Westfield/Mayville Rotary Club Meeting

Last week in Atlanta, Adele Harrington, past President of Westfield/Mayville, NY Rotary Club,  stopped by our booth and invited me and my brother to attend their club meeting. Today (June 20th) we drove 70 miles from Buffalo to Westfield, to attend their meeting. It was their installation meeting and I was the featured speaker.

My power point presentation about ‘Round the World Flight for Rotary Cancer Hospital Ambala” was well received. Most members not being familiar with the complexity of flying such a trip felt awed by this mission. After the meeting, the club president presented me donation check on club’s behalf and their beautiful club flag to my brother to take back to India. Some members committed to donate individually as well.

This was a very successful and memorable meeting. Thanks Adele, you made this happen.

I plan to do similar presentations on some of my stops along the route of my flight!

westfield club flag

Just in case the plane goes down in water !

While flying over the cold waters of North Atlantic, It is required that a cold water immersion suite be worn and an off-shore life raft be carried in the plane.

So, on my way back from Florida to Buffalo yesterday, I stopped in Gulf Shore Alabama to purchase the life raft and take water survival training from Mr. Randy Boone of Aviation Survival Technology over water. It was one of the most memorable and worthwhile experience of my life to have done it. Randy is the most professional, knowledgeable, experienced and sincere trainer who really wishes the best for his trainees !!

I learned a lot and enjoyed doing it. But honestly, I am just scared of water and learning how to egress from the plane, inflate the raft and get on it, is just about the hardest thing I have ever learned to do.

I think I can do it but I hope I never have to do it. !!

Last day at the convention

Today was the last day, short yet very hectic. We had about 2000 hospital brochures left to be distributed among the delegates. I have done enough trade shows during my AirSep days to last for a lifetime, but for my brother this being the first time, he has the enthusiasm that blows my mind. He started going from person to person,  gave the pamphlet to each of them and had great time doing it !

While some refused, but most stopped to accept, appreciate and wanted to know more about our hospital project. By noon he was able to distribute all the brochures we had.

In the afternoon,  I took my brother to show US , Georgia Institute of Technology, my Alma matter. Will fly to West Palm Beach tomorrow morning. My water survival training in Alabama had to be postponed due to the predicted thunderstorms there tomorrow. Will train there on my way back on Sunday !

Jack Nicklaus at the Convention

Yesterday began with James Quincey, President and CEO of the Coca Cola Company addressing the convention. His was a well- prepare and excellently delivered speech. He spoke on how the business- world and NGO like Rotary can change the quality of life of under-privileged people.

The second speaker was Andrew Young, the former US Ambassador at United Nation. Now 85 years old politician and a crusader, absolutely electrified the crowed with his most – inspiring and enthusiastically delivered talk. One of the best speakers I have ever heard speak for sure !

The featured speaker though was Jack Nicklaus. Jack, a Polio-survivor and now an End Polio Now Ambassador for Rotary, supported the Rotary’s effort to eradicate polio from the world through his interesting interview with the vice president  of Rotary Jennifer E. Jones.

The convention ends today. Tomorrow I will head off to Mobile Alabama for my water survival training !

 

Another day at the Rotary International Convention

This convention, the 100th anniversary of Rotary International Foundation is incredible. I have never seen anything like this before !

Yesterday’s opening ceremony, the parade of nations attending, rivaled the summer Olympics opening ceremony and the featured speaker was Rajshree Birla from India. While speaking she gave a $1,000,000 donation to Rotary and promised the same every year onward !

Today’s featured speaker was Bill Gates ( do I really need to explain who he is ???). Rotary Foundation really knows how to put up a show and get people riled up to serve humanity above self and for end polio now campaign! The auditorium was thumping like a Rolling Stones concert with 30-40000 people in the hall an hour before the start already !!

Bill Gates speech was very inspirational. Between the donations pledged by various governments and Bill Gates additional 300 million dollar pledged at the convention, they raised 1.2 Billion dollars today ! Rotary volunteers have eliminated polio from 99% of the world by now and they aim to eliminate the last 1% this year. This will be only the second time in the human history that a preventable disease has been eliminated. The first one was smallpox !

Here are some pictures. Enjoy !

 

 

 

Rotary International Annual Convention 2017, Atlanta

Flew into Atlanta yesterday with my elder brother Subhash to attend and promote my RTW Flight at Rotary International Convention ( June 10th-June 14th ) in Atlanta. WOW, there are 50,000 Rotarian attendees from every corner of the world. Bill Gates and Jack Nicklaus (the greatest Golfer of all Times) are the keynote speakers !!

Rotary Cancer Hospital Ambala has a booth here. The highlight of the day today was that Rajshree Birla, wife of the Birla family scion Aditya Birla visited our booth and spent half an hour listening to our Ambala project. Birla family is one of the biggest and most generous philanthropists of not only India but of the world. I hope they support our project !!!