Several thousand Rotary members will be biking, running and hearing inspirational speakers during the 2012 District 5080 Conference in the Tri-Cities.
Members from 60 clubs in the district are attending the five-day conference, which runs through Sunday at Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick. District 5080 covers Eastern Washington, northern Idaho and part of British Columbia.
The highlight of the conference will be a visit from Rotary International President Kalyan Banerjee of Vapi, Gujarat, India.
This is a first for District 5080, or for any other district.
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"The Rotary International president does not go to district conferences. But this president has agreed to attend two district conferences out of 538 districts worldwide and we are one of them," said Rampur S. Viswanath, governor of District 5080.
"This is something district governors wish for, but I'm the lucky one getting him here," he said.
The conference gives Rotary members the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of all members in the district. They also are promoting the mission of Rotary International -- to eradicate polio worldwide and impress upon the community the importance of getting immunizations.
To carry the Rotary message to Mid-Columbia residents, District 5080 members have organized a variety of activities.
On Saturday there will be a public Stomp Out Polio Run/Walk beginning at 8 a.m. in Howard Amon Park. For more information, contact Jeff Petersen, 736-0484, or Holly Wilson, 531-0900.
Tri-City Rotary Clubs and Kennewick General Hospital are holding a Health and Rotary Fair at Columbia Center mall in Kennewick through Sunday. They also held a Run/Walk/Bike fundraiser where members raised money through pledges for every mile they covered.
"At the last total we raised $15,000," Viswanath said. Each club kept half the money it raised for its charities, the other half went to the Rotary PolioPlus Foundation.
For more information on the conference, go to www.rotarydistrictconference.com. Or about Rotary in general, go to www.rotary.org.
-- Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; firstname.lastname@example.org