Wednesday, June 2, 2010

ONLY IN AMERICA! July 4th in Woodlands needs your help!

The South County 4th of July Committee is seeking volunteers for 2010. The committee is a group of volunteers who organizes the 4th of July Parade in The Woodlands. This year, the committee is seeking 130+ volunteers to produce the 2010 parade, scheduled for July 3rd in The Woodlands Town Center. This year’s theme is ONLY IN AMERICA! Over the years, the event has evolved from a small hometown parade with families riding bikes to a large-scale parade attracting 20,000 – 25,000 spectators from around the region. Last year, the parade had approximately 145 entries and 2,000 to 3,000 participants. The parade route is approximately 1.3 miles and will begin and end at The Woodlands United Methodist Church. The parade starts at 9 a.m. and typically lasts an 1.0 to 1.5 hours.

Why volunteer for this event? The story of the birth of the United States is thrilling and inspiring, full of heroes and their words and deeds. We hope this inspires you as it does us. Volunteering for the 4th of July parade is your opportunity to give back to your community, in arguably the largest family oriented event in The Woodlands area. There are a number of volunteer positions still available. Breakfast and refreshments are provided on the day of the event. The volunteer orientation will be held Wednesday July 1, 7pm at the United Methodist Church. If you have volunteered before and would like a specific location and/or duty, please let the coordinator know.

TIME (on July 3rd)

Traffic Control - 20
7:00 – 11 am

Staging - 57
6 am – 10 am

Emergency vehicle staging - 2
6 am – 9:30 am

Judges Area
Judges/Judging stand - 2
7:30 am – 11 am

Judges Area
Judges’ families - 2
7:30 am – 11 am

Entry Check-in
Pre-Parade Entertainment – 4
7:30 am-10 am

Parade Marshall 
Parade Marshals - 24
7:30 am – 11 am

Senior Tent
Senior Tent – 2
7:30 am – 11 am

Dignitaries – VIP Breakfast – 4
6 am – 9:30 am

Dignitaries Breakfast - Set up 
2:30 – 4:30 pm  July 2

Please fill out the volunteer form (this currently has to be printed from this site; make sure  you use the print option in the website or you will get more than one page printed. You can download the .doc file to your computer and fill it out electronically using WORD) and return to Kelly Dietrich at If you’re not available to volunteer, we hope you and your family will join us to watch the parade on July 3rd.

Rotary Club and Polio Battle

Rotary International's mission is to raise $200 million in the fight to eradicate polio worldwide. The Bill Gates Foundation will match the amount.

Pictured L-R are Rotary's President-Elect Ann Wolford, The John Cooper School's Deb Spiess, and Rotarian Bill Friebel.

Rotary Club of The Woodlands members recently sported purple shirts and collected donations in an iron lung they had on display at Market Street. For each donation, the donor’s Pinkie finger was marked with purple ink. When children are immunized in Third World countries, the Pinkie is colored purple to indicate that child received the vaccine.  It’s a fun reminder of how we are helping make those purple Pinkies possible!

The group has collected more than $1,500 by fundraising!  It will continue to raise funds on an ongoing basis with many activities.  People are encouraged to donate to Rotary Club of The Woodlands Foundation, PO Box 7353, The Woodlands, TX 77387-7353.  Please indicate the donation is for Polio Plus.

Polio, or more properly poliomyelitis, was one of the most feared and studied diseases of the first half of the 20th Century. Though the Salk--and later the Sabin--vaccines have essentially eliminated the disease in developed countries, many mysteries remain regarding polio.    

What is Polio? Polio is a viral illness that produces no symptoms in 95% of cases.  In 4-8% of cases, the illness appears as a mild form with flu-like symptoms, sore throat, and respiratory infection. A more serious form is associated with aseptic meningitis--with sensitivity to light and neck stiffness.  The most severe cases cause muscle paralysis and can result in death.

How do you get it? Polio is usually transmitted by ingesting material contaminated with human waste.  Drinking contaminated water and not washing hands are common culprits, making the eradication of polio in poor countries extremely difficult.

Prevention: In the US, it’s recommended for children to have 4 doses of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) between the ages of 2 months and 6 years.

Iron Lung:  In the height of the polio epidemic, the standard treatment involved placing a patient with a paralysis of the breathing muscles in an “iron lung”--large machine that actually pushed and pulled the chest muscles to make them work.  The damaged limbs were often kept immobilized because of confinement to the iron lung.  Where polio still exists, ventilators and some iron lungs are still in use today.

The Gates Foundation Challenge:  Rotary International has spent millions of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours on polio eradication. Today polio exists in 4 countries: Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Nigeria (PAIN).  Through a challenge grant from the Gates Foundation, the Rotary will raise $200 million and the Foundation will match it. 

Great Strides Made:  In 1988, there were 355,000 cases of polio in 125 countries. In 2009, there were fewer than 400 cases worldwide! 

For more information, contact Rotarian Kay Hohman at 281-363-8104.