in Tucson. Let me know if you need help setting this up.
The following list of fundraising events in our virtual world should give you more ideas.
1- Create virtual fundraising events - bike ride is an example; several bingo nights; concert with talent online perhaps using talent from any of the TV singing competition shows
2- Host online auctions - this can run for any length of time with a grand celebration on the night of announcing the winners of the items. The final night can also have a live bidding period online also. Many businesses have been hurt by the pandemic, it should be possible to get a large variety of prizes…..e.g.  meals in a restaurant; virtual wine and beer tasting and education; free nights at hotels. Many enterprises will be thankful you asked. The online auction will let potential new customers see their business and perhaps give the local businesses a jump start.
3- Build time bound donation campaigns. These are also known as flash campaigns. Set a certain time period for the donations to hit a certain goal e.g. raise $5,000 for PolioPlus. A specific donation amount could be made for each donor…..e.g. $50.00 each
4- Set up monthly giving campaigns similar to what TRF does. In a club’s situation, they market the idea within their communities enlisting nonprofits, news media, elected and appointed officials. The donors agree to some amount of money to donate each month.
5- Run an event that discusses polio and how polio’s legacy will be techniques to control covid and future pandemics. This would be education based seminars with the message that funding is still needed. Follow up with attendees to the event suggesting donations be made.
6- Leverage corporate partnerships - There are various size companies around district 5840. Enlist them in a partnership to raise funds for PolioPlus. Perhaps insert their advertising in club and/or district area advertising like websites and other social media as incentive. This model will also work with businesses as listed above allowing them to have ads with incentives to patronize the business.
7- Flag Subscription - Residents purchase annual subscription for a US flag (or other flag) to be placed on their lawn on scheduled dates throughout the year, such as July 4, Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, etc. Club buys the flags and poles and members place the flags as scheduled. Clubs store the flags in between use. This could also be a one of event where flags are inserted on the lawns for one event and done.
8- Virtual duck races - participants buy a duck for some amount. The ducks purchased are dumped in a body of water with a flow direction. Whichever duck comes if first gets the person with the duck’s number some percentage of the donations. The race would be broadcast online using Facebook or some other software means. if you need to se how it is done.
9- Virtual Karaoke - viewers pay to watch.
10- Virtual trivia contest - viewers pay to watch and winners get a percentage of the take.
11- PINTS FOR POLIO - many clubs and areas postponed their Pints for Polio this year. We should all monitor what is going on with the vaccinations and pandemic case numbers. If the numbers do start to reduce, it could be a good idea to hold the Pints for Polios or some similar event in May, 2020.
Should any Rotarians feel inclined to make major donations or bequests to PolioPlus, or any aspect of TRF, touch base with Amy Bawcom, Endowment/Major Gifts Chair or me at 
Feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have about the above. Let me and Pam Blankenzee, District Website & Social Media Chair know about any events you have scheduled. I will try to participate in as many as I can. Pam will list them on the district website to help get the word out.
As always, I am available to make a PolioPlus presentation to your club. I will also present to any church groups, social groups, fraternal organizations, or any other groups with which anyone is involved. The goal is to educate the public about PolioPlus, overall work that Rotary and Rotarians do, and with a final message of donations are being accepted.
Chief of Staff
PolioPlus Chair
Rotary District 5840
Rotary Club of Alamo Ranch
CELL:    408-921-2420