Friday Harbor, WA — World Polio Day, October 24 is a time for all who want a world free from polio to come together in support of Rotary International’s 27-year mission to eradicate the crippling disease. To that end, the Rotary Club of the San Juan Islands annually contributes to the effort with proceeds from its Car Show fund-raiser. Over $80,000 towards polio eradication has been donated by the local Rotary club since the club’s inception 20 years ago. This does not include the over $100,000 that local Rotary members donate individually. Rotarians Barbara and Frank Fagan, founding members of the local club note, “There are few causes in the world that are more important than the eradication of polio, a disease with particularly deadly effects for children.”
Polio was once one of the most feared diseases in the United States. Rotary President Susan Martin shared, “Children growing up in America during the 40s and 50s recall the threat of polio and those affected by it. We also remember lining up for shots of the Salk vaccine, the first successful vaccine in the fight against polio. Although we may think outbreaks here are all in the past, the effects of polio live on.”
Rotary International is a founding member of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, which has reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent since its first project to vaccinate children. Polio remains endemic in Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of Nigeria, although other countries have recently seen imported cases. As there is no cure for polio, the best protection is prevention. For as little as 60 cents worth of vaccine, a child can be protected against the disease for life.
Thanks to a two-one match from the Gates Foundation, every donation made at https://www.endpolio.org/donate will be tripled. After an international investment of more than $9 billion, and the successful engagement of over 200 countries and 20 million volunteers, polio could be the first human disease of the 21st century to be eradicated. Help us see this fight to the end!
Attend a Local Rotary Meeting
You are invited to attend a local Rotary breakfast meeting held every Wednesday at the San Juan Island Yacht Club at 8:15 am. For more information, visit: https://rotaryfoundationsanjuanislands.org.