Registration deadline is November 10.
The Rotary Club of Tucson is hosting General Secretary and chief executive officer of Rotary International, John Hewko, at their luncheon meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 15th, 12:00 noon at the Tucson Convention Center.
RCOT members can register on the website: all others must phone the RCOT office at 520-623-2281 or email
Lunch fee is $35. Parking garage is free.

John lives out Rotary’s mission as part of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. He’s immunized children against polio in India, represented Rotary at the World Economic Forum, and bicycled 104 miles in El Tour de Tucson to help raise more than $60 million for polio eradication. He's riding in El Tour for the 11th time this year. John says that for him, it’s an honor to go the extra mile in serving this great organization. A charter member of the Rotary Club of Kyiv, Ukraine, he sees Rotary as the original social network formed to exchange ideas and resources so its members can transform lives. With respect to Rotary’s efforts to end polio, he shares that Rotary is a bold NGO that believed it could end a disease, and that has stuck to the cause for over three decades. That thought inspires him every morning.

Hewko first heard about El Tour de Tucson in the unlikeliest of places, on a water taxi in Thailand. It was May 2012, during the Rotary International Convention in Bangkok, and he was sharing a river boat with a group of Rotary members from Arizona. They knew he was an avid cyclist and told him enthusiastically about Rotary clubs in southern Arizona that had begun using the annual Tucson ride to raise money for polio eradication. By the time the ferry ride was over, he had eagerly agreed to join them, and in November that year he participated in his first El Tour de Tucson, a rigorous 102-mile ride staged against a backdrop of mountains, desert, and cacti.

Hewko’s participation in El Tour, or as Rotary District 5500 calls it the Ride to End Polio, brought a huge bump to Rotary’s fundraising efforts, which to date total more than $60 million including a match from the Gates Foundation. In fact, in 2013, recognized as the most successful fundraiser in the history of El Tour, he was recognized as El Tour’s Dedication Recipient. His participation also helped raise the size of our Rotary cycling team to over 100 cyclists.

For Hewko, this year, when he participates in El Tour de Tucson for the 11th time, he will feel like he’s racing alongside so many others moving as fast as possible to rid the world of a destructive virus. As John says, “I ride those 102 miles with joy, knowing that I’m helping to advance Rotary’s signature project over the past three-plus decades, to which we’ve contributed more than $2.6 billion to date.”