By Shellie Peterson
Special to The SUN
Rotary members in Pagosa Springs are taking action on 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.
We will be ringing the bell for donations to eradicate polio from the face of the earth.
The Rotary Club of Pagosa Springs will be at the City Market shopping center on Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
When Rotary and its partners launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative more than three decades ago, polio paralyzed 1,000 children every day. We’ve made great progress against the disease since then. Polio cases have dropped by 99.9 percent, from 350,000 cases in 1988 in 125 countries to 33 cases of wild poliovirus in 2018 in just two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan. And, we 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 $50 million each year to support global polio eradication efforts. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match that two-to-one, for a total yearly contribution of $150 million.
Last year, this community donated approximately $2,100 toward this worthy cause, which, when matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, means that $6,300 was raised for this important work.
Rotary has contributed more than $1.9 billion to ending polio since 1985.
Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders and problem-solvers that unite and take action to create lasting change in communities around the globe.
For more than 110 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.