Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Keeping it Simple Leads to Successful Event



Rotary Swimarathon: Harald the Giraffe accompanied by PP Russell Hallam, RYE Student Layla Fruehn and friends
 Returning from our Christmas break the Rotary Club of Rotorua Sunrise faced an important decision.  The Rotary Global Swimarathon was scheduled for 23 February.   The Club was very keen to support this initiative, particularly as the beneficiary of the event was the End Polio Campaign.
To make it happen within the short lead in time, the Club’s International Committee went into action.  The chairman secured the support of Rotorua’s Aquatic Centre who provided the pool and life guards.  Posters were designed and printed, and online promotions began.  Others spread the word to encourage participants from throughout their networks of friends and colleagues, with each participant responsible for gathering sponsors.  A catering team took care of arranging provisions for a BBQ to provide an extra revenue stream. Even our RYE Student got in on the act, when our local newspaper ran an article and photographed Layla and her friends, leading up to the event.
Dr Anne Walsh and Rachel Warrender – taking registrations
Saturday 23 February dawned with clear blue skies and our team started setting up.  While we had some idea of the number of club members likely to attend, we were pleasantly surprised to see friends and supporters, young and old, coming along.  We  even attracted a few who saw the signs and decided, on the spot, to swim for the cause.  There were lots of laughs as the laps of the pool started mounting up and sponsors started feeling the pressure of depleting dollars in their wallets.  Within a couple of hours the swimming was over, the supporters were fed and all that was left was to tally the takings.  It was a great day for all and another opportunity for Club Fellowship where family and friends could be included.

Our club had registered with the global coordinators through rotaryglobalswimarathon.org and were kept up to date with news about other clubs’ involvement throughout the world.  With all events happening on the same day, New Zealand clubs were some of the first to finish and it was great to watch the images and posts on Facebook, showing the diversity and creativity of clubs, all working within the Swimarathon theme.

For the Rotary Club of Rotorua Sunrise the success came in many forms.   We exceeded our fundraising target of $2000 towards End Polio Now, attracted support from many sectors of the local community, and we participated and were acknowledged at a global level.  This event has given us the confidence to aim for something even bigger and better in 2014.  With everyone playing their part the workload was shared and a successful model was created that we can build on in the future.