On a sunny Saturday in October, a group of thirty Pacific Beach Rotaractors and their friends made their way down Garnet Avenue in spectacular fashion for the club’s first annual Pub Crawl for Polio. The group walked from restaurant to restaurant wearing custom shirts designed for the event. The shirts, which aimed to raise awareness about polio, featured “We’re this close!” in bold letters across the front. For $30 crawlers received the custom shirt and drink/food specials at five local restaurants: PB Cantina, Tavern at the Beach, Cabo Cantina, Bub’s at the Beach, and Backyard PB.
Kelly Wakeland, International Service Chair for the club, planned for months to make this inaugural event a reality. When asked about the slogan on the shirts Kelly said, “‘We’re this close!’ has become a sort of motto for End Polio Now as the number of countries that have had polio cases within the last two years has dwindled to three”. The shirts were successful at starting conversations about the issue. An event participant recounts, “People came up to us all day asking about the slogan”.
Prior to the event, Former Rotary District Governor Marty Peters spoke to club members about the End Polio Now initiative. He discussed Rotary’s fight against polio, which began in 1979, and how the cause has been a uniting factor clubs across the globe. Additionally, members learned about polio’s prevalence around the world, specifically in places where the disease persists. Today there are only three countries that have not eradicated the disease. Thanks to Mark Peters, club members were well-prepared to discuss the cause at the pub crawl. Through donations and ticket sales, Pacific Beach Rotaract was able to raise $600 for Rotary’s End Polio Now initiative.