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Rotary honors Chris Mailing

Chris Mailing, general manager of Turin Bicycle, 1027 Davis St. in Evanston, was named an Honorary Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club of Evanston Lighthouse at its meeting Tuesday.

Mailing was recognized for his contribution to the Club’s Polio Eradication fund-raising campaign during this year’s Evanston Northwestern Grand Prix of Cycling.

He donated a Swobo bicycle worth $700 to the Evanston Lighthouse Rotary Club and the Rotary Club of Chicago Far-North, and the two clubs sold raffle tickets for the bicycle in the weeks leading up to and during the Grand Prix event, held in downtown Evanston on July 20.

The bicycle raffle raised over $5,500 for PolioPlus, Rotary International’s initiative to eradicate polio worldwide.

"I was really impressed that the clubs raised nearly $6,000 for a great cause with a $700 bike as a prize. When you see the power of that, it’s hard not to get involved," said Mailing, who served as director of operations for this year’s Grand Prix event.

Club members and volunteers sold $5 raffle tickets for the Swobo bicycle and distributed "End Polio Now" stickers and pins from their booth on the day of the event. In addition to raising funds and polio awareness, the clubs also helped raise the profile of their clubs in the community.

More than 15,000 spectators attended the Grand Prix event. Rotary International joined Turin Bicycle and a number of other local businesses and organizations in sponsoring the day-long event.

In November 2007, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded The Rotary Foundation a $100 million grant for polio eradication, which Rotary will match dollar-for-dollar over three years. Rotary clubs worldwide are challenged to organize public fundraising events to raise a minimum of $1,000 per club annually for the next three years.

"It’s essential that we support the challenge grant from the Gates Foundation so that we can complete the job of eradicating polio," says Evanston Lighthouse Club President Ann Searles. "Once we’ve achieved this goal, no child will ever have to fear the crippling effects of this deadly disease."

Rotary International is a worldwide service organization of business and professional leaders with its world headquarters located on Sherman Avenue in downtown Evanston. Its more than 1.2 million members volunteer their time and talents to further the Rotary motto, Service Above Self.

The Evanston Lighthouse Rotary Club meets every Tuesday at 7:15 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn on Maple Avenue. Visitors are welcome.

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