As you read this column, I am attending the 2011 Rotary International Convention in New Orleans.
More than 20,000 Rotarians have come to New Orleans from over 180 countries, including dozens of Rotarians from Costa Mesa and Irvine. President-elects Bill Hossfield, Newport-Balboa; Cynthia Cowell, Newport Beach Sunrise and Uzo Okereke of Newport Irvine are leading delegations to the convention from their respective clubs.
The convention is for the education and motivation of Rotarians.
Monday's plenary session focused on Rotary activities in Africa and new rules of engagement for Generation Y. The 40-member Simon Estes Music High School Alumni Choir from South Africa closed out the meeting with an exciting musical performance.
On Tuesday afternoon, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has invested $355 million in Rotary's billion-dollar drive to end polio, was scheduled to address the convention, to thank Rotarians for their leadership and partnership in the worldwide effort to eradicate polio. The Rotary campaign has vaccinated more than two billion children against the disease.