If you tell Bill French to take a hike, he won’t be offended — he’ll ask you to sponsor him and help end polio now.
French, who is president of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Rotary Club, is near to completing a dream of his, to complete walking 500 kilometres of the Bruce Trail this year, and raise funds to end polio around the world.
Already well into his effort, French hopes to complete his 500 kilometres to coincide with the Rotary-sponsored World Polio Day on Tuesday, October 24, at 12 noon which has an even more ambitious goal — to wipe out polio everywhere, forever.
“Our hope this year for World Polio Day is to welcome our entire community to join us at our regular Tuesday Rotary luncheon, and watch a live-streamed video of Bill Gates, a huge supporter of the effort to eradicate polio,” French said.
“We have ulterior motives, of course — to raise funds,” he added. Lunch is $20, with $10 (after covering costs) going toward the eradication of polio.
“This is our fifth World Polio Day. Every year we hold a walkathon to raise money through pledges, and I thought my own 500-kilometre walk might ramp things up a bit, and encourage even more generosity.”
Anyone who would like to sponsor Bill French as he fights fatigue, bugs, rain, poison ivy and mud on the trail to End Polio Now can send a commitment via info@niagaraonthelakerotary.ca.
Every dollar raised turns into a $9 donation to End Polio Now. That’s because the
Canadian Government matches each $1 donation with a $2 grant and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation matches that $3 with an additional $6 grant.
“My hope is that we can raise $2,500 in Niagara-on-the-Lake, bettering the $2,100 we raised last year,” French said.
“Our $2,500 contribution instantly becomes a $22,500 donation to End Polio Now.
“We’re closer than ever to eradicating polio but we’re not done yet. We still need funds to continue immunizations and surveillance efforts.
“Your gift will get us closer to the finish line. And I’ll be thanking you for your support each step along the way!”
For more information:
Jeannie Manning
905 468 7618
Photo by Sharon Frayne