Miles to End Polio

Join Rotary International General Secretary John Hewko and Rotary staff members as they bike in El Tour de Tucson to raise funds for the fight to end polio. 

The Challenge

On the 18th of November, Rotary General Secretary John Hewko and a team of staffers will join Rotary members to bike up to 106 miles in El Tour de Tucson to raise funds for polio eradication. The event is one of the top cycling events in the U.S. attracting more than 9,000 cyclists each year. This year's goal is to raise $3.4 Million, which will be tripled by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a total of more than $10 Million, for the fight to end polio. Learn More about each team member, follow them as they train, and add your support by donating to their ride. 

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The Rotary Team

Andrew Best

Andrew Best is a supervisor for Club and District Support in Rotary’s office in Australia. Not only does Andrew support Rotary clubs as a staff member, he is a member himself. He lives a very active lifestyle and could not imagine how drastically a disease like polio could affect it. Australia was able to end polio in 1971, so he knows that his generation is not aware that children still suffer from the disease. He wants to ride in Miles to End Polio, not only to raise money, but to raise awareness of the disease amongst young people in Australia. 

Kea Gorden

Kea Gorden is a planned giving officer at Rotary headquarters. Kea is proud to be part of Rotary during this important time in global health’s history and to see the disease eradicated during her lifetime. Kea biked long distances as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Zimbabwe, but is excited to take on the challenge of riding more than 100 miles at El Tour de Tucson. She is looking forward to getting to know her colleagues better, while raising funds for polio eradication.   

Chelsea Mertz

Chelsea Mertz is a community specialist at Rotary. Since joining Rotary in 2015, she has been fortunate enough to support both the 2015 and 2016 Miles to End Polio teams. While supporting these teams, Chelsea came to know many Rotary members and staff who are committed to funding the end of polio. Their hard work and dedication inspired Chelsea to do more and join the ranks of Rotary’s volunteer army. She is excited for the opportunity to make an impact through fundraising and by cycling her heart out.   

Clarita Urey

Clarita Urey is a junior supervisor in administration for Rotary’s office in Brazil. Since joining Rotary 15 years ago, she has had the opportunity to work with hundreds of Rotary members who work to fundraise for polio eradication efforts. Clarita wants to take an active role in the eradication of polio. She is excited to be a part of the team and to see firsthand the hard work it takes to end a disease.  . 

Vincent Vernet

Vincent Vernet oversees digital, creative, and content at Rotary. Vincent is a lifetime athlete with a passion for new challenges. He is thrilled to join an amazing team as we ride to support polio eradication. Vincent works closely with the Polio team as a filmmaker and creative since joining Rotary in 2015. This year Vincent hopes to bring the Miles-to-End Polio story to life by using innovative and immersive story-telling tactics including VR & social media.

John Wright

John Wright is the assistant general counsel for Rotary. John’s birthday in 2017 marked a huge milestone for him.  Already this year, he has made healthy lifestyle changes resulting in losing 70 pounds. He completed a 2-day, 200-mile ride to support HIV-related services in the Chicago area.  He’s training to run a 5K, 10K and half marathon in three consecutive days.  He’s excited to ride in Miles to End Polio as a way to connect his personal challenge to allow him to better relate to Rotary's mission of a polio-free world.

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