Rotary members in Greensburg are taking action for World Polio Day to raise awareness, funds, and support to end polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that still threatens children in parts of the world today.
While World Polio Day is officially recognized by Rotary International on Sunday, Oct. 24, members of the Greensburg Rotary Club #3437 in District #6580, will recognize the effort with a special coffee event at The Branch Gather Place and Coffee House in downtown Greensburg on Thursday, Oct. 21.
From 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., local Rotarians will be at The Branch and will staff a table of polio and Rotary information. Thanks to the efforts of Rotarians Lora Williams of Williams Law Office and Kelby Owens of Phase Financial, the local Rotary club will provide 65 cups of coffee, or a special drink created for this event in recognition of World Polio Day. Only one drink coupon per person will be allowed during this event. To receive a coupon, you must visit the Rotary Club’s vendor table set up inside The Branch between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Oct. 21.
The drink will be your choice of The Branch special of purple vanilla crème or The Branch mocha with purple sprinkles. Purple represents the color Rotarians recognize worldwide of being associated with the End Polio campaign.
When Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries every year. Today, polio cases have been reduced by 99.9 percent, and just two countries continue to report cases of wild poliovirus: Afghanistan and Pakistan. Rotarians remain committed to the end.
With polio nearly eradicated, Rotary and its partners must sustain this progress and continue to reach every child with the polio vaccine. Without full funding and political commitment, this paralyzing disease could return to polio-free countries, putting children everywhere at risk. Rotary has committed to raising US$50 million each year to support global polio eradication efforts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match that 2-to-1, for a total yearly contribution of $150 million.
“Greensburg Rotarians continue to step up to fight this disease, which is so close to being eradicated from the world,” Greensburg Club President Jenni Hanna said. “We certainly appreciate the efforts of Williams Law Office and Phase Financial as well as that of local Rotarian Alex Sefton of The Branch, in helping to bring public awareness to the fight. Also, local Rotarian Jerry Fox has been a long-time vocal advocate in this effort against polio.”
Rotary has contributed more than $2.2 billion to ending polio since 1985.
Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who unite and take action to create lasting change in communities around the globe. For more than 115 years, Rotary’s people of action have used their passion, energy, and intelligence to improve lives through service. From promoting literacy and peace to providing clean water and improving health care, Rotary members are always working to better the world. Visit endpolio.org to learn more about Rotary and the fight to eradicate polio.
Greensburg Rotary Club #3437 in District #6580 meets at noon on Mondays at the Decatur County REMC Community Room. More information about the local club may be found at www.greensburg-rotary.org.
From Jeff Emsweller with Greensburg Rotary