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Rotary, BAC team to fight polio with fundraising concert

Sandi Hoover
shoover@nevadaappeal.com

For those who might wonder what Pink Floyd and polio have in common, the Carson City Rotary Club’s Noon Chapter has all the answers.

The club is collaborating with the Brewery Arts Center and Shaheen Beauchamp Builders for a special benefit concert, “Eclipse – Tribute to Pink Floyd,” as part of a worldwide push to eradicate polio from the planet.

Proceeds from ticket sales for the Nov. 21 event will go toward Rotary’s international effort to match the $250 million pledge by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said Scott Dockery, club president. Each club has been challenged to raise $3,000 by the end of 2010.

“This is the second round (of matching grant funding), and this time, they gave Rotary the money ahead of time because they knew we’d do it,” Dockery said.

Dockery explained that there are only four countries in the world where polio persists: Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

“Getting into the last four countries has been tough,” Dockery said. “You have to deal with governments and world health organizations and get into very small villages with skeptical tribal leaders.”

Rotary International started its polio eradication campaign in 1985, but the initial fight against the illness started with Franklin D. Roosevelt, who founded the March of Dimes in 1938. The disease killed or paralyzed thousands of Americans during the first half of the 20th century.

Wesley Kikuchi, chairman for the Carson City fundraiser, said Rotary International has made a huge difference in the world.

“Rotary made a commitment to go into the countries and to do the work. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation accelerates this work, and it’s just a great human and humanitarian story. It’s a lot of people doing a little bit each that makes such a big difference,” Kikuchi said.

“John Procaccini, executive director of the Brewery Arts Center, is one of our Rotary members and when he heard we needed to raise money, he just stood up and volunteered,” Kikuchi said.

“I’ve been in Rotary for nearly five years and this fundraiser is a remarkable opportunity,” Procaccini said. “We’ve never done a fundraiser with a concert, and that’s one of our strengths here at the BAC, so we thought we’d use our expertise and that way, everybody wins.”

The one-night event offered at the Brewery Arts Center’s Performance Hall features Eclipse, a five-member Reno-based Pink Floyd Tribute band.

David Marino, creator of the band, lead guitarist and vocalist, said he has combined his love of Pink Floyd music with a desire to share his passion.

“My guitar style is influenced by Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour,” Marino said.

In addition to enjoying classics from “Wish You Were Here,” “Dark Side of the Moon” and “The Wall,” concert-goers will be treated to a laser light and computer visual show. Female vocalist Kathie Hall also delivers a tremendous solo from “Great Gig in the Sky,” he said.

“We are happy to support this and are happy to help get the word out about supporting a good cause while having a great time,” Marino said.

Go to http://www.eclipsetribute.com for more information about the band.

Rotary is also actively involved in a number of philanthropic projects throughout town, such as donating $200,000 for the cancer center, giving a $10,000 college scholarship to a student each year, honoring two teachers a year with $2,500 each, as well as helping the Boys & Girls Club and FISH.

Those who want to learn more about the Noon Chapter of Carson City Rotary can attend one of their noon luncheon meetings on Tuesdays at the Carson Nugget, Dockery said.