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Back from the RI Conference in New Orleans! 5/27/11

The Joshua Collingsworth Memorial Foundation team headed to New Orleans this to promote “Josh the Otter Water Safety & Awareness Project” to over 22,000 Rotarians from around the world. Completely exhausted from the preparation for our annual benefit dinner & auction, we were anxious to see what a week in New Orleans would reveal about Rotarians’ interest in our literacy & water safety project. We set up a booth in the Friendship House, pictured above. With over 300 booths in the convention room, we weren’t sure how many visitors would stop by. Little did we know we would be swamped nearly all of the 10 hours the Friendship House was open each day. We took shifts to keep us sane & relatively fed, but we were enthused to see how much interest was generated from Josh the Otter. Our Florida District 6930 sponsored our booth & they were a wonderful testament to show how many clubs are already involved in their own Josh the Otter Water Safety & Literacy Projects each year. With visitors ranging from Boston to Bangladesh and United Kingdom to the Ukraine, we were absolutely thrilled to hear their support of our project & their interest in partnering to provide the project to their communities. While the booth kept us busy, we were able to enjoy the gourmet food & live entertainment New Orleans has to offer. Furthermore, we were able to hear Bill Gates speak on the last 1% of eradicating polio from the world. It was absolutely motivational to see a long term project that started from one man’s idea…come to near completion. Of course we related it to our journey. We are here to stay & ready to invest the time it will take to see a world where drowning is not a leading cause of death around the world. With over 200 follow up requests, we will be kept very busy as we continue to grow these partnerships & see how many new place across the country & around the world will have their own Josh the Otter projects!