CHP  PolioPlus Ride


Motorcycle Bob
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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 develop a 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. 

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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 Sacramento.

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 PolioPlus!!!!

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.

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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.

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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 eliminated FOREVER!!!


DONATIONS to either PolioPlus or to support Motorcycle Bob's rides can be made through Motorcyclists for Awareness of Children's HealthClick here for a donation form.  If you would like to be a sponsor or join Motorcycle Bob on a ride, contact Bob at

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