Rotary calling on winos to wipe out polio

Volunteers vaccinate children in Maiduguri, Nigeria, against polio, marking the houses they've visited. Andrew Esiebo/Rotary International

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An upcoming fundraiser is asking wine lovers if they can outwit, outplay and outlast — one bottle at a time.

The Sherwood Park Rotary Club is hosting Wine Survivor on Friday, Oct. 18, giving you the chance to compete against others and raise money to help eradicate polio.

“This is our first event and we hope to make it an annual thing. It is a good opportunity for people to participate in a fun evening and maybe stock their wine cellar at the same time,” explained Bob Dawson, president of Sherwood Park Rotary Club, adding the club would like to see at least 100 attendees.

Wine Survivor is inspired by the TV show Survivor and asks participants to bring a bottle of wine to the contest.

“It has a buy-in of $20 and what happens over the course of the evening is names get drawn out of a raffle and people are eliminated as the evening progresses but you can create alliances with other people or buy back in if you’d like,” he said. “It is a good fundraising opportunity for the Rotary Club and makes for a fun evening of making new friends and creating some fun alliances in order to win the big amount of wine and if we get 120 people that would be 120 bottles of wine.”

The event runs from 5:30 p.m. until around 11 p.m. at the Glen Allen Rec Centre.

“It is going to be a fun event and it is a nice time of the year to be doing something indoors,” he joked.

The goal is to raise at least $1,000 that evening, which will be matched by the local club.

All the money raised during the event would be going to a longstanding commitment of Rotaries world-wide.

“We’re having this in conjunction with World Polio Eradication Day, which is being held Oct. 24 with Rotary International, and it is an international initiative that Rotary is putting on to eradicate polio and we’re kind of in the final stretch of complete eradication off the planet for this disease and this will be a fundraiser towards that initiative,” he said.

Rotary Clubs around the world have been working for more than 30 years to end polio disease. Rotary International is a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, which has helped to reduce polio cases by more than 99.9 per cent. Working to eliminate polio is currently being focused in Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, where it remains an epidemic.

“Each year a portion of our fundraised dollars goes toward Rotary International for the eradication of polio and that is something we’ve built into our budget every year and has been part of our fundraising for 30 years but this is the first time we’ve had a specific event like Wine Survivor in support of this particular cause,” he said.

For more information about the Wine Survivor event, go to sherwoodparkrotary.ca.

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