2002 CHP PolioPlus Ride
The California Highway Patrol has been a major
supporter of the PolioPlus Rides since their inception in 1998. Originating with
Commissioner Maury Hannigan as Honorary Chairman, Commissioner "Spike" Helmick
continued the support. This year, all employees of the CHP were asked to
donate $2.00 with a goal of $25,000 for PolioPlus. Another goal was to
rapport between Rotary Clubs and the CHP for future joint projects. To help with the
project, Motorcycle Bob said he would ride to all 8 division headquarters as well as
headquarters in Sacramento, and promote these goals.
Tuesday April 23, 2002
We began the day in San Diego. At 9am we were escorted to
the Border Division Office. Waiting patiently were four motor officers and their clean
BMW bikes, Rotarians Jack Campbell ( also a polio survivor), PDG Marty Peters, DGE
Larry Scott, and Joan Boughton. The Division Commander and Public Affairs officer
were very organized and busy talking with a tv crew. The sad news was that the media
were busy packing up to go to a train derailment. Then, as if their ears could hear
us, three more stations arrived to cover the kickoff of this year's event. Wow!
The Commander graciously welcomed us, offered support for the program. DGE Scott
spoke and introduced Bob. Bob spoke of the need to finish the program, and was
grateful for the on-going support of the CHP. He is hopeful that the two
organizations will continue to work together on this and other worthwhile projects.
Surrounded by CHP Bob rode off into the morning for his next stop in San
Bernardino. As Bob steered the Blue Streak north and east, I boarded a flight to
Officer Robert Velasco and his partner, met up with Bob at a
secret location. Then with lights and sirens they drove through San Bernardino to
the Inland Division Headquarters. While the media were busy with the train accident,
a very powerful and exciting meeting was happening in a briefing room. Along with
Bob and his escort were the DGE, Club Presidents, City Councilman Joe Suarez, other
community leaders, the City Clerk, DG Red Peryea, and CHP staff and officers. It was
a great opportunity for real communication and understanding. Much was discussed
about PolioPlus and the Highway Patrol. Bob was presented with a City Pin, a
proclamation, and a presentation pin from the City of San Bernardino. DG Red
announced that he had some $100,000 in excess DDF monies that he would now donate to
Back in the saddle, at 1:10 pm and heading to Glendale.
Lights and sirens into Glendale to the Southern Division at 1400 (2pm). A
radio reporter interviewed both Bob and the CHP Capton. The meeting was on the top
floor of a bank building overlooking the city. DG Nancy Schmidt committed the
remainder of her DDF to PolioPlus, a nice round number of $10,000.Thank you Gov
Nancy!!!!!! Bob is deeply grateful to all who support the program and how important the
CHP have been to him and to PolioPlus.
A very sunburned Motorcycle Bob turned in for the day at the Beverly Garland Holiday Inn.
Thank you everyone for your efforts, your commitment to eradicating this disease, and
your time and money.
Wednesday April 24, 2002
Bob left the Southern Division in
Glendale at 6:20 pm. Those of you who know Bob realize that hour of the day usually
does not appear on his watch, so being on the road at that time is a major accomplishment.
He arrived at the Madonna Inn at 9:20 am to meet up with DG Brenda Cressey and PDG
Jon Grant. Jon was on his Harley and would spend the day with Bob riding and
speaking. Two officers in their patrol cars escorted our trio to the Coastal
Division Headquarters. Fox and CBS news crews were there waiting, as well as many
CHP staff and Rotary CLub Presidents from the San Luis area. It was decreed by the
Mayor that April 24 was PolioPlus Day in San Luis Obispo. Some 2 billion
children have been immunized since the beginning of the project, and $500 million have
been raised by Rotarians. However another $400 million
The bikers then headed for Fresno. At Kettleman City, Bob noticed that his shifter
was self-destructing. A temporary fix (of bubblegum and duct tape?) held until they
arrived in Fresno. They were escorted from the CHP Office to the Central Division Hdqtrs.
The aroma of BBQ tri tip greeted them first, along with many CHP staff, officers
and Rotarians. An all out fundraising meal of salads, cookies and bar b que
began. Bob and Jon both spoke and thanked everyone for all their efforts to help
make PolioPlus a reality. Motor Officer Jeff called his brother in law to see if he
would/could help fix the wayward shifter.
Thursday April 25, 2002
Mike Zalenski of New Age Metal Finishes opened his
shop at 0430 to see if he and Bob could make the repairs. Fortunately, Mike was able
to fabricate the missing parts and Bob hit the road again at 0620 again. Jon was headed to
his district's conference.
Onward to Vallejo and the Golden Gate Division. Arriving in plenty of time for a mocha and
a visit with his escorts who talked about their involvement with the "Every 15
Minutes Program". Then, Officers Meyers and Sugo guided Bob to the Holiday Inn for
the meeting of the Vallejo Rotary Club with President Ann. Bob spoke about 20
minutes and after the Club meeting departed for Redding.
In Redding, Bob was met by two motor officers and four Rotarians on three bikes.
They convoyed their way to the Northern Division Headquarters. They were
greeted by more Rotarians, CHP staff and officers, Mayor Pat Kite, Senator K.
Maurice Johannessen, Chief of the Division and Public Affairs Coordinator Scott
Christensen. The Senator rode his Harley Sportster to the event. The Mayor
gave Bob a Key to the City. Bob spoke about PolioPlus, a partnership with the CHP,
and thanked all who helped support the program. He met with a fellow that claims to
be the oldest living polio survivor in California, having contracted the disease in 1926.
He spent most of his adult years as a "bronc buster". Then it was
back in the saddle with Scott Christensen and the other bikers to attend the R.C. of
Redding River View Sunset, that meets at the Country Club overlooking the river. The
Rotary Club hosted Bob at the Best Western Hilltop. It was a good nights rest,
Thank you all.
With everyone's effort, we can make certain that Polio is