by Lucie Roy
Rotary Club of Morinville member Walter Sczebel was one of two in Canada to receive an exemplary award from the Rotary Foundation.
The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International PolioPLus Pioneer Award was presented to Sczebel at the 2018-2019 District Governor Changeover event held June 27 at the Chateau Louis in Edmonton.
The Rotary Foundation Board of Trustees met in January 2019 in Evanston, Illinois where they approved 16 nominations for the PolioPLus Pioneer Award.
Of those nominated, two were from Canada; Walter Sczebel of the Rotary Club of Morinville and Albert J. Miller of the Rotary Club of Westlock.
The award is made to honour Rotarians who provide extraordinary service to the Rotary Foundation, such service having a substantial impact on the ultimate goal of polio eradication prior to November 1991.
Sczebel, then a member of the Rotary Club of Westlock, had a dream to travel and his dream became a reality when he joined as the Master of the Wagon Train, one of Canada’s most innovative fundraisers for PolioPlus.
A team of wagon drivers, outriders, cooks and support personnel were recruited and volunteered for the journey.
The goal was to drive two covered wagons on a round-trip from Westlock to Calgary- to the district conference.
The team also had with them an iron lung in a Plexiglass display on a flatbed.
Rotary members from clubs along the route contributed cash and pledges and hosted the riders.
Along the route the Wagon Train stopped at community halls and schools raising awareness and pledges.
Wagon Train of the 80s raised more than $1 million.
It was an important event in those days as no fundraising was going on.
The award was at the Rotary Club of Morinville on Wednesday along with a few pictures of the Wagon Train.
Rotarian Simon Boersma with one of the photos from the Wagon Train.