Posted by Ray Hook, Perth
Last fall the Perth Rotary Club undertook to observe Rotary’s World Polio Day by planting 265 special tulips in our Rotary Gardens in Stewart Park, downtown Perth.
The End Polio Now tulip was a special creation of some Dutch Rotarians who led a most unique program to benefit our fight. In 2013, they purchased the rights to name and develop a new variety of tulip bulbs. The idea has “blossomed” into an internationally successful fundraiser, with more than 1.5 MILLION bulbs being sold, and so far, generating more than $2 MILLION (US) to Rotary International’s End Polio Now campaign in 2019. To date, Switzerland, Germany, France, and the USA have joined with Holland, and Canada is now in its second year.
Our Club purchased the bulbs and a volunteer - Elaine Hook (wife of Rotarian Ray Hook) - spearheaded this initiative to “spruce up” our own Rotary Garden in Perth. The bulbs were planted in late October by five keen Club members, led by Elaine. We visited the gardens in mid-May (masked and distanced), and we were quite pleased with the results of our work.
The Club plans to expand the sale of these tulips to the Perth Community this summer. Not only are the tulips lovely and will enhance people’s gardens, but every box sold results in a direct contribution from the supplier (in our case – Veseys Seeds based in Charlottetown PEI) to RI for our End Polio Now campaign.
And, this initiative certainly falls within and supports Rotary’s newest area of focus – protecting the environment.