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Rotary Brings the World to Los Angeles
Date:6/13/2008

Service organization's annual convention will highlight polio eradication, seek Guinness record for world's largest book drive

LOS ANGELES, June 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- If Hollywood were to produce a new movie about the United Nations, they might want to shoot on-location in downtown Los Angeles this week, when about 20,000 visitors from more than 140 countries will arrive for Rotary International's annual convention.

Often described as a "mini-United Nations" because of its international and cultural diversity, the always colorful Rotary convention is expected to inject at least $16.5 million into the local economy during its weeklong run at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Pre-meeting activities began June 12, followed by the main convention program June 15-18. The annual convention gives members of the 103-year-old volunteer service group the opportunity to share success stories, exchange ideas and renew acquaintances. Members of the 380 Rotary clubs in southern California and southern Nevada have done much of the planning and will serve as hosts.

In special recognition of Rotary's commitment to literacy, many attendees are bringing children's books representing their homelands for the Wide World of Books project, which aims to be the largest international book drive ever. The books will go to deserving schoolchildren throughout the host region. A representative from Guinness World Records will be on hand to certify the results during the June 18 closing session.

Celebrity voice actors from the Jimmy Neutron-Boy Genius animated TV series and movie will be on hand to read with local schoolchildren from 8 a.m. to noon Monday (June 16) at the base of the symbolic "Mountain of Books" in the atrium of the South Hall of the convention center.

The convention launches an organization-wide drive to raise $100 million over three years to match a $100 million challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The enti
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SOURCE Rotary International
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