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Making a difference - A worldwide swim to End Polio Now !
Charity Fundraising Ideas
Member Name: yabbadabbadoo
Charity Fundraising Ideas
Date: 07/12/11, updated on 27/04/12 (88 review reads)
Advantages: Life-changing , Eradicate Polio, Be a world record breaker
****Update 27th April 2012.****
Sometimes dreams do come true.
On 25th February 2012, over 4000 swimmers in 23 countries, 5 continents and 15 separate timezones swam 100 metres in Rotary Global Swimarathon. We have finally gathered in the totals and the paperwork from around the world and a new record for the most simultaneous swimmers in human history is about to be officially announced!!
But the most amazing part of all - around the world a total of £64,000 or just over $100,000 was raised in that 1 hour event - I can never begin to tell you how proud I am of making this happen through social media.
Our club have just won a national Rotary award, we've got Rotary Britain and Ireland and International right behind us for the 2013 event where we are expecting 50,000 swimmers, 1000 clubs to raise over $1 million and its set to continue for many years to come. I've found a whole new career in Social media event fundraising for charity sector and every day is a new adventure.
Life is short, but doing something you passionately believe in makes it a whole lot more fulfilling - I've found a way to use my writing / my blogging and truly make a difference.
The worldwide family of Rotary opened up my eyes to the possibilities, and there are so many brilliant service and community groups out there to discover. GO FOR IT!
Sorry I've been away so long, but it really seems a very appropriate time, today being 41st birthday to make a return to writing on this site and to share with you some very exciting news.
After 15 long but successful years in the IT industry, after much careful consideration I've decided to pursue a completely new career in the charity sector. As you may have seen from my previous articles I've been looking for ways that I could make a difference. Now I'm very certain I've found it!
Since January 2010, I've been a proud member of my local Rotary Club in Grantham, Lincolnshire, and this has truly opened my eyes to an incredible range of local and International Charity projects. Rotary International has an incredible 33,000 clubs and 1.2 million members worldwide, made up of professional and business people from all walks of life all dedicated to putting service to others above self.
One shining example of that is our club's annual Swimarathon event. Over 3 days, each February (thanks to support from local business sponsors) we manage to book up every lane of our local swimming pool. Teams of 6 swim for an hour and are sponsored, and all of the money raised goes directly to local charities. Last year alone we raised an amazing £46,000 and over the full 22 years the event has been run we have raised over £500,000. http://www.rotaryswimarathon.org
As 2012 is Olympic year, being hosted right here in the UK, we wanted to do something very special. So we came up with the Rotary Global Swimarathon. Basically, we've invited the whole world to join us on 25th February 2012 (closest Saturday to Rotary's 107th anniversary) to raise money for our global EndPolionow campaign http://www.rotary.org/endpolio .
Since 1985, where there were more than 350,000 cases of Polio recorded, Rotarians have worked tirelessly to raise many millions of dollars for and support immunization programs. Through these efforts, the number of cases of Polio has dropped to less than 2,000 and from 104 countries it now remains in just 4 countries - Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Nigeria. We are 99% of the way there http://www.thisclose.net and have an unprecedented opportunity to make Polio only the second disease (after Smallpox) ever to be completely eradicated.
As the most IT literate member of the club, I've spent the last few months running a social media campaign on facebook http://www.facebook.com/rotaryglobalswimarathon and twitter http://www.twitter.com/rotaryglobeswim to get the event known across the world. Very proud to say the project has grown far beyond even our wildest initial dreams. We now have not one but two global event ambassadors. The incredible Penny Palfrey http://www.pennypalfreyproject.organ Australian Open Water Ultra Marathon Swimming world record holder, and UK Paralympic and World Champion Swimmer Fran Willamson http://www.fran-williamson.co.uk .
With just less than 3 months to go , we already have more than 30 clubs across all 6 continents of the world signed up to join us http://www.rotaryglobalswimarathon.organd are fully expecting the figure to rise to over 100 with more than 30 countries being represented. The amazing thing is that the world record requires every one to swim at 12:00 - 13:00pm G.M.T, which means that in New Zealand for example they are swimmming at 1am on 26th February, and in the East coast of the US there are open water swimmers taking part at 4 in the morning! We have schools, sports and swimming clubs , even triathletes lining up to join us, but the great thing is you only need to be able to swim 100 metres to be a world record breaker.
From starting out as a distant dream, by a small local Rotary club, we have managed to create an event that has captured the imagination of people all around the world, and we hope to make it a permanent fixture on the charity calendar.
Finally i'd just like to share with you a couple of videos all about the event. Remember you don't have to be a Rotarian to take part - we can help you with all the details. Come on in the water's lovely.
Penny Palfrey Australian event ambassador http://youtu.be/s387zfH2VIQ
Fran Williamson UK Event ambassador http://youtu.be/13Lm8sOAF4I
Swimarathon chair Roger Graves http://youtu.be/FQwNj76znQk
Goes without saying, all earnings from this article will go direct to Rotary International End Polio Now campaign. Thanks for reading!!
Summary: Be part of this amazing global charity swim!