Tamara Sevcik is the public relations chairperson for Leavenworth Rotary Club 1621.
1. Can you tell us about the Leavenworth Rotary Club 1621's upcoming event, the 3rd annual "Stampin' Out Polio."
The 3rd Annual Motorcycle Ride will be on Saturday, Sept. 14.
The ride will kick off at 9 a.m. and registrations will be accepted from 9 a.m. until noon. Kick-off location is Worth Harley Davidson (off of Tiffany Springs (I-29 towards KC)). Additional details may be obtained from our Rotary Facebook page (Rotary Club of Leavenworth, Kansas) or by calling 913-240-7132.
2. Why did the club choose to focus on polio? Since it's not often in the news, do you think many people are unaware that it still exists?
Although not in the news, polio still exists in a few countries and the Rotary Organization as a whole has worked very hard to continue to eradicate polio once and for all. Our current status report shows that polio cases have declined rapidly since 1985, but the fight isn't over.
Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal infectious disease, and for as little as US$0.60, a child can be protected against the virus for life. If we don't finish the fight right now, more than 10 million children under the age of five could be paralyzed by polio in the next 40 years.
3. What other charitable activities do members of the Leavenworth Rotary Club 1621 take part in?
Each year Leavenworth Rotarians support many events. An on-going event (spring - fall), we clean up 20th Street Parkway and the 10th Avenue Park (near Warren Middle School).
Also a continuing effort, Meals-on-Wheels meal delivery in support of our local United Way and donation collection in support of our local Catholic Charities/Salvation Army food lockers. Of late, our local Rotary club has supported a recent Community Blood Drive in conjunction with our Rotaract group from University of Saint Mary.
This past February Rotary held its first annual Over-the-Counter Medication Drive in support of our local Saint Vincent Clinic.
In May, many members of Rotary supported the Half Trails Marathon serving at a Water Point. In June (and annually), we also played a big part in the success of the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life where our Rotary team earned thousands of dollars of pledges in support of the fight against cancer.
In July we support the "Christmas in July" bell ringing effort in support of the local Salvation Army. We are also involved with our local schools, supporting Back Pack Buddies Project, we provide dictionaries to every third-grade student in all area schools and support the elementary schools vitamin program.
We also support other Rotarian events such as the Parade of Heroes hosted by the Village West Rotary Club.
Page 2 of 2 - Upcoming events that Rotary will support are Project Winterize, Haunted Havens (hosted by the City of Leavenworth), the annual Veterans' Day Pancake breakfast (where all veterans eat for free), the annual Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner hosted by the Organization for International Spouses and Sponsors and Bell Ringing in support of our local Salvation Army during the Christmas holidays.
In addition to events that we support, we provide scholarships to graduating seniors, grants to local non-profit organizations and others in need and myriad other community support on an as-needed basis. We also stay busy throughout the year with many programs in support of our youth such as Rotary Youth Leadership Academy, EARLYACT (grade school), INTERACT (middle school) and ROTARACT (college). Our local Rotarians stay very busy with practically an event every month.
4. How will funds be collected for the event and where will they go?
A business may sponsor the ride with a tax-deductible donation for $25 - $500 and riders are asked to make a donation of $20 when they register; passengers are asked to donate $10.
There will be trophies awarded to the top-three finishers; all riders receive a commemorative pin, a goodie bag and be eligible for door prizes.
Monies raised will primarily be used in the support of Rotary International's Eradication of Polio effort.
In addition, funds will be used to support smaller local community programs and projects focused on supporting youth development.
In addition, each year we also provide five $1,000 academic college scholarships to local area high school seniors, sponsor two deserving high school applicants to the June week-long Rotary Youth Leadership Academy at KU, and hold a two-day Leadership Conference for local area middle school students, purchase dictionaries for all of our third-grade elementary students, support the local elementary school vitamin program and offer EARLYACT to local area fourth-graders that focuses on fairness, ethical standards, and an ideal of service.
5. What should bikers do who are interested in taking part in the ride and how can non-bikers help out?
Bikers just need to show up at registration on Saturday, register and ride; it is supposed to be a beautiful day (sunny and 79 degree temperatures)! Non-riders may mail tax-deductible monetary donations to Rotary Club 1621 Foundation, PO Box 605, Leavenworth, KS 66048. All donations will be greatly appreciated and, to those of you who have already supported our quest to eradicate polio and support other community programs, many, many thanks!
Interested in joining in to support our efforts as a Rotarian, please contact our membership chair, Mark Gerges, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rotary members meet every Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. at the Riverfront Community Center.
— Rimsie McConiga