On World Polio Day, October 24th, I had the honor of gathering with Morrisville Rotarians in Stowe, VT, at the March of Dimes Monument “remembering those afflicted with polio, and those who cared for the afflicted and the success of the polio vaccine.”   The first cases of polio in the United States were recorded in the Otter Creek Valley in 1894.  Severe paralysis developed in 110 cases, and 10 people died.  In 1914 there was a major outbreak of this viral disease in New York City, infecting 9,000 people.  When another outbreak occurred in 1921, taking the lives of 2,000 New Yorkers, polio presented an urgent challenge to medical science.
In recognition of Rotary’s ongoing commitment to the children of the world to eradicate this disease, the Morrisville and Waterbury Clubs both contributed $500 each to Polio Plus, significantly moving the needle in our current District Campaign to raise $10,000 for the fight to End Polio Now.  Because of the continuing commitment of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to match our gifts 2 to 1, when we hit our goal of $10,000 it will mean $30,000 has been generated toward this cause.
I am so grateful for the way our District Rotarians and Clubs are responding to this campaign.  I know that many of our clubs have special fundraising efforts for polio, including Purple Pinky Days, Pennies for Polio and many more.  If you or your club make a contribution through the RI website, will you please send me a copy of the gift acknowledgement so we can record your generosity toward our overall goal?  
If you have not yet had a chance to donate to this campaign and would like to do so, as well as encourage others through social media to do likewise, please go to our campaign web site and scroll down to see the options for making your gift to be a part of history as TOGETHER we make good on our promise.