As part of the Miles to End Polio campaign, Rotary General Secretary John Hewko and six Rotary International staff members raised more than $1 million for this year's El Tour de Tucson bike ride.
Hewko and his team joined Arizona Rotary members on the 104-mile-ride on Saturday with all the proceeds from the event going toward eradicating polio.
Money raised by Hewko's team was donated by Rotary Club members around the world with the six Rotary International staff members surpassing their goal of raising $15,000 each.
Rotary club donations totaling $223,521 came from 32 of Brazil’s Rotary districts, while Japan’s Rotary districts from Kyoto, Nara, Fukui and Shiga donated $500,000. Japan's donations included proceeds from concerts and events held in conjunction with the PolioPlus campaign.
Three Rotary Clubs from Traverse City, Michigan, also donated a combined $250,000.
In addition, the Michigan clubs sponsored a free showing of the film “The Shot Felt Round The World” followed by a panel discussion featuring a local immunologist, a polio survivor and the local Rotary Foundation chairwoman. The event was meant to raise awareness about the eradication of polio.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match the $1 million donation 2-to-1, meaning the $1 million will become $3 million.