Ending Polio Now The Goal Of Local Rotarians
The Rotary Club of Estes Park and Sunrise Rotary have joined Rotarians worldwide in raising an additional $200 million to help fund their “End Polio Now” campaign.
“Rotary has received grants in the past 18 months totaling $355 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to end polio. Rotary clubs here and around the world have agreed to match those funds by raising another $200 million so that we may achieve a world free of the crippling disease, “Rotarian Julie Phares said.
More than 3,300 Rotarians in 51 clubs throughout Wyoming, Northern Colorado and portions of Nebraska and Idaho are joining together during the month of October to highlight End Polio Now fund-raising efforts. Locally, on October 23, our Rotary Clubs will host assemblies at the schools to teach students about this terrible disease and accept $1 donations as part of their Purple Pinky Project. On October 24, the Rotary Club of Estes Park and Sunrise Rotary will invite the community to participate as they host a fundraiser Pancake Breakfast from 7-11 a.m. at the American Legion Hall and an afternoon Safeway Purple Pumpkin Drive as Estes Park’s contribution to eradicate polio in our world.
Since launching its landmark PolioPlus Program in 1985, Rotary has contributed more than $800 million to the cause, devoted countless volunteer hours providing vaccines in more than 200 countries, and witnessed the immunization of two billion children! The occurrence of polio has been slashed by 99 percent worldwide by the end of 2008. For as little as 60 cents worth of oral polio vaccine, a child can be protected for life. Unfortunately, polio still threatens children in parts of Africa and South Asia.
The Gates Foundation recognized that a major funding gap faced the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. They chose Rotary, a spearheading partner (along with the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and UNICEF), to launch this final stage in the effort to eradicate polio once and for all. Without this effort, the world could experience a dangerous comeback in polio cases.
“There are more than 33,000 Rotary clubs in nearly 200 countries with some 1.2 million Rotarians,” Julie Phares said “We’ve embraced the effort by digging deeper into our own pockets, planning special fundraisers and rallying community support,” she said.
Rotary invites everyone who wants to learn more about this historic opportunity to end polio once and for all to visit the Rotary website at www.rotary5440.org for more information. Public contributions for the End Polio Now campaign can also be sent to The Rotary Club of Estes Park, P.O. Box 1365, Estes Park, CO 80517. Remember, for only $1.00, you can save the life of a child!