Ride a train or ferry to enable others to walk

Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown with Rotarians at Sylvia Park Station. This year the End Polio campaign on Friday, October 23 extends to the train and ferry network. Photo supplied

Watch out for a sea of red at the Half Moon Bay Ferry on Friday, October 23 at 8am.

After last year’s success of `Ride a train to enable others to walk’ event, this year the event is going to 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.

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

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

ACT MP David Seymour a big supporter of Rotary’s End Polio campaign says his mother was perhaps one of the last people in the western world to contract polio. Photo supplied

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 says.

Pakuranga MP and Simeon Brown as well as National Party candidate for Botany Christopher Luxon and local Cr 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.

Tauranga MP Simon Bridges supporting the campaign with Rotarians PJ Dhatt and End Polio Advocacy District chair Ron Seeto. Photo supplied

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.

  • For more information call Ron Seeto at 027 4593 282 
    Email: ronseeto@ronseetoarchitect.co.nz