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Scotch Plains Man Bikes for a Cause

Rotary club District Governor, Dwight Leeper, bikes for awareness


At about 11:30 a.m. Dwight Leeper of Scotch Plains hopped on his bicycle from his work office in Westfield to start his travel to the Rotary Club of Kenilworth.

Leeper, the District Governor of the Rotary Club for the counties of Union, Middlesex, Somerset, Mercer and Hunterdon, joined the Rotary Club of Fanwood-Scotch Plains in 2002.

Now, Leeper's plan is to ride his bike to each Rotary Club meeting in his district, even those as far as Clinton and Princeton.

Leeper tweets from all of the meetings, along with tweeting what is going on in the District. 

The idea of biking to each of the meetings came from three places, Leeper noted.

The first place lies in Leeper's notion that the biggest things you do in life are due to one foot in front of the other. 

As a young man, Leeper walked the Appalachian Trail, with much due to this principle.

The second reason behind Leeper's decision to bike to all of the meetings was to raise some awareness about Rotary Club. Not everyone has heard of us(Rotary), he said.

Lastly, Leeper just plain likes bicycling, he said, "I bicycle around town, I'm a bicycle commuter."

As of now, Leeper is just vetting things out with his biking adventures. The meetings run now through mid-December and he has started out with closer meetings and plans on working his way out.

One of the Rotary's main causes is eradicating Polio, their motto on Polio is, "we're this close," because currently there are only two countries still with the disease.

However, Leeper remarked, Polio is only a plane ride away.

Rotary does many humanitarian service projects on the local, national and international levels.

In addition to Polio, another international cause Rotary is dedicated to is Beads of Hope. Which is women from Uganda making beaded jewelry that is then sold in the United States, with the proceeds given back to the women to give them a better life.

In Fanwood-Scotch Plains, the Rotary Club works on the Frazee House and Dictionaries for third graders.


Leeper addressed the Rotary Club of Kenilworth on Wednesday with his bike not too far away in the dining area of the Bella Napoli restaurant. 

He noted that "when Rotary sees something that needs to be done they do it," rather than pointing the finger at someone else to do it.

Leeper continued that the whole idea of Rotary is personal diplomacy, calling on his recent trip to Pakistan this summer.

In July, Leeper took five rotarians to Pakistan to assist in the efforts to eradicate Polio.

"A large part was that we went there at all," he remarked to the Kenilworth Club. "(Pakistan was) A transforming experience, to say the least."

Leeper recalled giving two drops of the Polio vaccination toe a child while in Pakistan, the mother looked on not sure what was happening, but knowing it was the right thing to do.

Rotary is a place where you can go to a meeting anywhere in the world and be welcomed with open arms, Leeper stated.

When speaking to the Kenilworth Club during lunch, Leeper used the 'Imagine' term of Rotary to lead into a speech of all that is possible with Rotary. Noting issues such as service above self and a quote borrowed from the Boy Scouts that Leeper lives by "to leave the world a better place than we found it."

The President of the Kenilworth Rotary Club, Scott Taylor, said Leeper's talk was one of the most inspirational he has heard from a District Governor. 

So far, Leeper's biking has worked out very well, he said he has been lucky enough to be ducking in between the rain drops.


cnewman September 21, 2012 at 05:03 PM
what a cool guy! hope bike safety and that we all have to share the road is part of his many missions!

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