Rotarians Charlene Bazowski and Tony Fantillo with a young person in Bolivia who has just received a wheelchair.

A good reason to dance

The joint effort between the two Rotary Clubs provides wheelchairs to children or adults in need

Dancing & Tapas, the Campbell River Rotarians international wheelchairs fundraiser, returns April 11 to North Island College.

This event supports Rotary and the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation worldwide.  It all started when Christiana Flessner the director of the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation made a presentation to Rotary Clubs in Campbell River in 2003.

But, it took another three years to achieve their goal. They started to have their first fundraiser on Easter Saturday in 2006. All those funds were designated to purchase 280 wheelchairs to be shipped to the Rotary Club of Yahanuara in Arequipa, Peru.

Finally their goal became a reality in October of 2007 when they embarked on their first delivery.

Inspired by the success of that first delivery, they doubled our efforts in raising the needed money for our next container.

Of course, they could only sell so many wheelchairs to Rotary members and so they decided to go public with their fundraising program.

They soon joined forces with the North Island College culinary arts program in Campbell River, and a new fundraiser was born:  Dancing & Tapas.

Campbell River responded so enthusiastically to the Dancing with Tapas concept that they were able to fundraise an entire container of 280 wheelchairs in one night.

The joint effort between the two Rotary Clubs provides wheelchairs to children or adults in need. It is opening up a new world of possibilities for recipients and their families, to be able to attend school, to work or simply participate in family and community activities.

All the members of the Rotary Clubs of Campbell River are proud to have been able to make a difference in the world for the disabled and their families with the following distributions:

  • Peru   2007
  • Venezuela 2009
  • Argentina 2011
  • Philippines 2012
  • Colombia 2013
  • South Africa 2014
  • Bolivia 2015
  • Vietnam 2016 ( already funded)
  • Indonesia 2017

They are committed to continue to fundraise for this program and for the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation. The next fundraiser will be for Indonesia on April 11.

The ultimate goal is to bring one container of wheelchairs to each and every country in South America as well some countries in Asia.

According to the World Health Organization over 150 million disabled people are in need for a wheelchair and Rotary has made it their job to make a difference and to change this statistic forever.